Lunch Notes {Lunch Drawer}

by Chris on September 4, 2012

Three dreaded words—back to school.  We are officially back at it, and I’d be lying if I said I was happy about it. I love my kids being home in the summer! As a working mom, there is inevitable guilt, so I’ve tried for years to come up with different ways to stay connected to my kids while they’re at school/I’m at work.

When they were little, I had mailboxes in their rooms to leave notes for them.  Now that they’re in school all day, I implemented a way to “check in” with them while they’re there.  Anyone else have a pile of scrap scrapbook paper like I do? I never know what to do with it, so I keep it. Forever.

scrapbook paper pile

I cut the paper into semi-similar sizes and used some leftover stickers and such to decorate as many as possible. Keep in mind, these are not intended for my teenager. These are for the little one.

lunch notes

And if you’re little one is anything like me, she likes girly things! I pick up these napkins throughout the year at party stores, TJMaxx, etc for just over $1.00. It’s just a little way to personalize her lunch, and she loves it.

colorful lunch napkins

Since my husband’s schedule now means he has to pack their lunches (yes!), I sat down in front of a movie the other night and wrote out a bunch of notes to have ready for her when he sends her off to school.

lunch notes for kids

I’ve mentioned my lunch drawer before, and it’s still one of my “must haves” for the school year. It holds most items needed for easy lunch-making duty.

lunch drawer

The look of this drawer can vary throughout the year. I often pre-bag their crackers in here in order to break down on snacking too much after school as well. Instead of eating a whole package of crackers, they know they get a baggie that’s already been prepared for them.

lunch making center

While they love the notes, I think their favorite is the one-line jokes or riddles I send! There are lots of cute sites that will provide you with lots of them, but I included a few links to the ones I used for them.



erin @ iheart being inspired September 4, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Awww! I love the little notes! so cute!

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Thank you, Erin!

Christy September 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Love these ideas, and started slipping notes in our kiddo’s lunches too. Just a thought…I bet your teen would love a note too. :)

Chris September 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I should clarify. My teenager gets them too! He just doesn’t get them on fancy paper. He’d be embarrassed. :)

Kim @ Plumberry Pie September 4, 2012 at 11:28 pm

thanks for the joke links. i’m thinking those will be a hit around here too.

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm

You bet! A little corny, but PERFECT for a little one! :)

Karen September 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm

I leave notes, jokes, and riddles, too. I also found cute “Love Bug” notes at either Hallmark or Target that have encouraging and uplifting words for school age kids. I love the idea of the lunch drawer. Makes things go much more smoothly when it’s packing time, I bet.

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I don’t know what we’d do without it now. Whenever I go to the grocery store, I just dump all their lunch stuff in the same spot. So nice. Thanks for stopping by!

ToTheMoonandBack September 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm

I write them ahead of time also, for Holidays too, add stickers, stamps etc….she love it and it saves me lots of time in the mornings!

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Well, you are the QUEEN of lunches, so I bow down to you! But yes…saves lots of time to do them in advance. :)

Elements September 5, 2012 at 12:33 am

I love your notes and your lunch drawer……..I loved this idea so much I pinned it……

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by!

Maria @ All Things Luxurious September 5, 2012 at 1:14 am

How sweet! One of my favorite memories from grade school (and even middle school!) was opening my lunch box and seeing a note from my mom. She never missed a day. :-) Your kids will always remember this!

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm

That’s so cool, Maria! I love that you have that memory! Thanks for sharing that.

Hazel September 5, 2012 at 1:35 am

I have been know to write jokes on my children’s bananas, though perhaps not that far in advance…

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Bananas. Brilliant!

Jill Flory September 5, 2012 at 8:45 am

What fun! I should start packing my kids lunches even though we homeschool! Yeah right – like THAT will happen – I hate to pack lunches!

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm

That made me laugh, Jill. I hate packing them too!

Judy September 5, 2012 at 9:01 am

I love your idea about the lunch drawer. I bet that’s a real time saver. I write notes to my kids as well.

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Saves SO much time! Otherwise, I forget. That tends to happen with a lot of things. :)

Sara September 5, 2012 at 9:16 am

Oh, I hear ya about the guilt. Yesterday was a bad one for me wondering the purpose of all the busyness. I cherish those 8 weeks off in the summer! Love the riddle notes idea! Thanks!

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Sometimes we just have to take a step back for a moment, eh? I especially cherish my summers when my alarm clock goes off at 6:00 in the morning now. ;)

Shannah @ Just Us Four September 5, 2012 at 10:46 am

These are so cute. I am definitely pinning this for next year when my daughter starts taking a lunch to school.

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Thank you, Shannah! They are certainly a hit!

Tori September 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

love visiting your blog. LOVED this lunch drawer idea! Thanks for sharing!

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Thank you, Tori! I’m so glad you stopped by!

Courtney {a thoughtful place} September 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Oh, I love this. I am trying to be super organized this year with lunches and such. Wrote out a note today. But boy do I have oodles of paper and a stock pile of notes is genius. This is why I love you so much.

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Don’t feel guilty if you’re feeding them cheese sticks and a grape at some point. My goal is to get better at grocery shopping more regularly so that doesn’t happen–again. :)

Lori September 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm

You are such a great mom! I sometimes put love notes in my daughter’s lunch bag, but I love the idea of also doing riddles. Thanks for sharing those links!

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm

You bet! I hope she likes them!

Rhonda September 5, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Such a great idea – and love that you put special napkins in there too. I’ll have to pick some up the next time I’m out…

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Easy and cheap! My favorite two elements. :) Good luck!

Julie @ PushingTwigs September 6, 2012 at 10:38 am

Love this. I’m looking forward to using some of these ideas…thank you for sharing!

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm

You’re so welcome, Julie! Thanks for stopping by!

Laura H September 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Such a cute idea! I remember your lunch drawer post a few years back and I didn’t have any little ones in school then but it is such a good jumping off point for me now with Kindergarten and Preschool. It would make my night before school so much smoother. Sometimes after I have packed lunches, snacks, water bottles and my own things for work I feel like I need a cooler on wheels to load into the car! Also, those napkins, such a cute idea, a girl who appreciates a “pretty” in her lunch is one after my own heart :)

Chris September 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Agree, agree, agree! Unfortunately, my lunch tends to suffer after the kids’ lunches get packed. One more reason I’m so glad my husband took over that job. :)

absolute Condos September 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Lovely !!!

Amanda @ This Lovely House September 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this post. My husband and I watched our nieces and nephew this weekend and I knew I wanted to pack their lunches with notes. The oldest is nine and would not have appreciated anything sappy – I was so excited to leave him a joke because I know he will love it. I never would have thought to do that on my own… =)

Chris September 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Oh, I love that Amanda! So sweet of you to tell me. My husband actually put my son’s joke in my younger daughter’s lunch the other day, and she came home and said, “Mom, did you make that up yourself? ‘Cause I didn’t get it.” :) My son would have loved it! Ha!

Julia@fyimodularhomes September 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Great idea! I have a good, deep drawer for this too – and all it holds now is boxes of foil and baggies anyway! Genius! Maybe my kids (11 and 14) will be inspired to pack their own lunch!

Chris September 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Well if you get that to happen, let me know! :) Thank you!

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