Fun back-to-school ideas using Hallmark’s Sound Charms

Amy Trowbridge-Yates is a gifted Hallmark Senior Writer whose witty, tell-it-like-it-is attitude knows no bounds. She’s a lover of tiny animals in clothes, bad reality TV, chewy Sweetarts and her two goofy girls. Earlier this summer, Amy helped us create Summer Fun Lists, and today she’s back to tell us how sound charms helped her and her oldest daughter survive the back-to-school season.

Hallmark sound charms are perfect for back to school | thinkmakeshareblog.comHallmark sound charms are perfect for back to school |

My daughter is nothing like me. I was energetic and outgoing and LOUD. My report cards always referenced me “disturbing others with conversation” and “disrupting the class with a joke.” Luckily, I managed to turn my love of words and humor into a career (thanks, Hallmark!). But my sweet Lydia has always been an introvert. She has trouble at the start of each school year adjusting to a new classroom and an unknown teacher and forming new friendships.

When she started kindergarten, I searched for a way to help her feel connected and close to me during the day—something to raise her spirits and remind her how much she’s loved. I found Hallmark’s Sound Charms in our Gold Crown store and immediately had the answer. Throughout the school year, I recorded little messages of love or encouragement on the small, colorful device and tucked it into her backpack. Any time she was anxious or missing me, she could simply pull it out and press the button to hear my voice. She loved it, and her teacher did too! As she’s grown, I’ve purchased a new design for each grade and tried out new ideas:

  • A knock-knock joke recorded and placed in her lunch box. Friends at her lunch table look forward to hearing a new one every day! Hey, if I’m not going to be the mom who makes little animals or faces out of sandwiches, I might as well throw something fun in with her plain ol’ baggie of chips!
  • Her little sister singing a made-up song or saying something funny. This usually ends in a toot-sound (my second daughter is not an introvert), but it’s still a fun little pick-me-up.
  • Reminders of things she can look forward to. Anything from “Three days ’til Uncle Tommy comes to town!” to “Get ready to kick some booty at soccer practice tonight!” It’s also fun to count down to something like Christmas Break. For the week leading up to it, I simply mentioned all the little things we were planning for her time off (“Start thinking now about how you want to decorate your gingerbread house! Bring on the Skittles!”)
  • The chorus to her favorite song. Because even ten seconds of Taylor Swift will break up the monotony of the car-rider line. (It’s important to mention I record it from the stereo, I don’t sing it!)

Got ideas for messages to your kiddo? Let’s hear ‘em! (No, seriously, let’s. I’m running out of options—and knock-knock jokes—here!)

Check out what our friends at have put together for more back-to-school ideas and gifts



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