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.”
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 . . .
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.”
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.”)
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.