8 Fun Ways to Say I Love You

“I love you” may just be the most powerful expression in the world, especially to children. Kids, even the most confident ones, need to know their parents love them, and finding new and fun ways to say I love you can quickly become a family game.

Here’s nine little ways to say I love you to help get you started—your family’s sure to some up with their own, special ways of expressing affection.

Lunchbox Notes

Slip a little note into your child’s lunchbox to let them know you care. The note doesn’t have to say “I love you” to get the message across (some kids get embarrassed if their friends see overly mushy notes from mom and dad). A silly drawing, some words of encouragement before a test, a reminder of a fun activity you’re doing after school—all let your child know you’re thinking about him.

Praising Effort

Children’s artwork and school tests are often displayed on refrigerators by proud parents. Adding a personalized sticker or writing some words of praise on displayed work reminds children you appreciate and value their efforts and accomplishments.

Messages Around the Home

Got some fridge magnets? Spell out the child’s name and a loving message after bedtime for her to find in the morning. Leave little notes hidden under pillows or by the child’s seat at the kitchen table. Draw a heart with their name in it on the bathroom mirror with soap. Finding such messages is always fun.

Create a Certificate Wall

Awarding children printed certificates is a great way to make them feel special, and so easy to do. Certificate templates are readily available online, and can be awarded for anything from doing chores and being polite to passing classes or hitting a home run in little league.

Go a step further and make an award wall, where the family’s certificates are proudly displayed. You can print off certificates for children to give to parents as well, so everyone can be recognized for their contributions to the family.

Write Personal Messages inside Books

When you give a child a book, take a moment to write a special message on the inside. Book dedications remind children they’re loved every time they read. You can buy special bookplates to stick inside the book. Customized books often come with the option of including a dedication specially written for the child.

Postcards from Parents

Children often get upset when a parent has to travel without them. Remind them they’re loved by sending postcards from your location: kids love receiving their own mail. Young children may not be able to wait for postcards, so write letters before you go, and have your partner or caregiver hand deliver them to children.

Secret Messages

This one’s fun. Come up with a secret way of telling family members you love them. It could be a gesture, a phrase, or a silly expression. Go big for small children—older kids might prefer a subtler way of expressing affection in public.

Little Gifts

Small gifts and surprises are a great way to remind children they’re loved. A small piece of candy in a lunchbox, a new puzzle, or small toys all make great surprises, and reinforce how much you care.

Say I Love You Often

Finally, remember the simple act of saying “I love you” is really powerful. Add in a hug, and your child will always know you care.


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