Five Ways to Say “I Love You” to Children

Now that we have a little reader/writer in the family, we are discovering some adorable little love notes lately, in addition to the plethora of crayon drawings produced each day. (The photo above was a little note jotted onto a meeting agenda in Dad’s notebook.)

We’ve been enjoying surprising one another with little ways that say “I love you.” (I have also been inspired by Sally Clarkson’s book, Mission of Motherhood, where she encourages moms to teach their children how to bless one another.)

I’ve found that it’s often the most simple (and frugal) that speaks love to my children. They enjoy being “surprised” in the everyday moments; not necessarily just one big anticipated treat/event.

Here are some of our recent fun ways to say “I love you” to our little ones:

    Use the fancy dishes.

A family dinner, followed by dessert (such as home-canned peaches topped with real whipped cream) in a pretty little dish (or as an afternoon/tea time snack) is especially sweet. Little glassware from the thrift store, cups from Mama’s tea set, or dishes from the wedding china can all make the meal extra special.

    A love note tucked into schoolbooks or a lunch bag.

Even though we are homeschooling, we still do this! It is fun for a child to sit down to begin schoolwork for the day, and discover a little card from Mama, saying “Thank you for helping with chores,” or just “I love you.” On days when we are away from home, and pack a lunch, it is fun to find a little note, sticker, or treat in the lunch bag.

    Bathtub Finger Painting

My children loved being treated with a warm bath and new little jars of homemade finger paint! (I use the natural India Tree food coloring, and it doesn’t stain the bathroom.) They ┬áput on their swimsuits, and hop in the tub! This out-of-the ordinary type of fun has been a perfect rainy day activity. Sometimes I will mix in some essential oils for a scented paint, too, such as Sweet Orange or Lavender essential oils.

    Stop and Listen

In our busy days, it’s easy to miss some of those imaginative stories and ideas that fill our children’s hearts. Look them in the eye, and really listen. Cuddle on the couch, watch them doodle on a notepad with crayons, let them chat while you’re baking, and listen to the stories that unfold.


Who doesn’t like a good foot rub or shoulder rub? After a hard day of play or growing pains, a little massage can be soothing for little ones. A drop or two of lavender essential oil added to a carrier oil (such as apricot kernel oil) is nice for little ones, if you choose to use oil.

Find out what they like best. Perhaps they like their hair brushed at story time, or a back rub when you tuck them in at night. Little girls might like a time of nail painting with Mama, too, after a foot rub. (My girl loves her Piggy Paint!)

How are you saying “I love you” today?

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