Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Napkin Notes

If you've been around here for any length of time, you know that I feel strongly about packing delicious lunches for my family.  That mostly consists of school lunches these days, but it's really important to me.  I plan for, shop for and budget time for packing lunches every week.  It's a big HUG FROM HOME from me to my kids every day.

Napkin notes are something that I include with almost every lunch I pack.  I don't always write the notes on a napkin, but you get the idea.  It's a little note from me to them to read as they enjoy their lunch.

I grew up on napkin notes.  My parents both wrote me lunch box notes and I still have a little stash of those notes from the 80s as a keepsake.  They kept the notes short and sweet.  They put encouraging words, reminders and sweet messages.  I try my best to do the same.

1980s Napkin Notes:

I love these notes so much!  You'll notice a theme - I've always loved cats, loved a handwritten note, appreciated encouragement and apparently have always been sneezy.  Thank heavens for allergy meds.  And country blue was all the rage in the 80s.  It's a good mix of notes from mom, notes from dad and one from my siblings.

2020 Napkin Notes:


I try to include specifics about their days - enjoy PE today!  Or good luck on your math test!  I can't wait to have lasagna with you for dinner tonight!  Movie night: Minions tonight after dinner!  Or include some encouraging works - be kind, be a good friend, you are really special to me or I can't wait to see you after school!  I also like to look up kid jokes on Pinterest for some funny jokes.  I usually read Fletcher's note to him in the morning so that he knows what it says since he's an early reader.  Olive reads her own note.

Take turns being the author.  I write most of the notes, but I rotate through Kevin, Leo and the cats when I need some fresh note content.  They love getting a post it note full of scribbles from Leo or a cat note from the cats- hurry home and pet me!  I miss you meowy much.  You get the idea :)

Any kind of paper will do - a napkin, a note pad, an index card, a post it or little note cards meant for lunch boxes.  Your kids won't care!  Post its are the easiest so do whatever works best for you.  I use a variety of all of those for my lunch box notes.  The kids love reading them each day and be sure to give me grief if I forget their note :)

My lunch box note inspiration:

Caption bubble napkins from Meijer.

Toddler notes:

Stick the post it notes to the counter and let your toddler write :)

Sometimes I trace Leo's hand on notes and then he colors them.

Post it note + a fun napkin (save all of your party napkins for school lunches!  Remember when the boys had a donut party back in the spring??)

I really love these boxes oof lunch box notes from Aldi.  They were so affordable and are surprisingly sweet!

The Dollar Tree sells these cute shaped note cards.  They're marketed to teachers in the teacher section, but they are perfect for school lunch boxes.


If you need a little more inspiration for your own napkin notes, I'd recommend reading this book: Napkin Notes: Make Lunch Meaningful, Life will Follow by W. Garth Callaghan.  I grabbed a copy at the library this month and I really enjoyed it.  Callaghan faced many challenges that inspired him to write Napkin Notes for his daughter.  His stories were compelling, interesting and inspiring.  

You can find it on amazon through my link here along with some cute note card options:


Who could you write a Napkin Note or a note of encouragement to today??


  1. Awww, I love that you still have all those napkin notes from your childhood! What precious memories. I have to admit that I miss sending lunchbox notes. Now I send notes/cards through the mail. I send mainly to Jack, because Grace's mail is very unreliable. Very frustrating that it takes 3 weeks for her to get paper mail!! Have a good week!

  2. I am always inspired by your lunch box packing ways! I was BIG on lunchbox notes when Mason attended public school! Mason said he always looked forward to them! I love that you have some from the 80s as a keepsake! So special and sweet. You have found some cute notes!!


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