It’s 2018!  Your kids are growing up in the age of email, voicemail and texts.  Don’t let letter writing become a dying art.  Set them up with a PEN PAL.

It can be a friend, an aunt, or grandma.  Start by having your child ask someone if they would be willing to be their pen pal.  You know grandma will say yes!  Voilà, they have a pen pal!

Here are a few tips to make for a successful and lasting pen pal relationship:

 

Only pick one pen pal (pick wisely).  This way your child will be more likely to follow thru and keep with it.  Too many pen pals and it will be hard to stay on top of.

Take the kid(s) to the store and let them pick out some stationery.  Target has great card options in bulk.  If you really want to get into it, stop by the post office to pick up some special stamps.

Don’t send another letter until your child has received a response from their pen pal.  Patience!  Waiting is hard but something all kids need to learn (as well as some adults 😉 ).

Have your child ask questions in their letter thereby inviting answers from their pen pal.   Or, have them tell a story that their pen pal can comment on (ie. won an award, learned how to do a somersault, etc.).

Keep it short.   So important if your kid is just learning to write, or YOU have to be the one-letter-at-a-time speller-outer.  If it becomes a torturous homework assignment, the fun is gone.  Drawing pictures and one or two sentences is plenty.  Grandma will still brag, I promise.

Tell your child’s pen pal to avoid sending any presents or treats with their letter.  Stickers are sometimes fun, but the letter itself should be the focus.  Once you go down the road of presents in your card, the letter will lose its appeal.

Keep the momentum going.  Try to respond to the letter within a week of receiving one.

 

P.S.  The U.S. Postal Service would like to thank you for your support.  🙂

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