3 Ways to Play and Learn with Mail

3 Ways to Play and Learn with MAIL!

Take a walk down memory lane today and teach your child about a time — not so long ago — when mail wasn’t electronic.

It’s true… before there was such a thing as “e-mail,” there was something known simply as “mail.”

So why not teach your child about the story and the joy of written communication — from the historical Pony Express to today’s Twitter parties.

Read on to get ideas for teaching your little ones about writing notes, letters, and thank-you cards.

So get out your blotters, and let your ink and your creativity flow . . .

1. Holiday Letter-Writing Guide for Kids

Holiday Letter Writing Guide for Kids

Do your kids know which corner the stamp should be in on an envelope? How ’bout what punctuation mark follows a greeting? Guest Blogger Katie Heap gives a primmer in proper letter and envelope formatting (just in time for your little one’s letter to Santa!). You’ll even get a kid-friendly Letter-Writing Template, to help you teach the names and parts of a letter and their proper placement on the page. Then use her printable color-coded Prompt Sheet to help your child write (or dictate to you) a letter — to Santa, a loved one, or a friend — using the letter-parts they just learned (i.e., address, date, greeting, body, closing, and signature). Get Katie’s free downloadable templates and more in her full post: “Holiday Letter-Writing Guide for Kids.”

2.  Creating Thank-You Cards for Teachers

Age-Appropriate Thank-You Cards for Teachers

Though originally written for the end of the school year, this post has some great tips for what your child can write in a thank-you card to a teacher this holiday season. The ideas are broken down by age: Preschoolers (ages 3-4) and Older Children (ages 5+). Showing good manners and gratitude are lessons that every teacher will appreciate. Sending thank-you notes not only when your child receives a present, but for other reasons too (like for being a good friend, coming to a playdate, or being a patient coach) is an important way to guide little ones in the social niceties that make the world a better place. Keeping a basket of supplies handy for making quick thank-you notes when an unexpected occasion arises is just one of MANY great tips in our post “Creating Thank-You Cards for Teachers.” (For other ideas for thank-you cards in general, see the post “Kid-Made Thank-You Cards.”)

3. Letter-Writing for Little Travelers

Letter Writing for Little Travelers

If you’ll be traveling this holiday season, staying in an unfamiliar hotel or home can be hard for little ones. Make it easier to sleep in a strange bed by leaving a love note under your child’s pillow for them to discover when they go to bed at night or wake up in the morning. At the end of a visit, you can also have relatives mail a special “secret” letter home to your child describing a fun memory you made together over the holidays for them to receive when they get home. It’ll give them something to look forward to, and make it a little easier to leave without tears, knowing there’s a special message already on its way to your child. Get more ideas for letter-stamping projects, pretend play, and more in the post “Letter-Writing for Little Travelers.”

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Letter writing is great for teaching pragmatic skills, but it also allows little ones the chance to practice their spelling, storytelling, and fine motor skills, too!

And remember . . .

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere
without moving anything but your heart.” 
  ~Phyllis Theroux

Learn how to write a thank-you letter to Santa, get handwriting practice with Elf on the Shelf, and much more on the Melissa & Doug After-School Activities Pinterest board.

HAPPY WRITING!

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3 Ways to Play and Learn with Mail