By Beth Pinyerd

As an early childhood teacher, I look forward to the month of February because of the many creative opportunities it offers for children to express love on Valentine’s Day!
Beautiful lace doilies, heart stickers, drawing and cutting out paper hearts to celebrate in the classroom and at home is an annual winter holiday we look forward to! Why wait to Valentine’s Day to send love notes? Let’s celebrate every day in sending notes of love to our children!
I know we have email, text and Twitter to send quick notes to our children, but one way to send love and encouragement to your children is by handwritten notes. Yes, drawing a note for a child does take time, but the heartfelt gratitude that this brings will result in a lifetime of memories and benefits. Time spent doing this spells LOVE!
When a child realizes they got a note from mom, dad or a grandparent, as a teacher I see firsthand how this encourages a young child! I have seen little fellows cling on to a simple yellow Post-it note from mom or dad all day long. It brings joy and security from home to school. Young students love to get simple notes from their teachers as well!
In sending a love note, let your children know that you unconditionally love them for “who they are” and how God made them with their personalities and gifts! As we all know, praise and compliments go a long way in encouraging young hearts. In fact, adults are given a boost of confidence and happiness when we are praised for our efforts in our work or when we are serving.
This same expression of praise goes a long way with children too. In a love note, specifically note how your child may have helped you by cleaning their rooms, helping to set the table for a meal, clean up after a meal, feeding and taking care of their pets, picking up paper off the floor, etc. Express feelings and gratitude to your child – we all feel the need to be appreciated.
Notes of encouragement are also important. If a child is facing weekly tests at school or other challenges, a note to let them know that you are praying and pulling for them to do well goes a long way!
Our world is so busy and raising children can be a challenge. We all make mistakes. A verbal “will you forgive me” is good but this is done quickly and we go on with our day. A written “will you forgive me note” is one that a child will absolutely learn from.
Children love to find surprise notes in unexpected places. As a teacher, I love to stick encouragement notes under desktops, chairs, student folders, etc.
As a parent, you can slip notes in lunch boxes, backpacks, Post-it notes on bathroom mirrors, a child’s pillow when they wake up in the morning, by their breakfast plate and even in their clothes or shoes.
One of the greatest book of love notes that we receive from our Heavenly Father is the Bible! What a wonderful book of truthful notes that map out how we should live our lives. What a loving God we have whom sends us notes everyday in His Word as well as His World!
Pinyerd has taught young children in the early childhood classroom for 34 years as well as outreaching to the elderly in intergenerational settings. She has taught and outreached in the schools in Opelika and Baldwin County. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education as well as a bachelor’s degree in family and child development both from Auburn University. Her husband is the late Carl Pinyerd and she has one son, Gus Pinyerd, who has taught her so much about learning. Classroom Observer is here to serve the community in sharing the wonderful teaching programs in our local public schools, private schools, and homeschools. The column is provided to enrich the education of our children, youth, and families. Classroom Observer welcomes educational news, school news, pictures and events by e-mailing her at