Love may make the world go round, but it can also lower our blood pressure, improve our self-esteem and even help us live longer. Pretty powerful stuff! But just as important as saying a heartfelt “I love you” is showing it. Luckily, you don’t need grand gestures—a simple, sincere act can be just as meaningful. Our Show the Love Challenge offers 30 thoughtful, totally doable ways to spread the love to your family, friends, and neighbors throughout the month. Follow the tips below to get started, and share your moments with us: #showthelovechallenge!
Write a lunchbox note. Make up a silly poem or draw a simple picture on a piece of paper and slip it into your kid’s lunch box today. Pressed for time? Scribble a quick “XO” or smiley face—it’s the thought the counts.
Have a ‘heart’ day. Looking for an easy way to make your little one's first day of school extra special? Fill her day with hearts in every way imaginable—from cutting out construction paper hearts to add to her lunchbox to drawing a heart on the condensation-fogged mirror in the bathroom. So cute!
Hide little love notes around the house. Think of well-trafficked spots, like inside their favorite nighttime book or in a coat pocket, and let your family stumble on them.
Serve breakfast with a smile (literally). Try putting berries in the shape of a smiley face in their oatmeal or open-faced peanut butter sammy. For easy spreading, choose a smooth blend, like Jif Creamy Natural PB.
Have screen-free playtime. Leave your cell phone in another room today and devote 15-30 minutes to playing whatever game your child wants. Trust us, your inbox can wait.
Let your child decide dinner one night this week. Sure, their selection might not be what you’d choose—turkey dogs and buttered pasta, anyone?—but they’ll love the thrill of being in charge of a meal.
Compliment their good deeds. Whenever you see your child doing something good, praise them for it right then and there—especially if you’re out in public. A high-profile shout-out is a great incentive for them to keep up the good behavior.
Call your grandparents or parents today. Ask them to tell you their favorite childhood memory, and come up with a few specific questions ahead of time in case you need help keeping the conversation going. Don’t forget to write it down or record it as a voice memo for posterity.
Have breakfast as a family this morning. You’re already trying to have dinner as a unit—why not also share the first meal of the day together? Not an early riser? These quick and easy breakfast recipes can be whipped up in five minutes or less.
Start a compliment jar. Ask your family write down compliments about each other on piece of paper and drop them in a mason jar or basket. At dinner, pull out a few to read aloud.
Surprise them with a small gift. Pick up something you think your child or spouse would love on your way home this evening and place it somewhere unexpected, like on the seat of their dining room chair or under the covers on their bed.
Bring your neighbors a treat. Double your recipe for peanut butter cookies (try making them with Jif Creamy PB) and share the extras with your neighbors.
Give together to a charity. Agree to pool together one week’s worth of allowances and coffee money and donate it to a charity your whole family loves. Place the money in a large glass container in a common area so everyone can watch it accumulate.
Show some TLC. Make an extra effort to give your family members extra hugs and kisses throughout the day; and be sure to hug and kiss before bed tonight.
Make a standing weekly or monthly playdate with your kids. Do the same with your partner. Brainstorm some activities you both enjoy, or take turns deciding what to do.
Donate food to a local shelter. Opt for non-perishable snacks that pack a protein punch, like peanut butter granola bars or fruit leathers. And make an effort to shop for the goods as a family!
Start to lessen your family’s carbon footprint. Whether it’s carpooling with your coworker or turning off the air conditioner when you leave the house, come up with a couple of ways your family can be kinder to the earth—and stick to them.
Together with your family, collect supplies for your local animal shelter. Call ahead to find out what they need, and drop off your donation together.
Keep your cool. Show forgiveness and patience if your kid makes a mistake today, and be sure to show yourself the same kindness and love.
Clean out your closets. Before you go shopping for all those back-to-school essentials,clear out what your kids can no longer can wear.Donate any gently used clothes, backpacks, books, and even toys to a resell charity, like Goodwill, or a local church or organization.
Eat well. Show your body some love by trying to eat only fresh, in-season, local foods today.
Help clean up. If you pass by a piece of trash on the sidewalk or in a parking lot, pick it up and throw it away. You never know, your kid may just model your good deed.
Bring flowers. Brighten up your child’s classroom—and make the teacher’s day—with a bouquet of fresh-picked blooms from your yard. Place the stems in an old jelly jar if you don’t have an extra vase.
Tell your child and your partner exactly what you love about them. Point out how much you adore the way the corners of their eyes crinkle when they smile or how they laugh while telling their favorite knock-knock joke. The more specific, the better!
Snuggle up together on the sofa and watch a movie tonight. Turn out the lights, load up on the pillows and blankets, and set out bowls of sweet treats to create the full movie theater experience.
Pack them an extra-special lunch today. Include their favorite healthy snacks and a heart-shaped sandwich. (A cookie cutter will make the job easy—be sure to press down firmly so it slices through the bread.)
Wear their homemade jewelry. Proudly rock that DIY “I love Mom” bracelet today, and be sure to tell your kids about all the compliments you get.
Write your child a motivational message. Hang a whiteboard in their room and leave a favorite inspirational message. Make it a nightly tradition.