In the Cards

Photograph by JoopaShoots Photography

Like a lot of caring parents, Theresa Claire Robbins has slipped the occasional note in her three sons’ lunchboxes to give them an extra helping of love and encouragement during their school day. Her efforts at getting a response from her three boys, who range in age from eight to sixteen, have had mixed success. “It can be hard to get kids to open up about their feelings,” she says. “You ask, ‘How was your day?’ and you get back, ‘Fine.’”

The former Greenwich resident and founder of literary imprint Mirror Books is trying to help kids expand on those monosyllabic answers and increase their emotional vocabulary with LoveSnax, packs of feelings-focused cards perfect for slipping in lunches or backpacks. Her colorful cards, developed with input from Ridgefield-based psychologist Melanie Pearl, feature childlike cartoon characters and an emotional word—determined, playful, cheerful—along with a tip on how to experience that feeling. There is also space to personalize the card and room for your child to write back to you. Besides helping the early elementary set to articulate emotions, Theresa says LoveSnax “also let kids know that Mom and Dad are here and loving you even if they’re not with you.”

While the business is in its early phases, the Darien High School graduate (who now calls Stamford home) has been encouraged by early feedback. A sample printing of cards sold out when she set up a table at a local street fair. She also road tested LoveSnax packs, which retail in sets of fifty for $20, with local families. Several of the test families are affiliated with St. Luke’s Church in Darien, where Theresa worships. “Parents were getting back notes saying things like, “There’s a boy that keeps bothering me,” and more lighthearted things such as, “My day was fine, but I really hated this sandwich.” The cards seem to be getting kids to open up more. And it’s helping parents get in tune with things they may not be aware are happening during the day.”

The response also inspired Theresa to create a LoveSnax-themed family game, which involves matching mood-related cards Uno-style. The game is available at Smart Kids Toys in town, as well as Darien Toy Box and The Toy Chest in New Canaan. “It teaches the idea that during the course of a day, we can have many moods and that it’s normal and natural to have all those feelings,” she says. “And playing as a family gives you a chance to talk about those things.”



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