Love notes: I dole ‘em out like candy. My boys find ‘em on the mirror in the bathroom. In their rooms. Written on snack bags. My husband gets ‘em in his lunch. On the steering wheel. Inside his dresser drawers. I’ve always communicated this way, but it’s particularly effective with my men of few words. A note allows them to digest the expression of affection in their shy little ways, on their own time and without expectation.

I’m kind of in love with love notes. That’s why it was second nature for me to haphazardly arrange these “5 Things We Love” DIY Valentines with reasons tailored for each child. These homemade cards are the epitome of simplicity, requiring only items you likely already have at home:

  • Colored paper of any kind cut into 6 squares
  • Markers or Sharpie of any color
  • Any old ribbon
  • Stickers if you’ve got ‘em

Take some time to think about five unique qualities you admire in your child. This is a good opportunity to acknowledge their passions or point out specific appreciations you have for them. Hello, positive behavior reinforcement!

DIY Valentines for your kidsHere are some of ours:
We love that you are kind to others.
We love your passion for reading “Harry Potter.”
We love that you stand up for your brother.
We love that you are becoming more responsible.
We love that you are a leader and good example for other kids at school.

Write one attribute on five squares and add a cover square with “5 Things We Love About [Your Kid’s Name]” to top it off. Poke a hole in one corner and tie the squares together with a short ribbon. Add some stickers and leave the Valentine for your child to discover.

Then, if you’re me, stand out of sight and watch as they read what you know to be true.

The little glow of their newfound self-esteem is worth every paper cut.

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