Idea #1: The silly note. I've blogged this one before. But we are still having so much fun with it. I like to find jokes that are fun, quick and easy for them to remember and to tell their friends at recess. It is also fun to have jokes that are seasonal. Like ghost jokes at Halloween, Rudolf ones at Christmas, or if you know what they are learning about in school, you could try to tie that in too. If they are doing a unit on dinosaurs and fossils, put in a dino joke. If they are learning about the sea, do a pirate joke. There are lots of ways to go with this. Just have fun.
Idea #2: The love note. There is nothing wrong with writing a quick "I love you" on a note and slipping it into their lunch bags. In fact, that is a very nice thing to do. But my favourite love notes are specific ones. For example, if you noticed your son being especially thoughtful with one of his younger siblings, write that down and tell him how much you appreciated that. Or if your child comes home and gets all their jobs done right away without being asked, write them a note to tell them how proud you are of them for being so responsible. You could also use a love note to tell them something about them that you really admire about them. Maybe they are kind, or polite, or patient, or have any number of admirable qualities. Let them know. Kids need to know what it is that they do well.
Idea #3: The good luck note. This is a great one to do on a day when you know your child is facing a test in school. Especially if it is something they have been working on and worrying about. Plus, it shows them that you are aware of what is going on in their lives. You care, you are concerned.
Idea #4: The 'When you come home' note. I love these ones! It gives them (and me too!) a little boost to get through the rest of the afternoon, knowing that they are coming home to something fun that day. "I am making sugar cookies today. When you get home let's decorate them together!" "How about we order pizza for supper tonight?" "Dad got tickets to a hockey game and he's taking you!" "We're going over to Grandma's house for a visit today!" Whatever will give them a little spark.
Idea #5: The note in secret code. These notes should probably be kept short, since they will have to spend some time figuring out the meaning. For example, you could write the note in different colours, and only the words (or letters if you want to be extra tricky) written in red are part of the letter. Or you could write out a series of numbers, and each number is a letter of the alphabet. Or write a note in pictures and see if they can figure out the meaning.
Idea #6: General little letter. This is just a basic, 'Dear Daughter, How is your day today?' message, but can be great too. Tell them what you plan to do for the day, ask who they played with at recess, what did they learn about in math today, remind them that you'll see them soon, etc.