Love in My Child’s Language: 5 Free Gifts for Little Girls

Posted in Archive/ Kids Love/ Love Language Project October 17, 2015

Love Language Project-

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Earlier this year I starting reading through a book called The 5 Love Languages of Children. You might recognize the title from the more famous, original book, The 5 Love Languages, which was written for couples. The idea behind the two books is that everyone feels loved in different ways and that the way we feel loved is an important factor in how we relate to others.

Sometimes people try to show they care about us, but it goes over our heads because we don’t relate to their actions in that way. So for example, if someone gives you a gift, if you don’t like getting gifts to begin with, you might not even realize that it was a symbol of their love.

This is a really important concept to understand when dealing with children, because sometimes we think they are acting rude or acting out, when they just don’t see our actions in the same way we do. Or maybe they even feel lonely or unloved despite our efforts to comfort them.

An example the authors give is saying “I love you”. You can say those words a thousand times, but if your child feels more loved with quality time, or a gift, or a hug, then those words don’t have as much meaning.

The 5 Love Languages are…

  • Physical touch (ex: a hug)
  • Words of affirmation (ex: “I love you.”)
  • Quality time (ex: a bedtime story)
  • Gifts (ex: a toy or a special treat)
  • Acts of service (ex: help them clean their room)

I’ve been really inspired by the idea of the 5 love languages. Partially because of the promise that learning your child’s love language, and then acting on it could help with behavioral issues. And partly because I just want my own children to feel more loved (okay MOSTLY this one).

My Love Language Project

I decided to give it a try. First, I had my daughter take the quiz at the back of the book to figure out her primary love language.

Given the amount of time she begs to spend with me, I was sure that would be quality time.

I was surprised when quality time lost out to gifts. (She does love getting stuff, so not that surprised).

So I set about hatching a plan to shower her with gifts on her first week of school. I gave myself two rules:

  1. Figure out what “gifts” means (to a child) beyond the standard present
  2. All “gifts” would have to be free, so I’d have to get super creative with what we already had

My first thought was one of her favourite things: surprises.

5 ABSOLUTELY FREE Surprise Gifts for a Little Girl

Make her a bouquet from flowers in your

 

For some reason, wildflowers grow like weeds around my house. I also have some beautiful flowers planted earlier in the year. With the cold coming in spurts throughout September, I thought maybe they’d be better put to use as decoration inside the house. I took a small mason jar and put together a miniature bouquet of flowers. It was quick, easy, and 100% free.

My daughter really liked receiving these flowers. They were her special flowers and she put them right on her dresser so she could look at them every day (they did last the week).

 

Put colouring pages in surprise eggs. (1)

 

 

If your child is even half as obsessed with surprise eggs as mine is, she’ll have a dozen (or 100) plastic eggs floating around the house. I decided to put these to good use! I knew that she already loved opening surprises so I could fill them with just about anything to put a smile on her face.

I chose 15 colouring pages. For an extra special touch I tried to find a different picture for every tv show or book that was her favourite. Some of them were: minions, Amelia Bedelia, Hello Kitty, Rainbow Magic fairies, and Paw Patrol.

What a precious sight it was to see her jumping up and down with glee when she opened her first egg. This surprise ended up being her favourite and I’m considering doing another version of this in the future.

www.calledtokindness.com

This is the day I had the least amount of time to prepare something for when she came home. I got out my Perler beads and a heart bead board, and made her a decoration for her room. It was something very, very small, but I figured just the act of making her a gift would help her feel more loved. I told her how much I loved her and how special she is to me. It was a small gift with lots of love 🙂

 

Surprise her with homemade cookies. (1)

 

Cookies! I don’t often make homemade cookies. But, I got the idea from her bag of M&Ms that she brought home a few days before . I thought it would be fun to put some of them into cookies. These are the Best Soft & Chewy M&M Cookies from Averie Cooks. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but they turned out great. And HUGE! They were so big, that she couldn’t even finish half of one cookie. And so good that my husband gobbled up most of them, breaking his no-sugar diet…oops…

 

Make herfavouritelegoset

For her last gift, I wanted to do something really special. Luckily I had the time and my baby decided to take a long nap that day. I had been promising her for a while that we’d put her Lego set back together. With the set dismantled and mixed in with a bunch of other Lego, I thought it would take a few days. Somehow I managed to find all the pieces and put them back together in just a few hours! We had fun playing Lego and protecting Cloud Cuckoo Land from Lord Business and his gang.

This was a great gift to end with, because it was a surprise, something we’d been wanting to get done for a while, and it gave us the opportunity to play and have some quality time together.

Other Ideas?

Did I have fun? Absolutely! So while I’d love to keep this up, crafting something every single day is just not realistic. I’m searching for ways to do more mini projects in the future and I’ll be trying out some of the ideas at the end of the chapter on gifts in the 5 Love Languages of Children book. Maybe we’ll even try out some ideas from the other 4 love languages.

Some ideas I’ve had to keep up the {free-ish} gift giving beyond the mini love language projects:

Library books/movies/games

We go and get library materials at least once a week. This keeps things feeling fresh and my daughter has fun choosing some books and movies that she would otherwise not get a chance to read and watch. Now that our local library has added video games to it’s collection, we sometimes try out a game as well.

Read X books, get X books

Another book related gift practice we have going on. Over the summer, she got really excited about chapter books. They were a fairly new concept to her, and I let her pick out way too many at the thrift store to take home with her. And she kept asking for more. She would start all of them at the same time and finish none.

Now, I let her pick out a new book if she finishes X amount of books. Usually for every two books she reads, she can get one. And now she’s just flying through them as fast as she can! We have a list of books she needs to finish and we’ll cross them off as we go. It encourages her to read and we read together as well, so we get lots of quality time “earning” our books.

Chores for toys

I stopped giving her allowance. Not because I’m a meany, but because the money meant a whole lot less to her than what she could get with the money. Now if she wants to buy a toy she’ll ask me to do chores! Sometimes she’s practically begging for chores. We limit it to $5 and under once a week (which is what her allowance was), and she doesn’t always have to do chores (like I said, most of the time it’s her idea) to get something.

Have you read the book? What do you think about the 5 Love Languages? I’d love to hear what’s working for people, and any ideas for free simple gifts for a child. If you have a child yourself and want to know their love language, I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book or have a look through the love languages official website.

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