Last year, a friend of mine with a daughter close to my daughter Lillie’s age asked if Lillie would like a pen pal. Lillie loves to get mail, so she thought it was a great idea, too. Thus began their letter-writing adventure, which included handwriting practice, spelling practice, and friendly letter composition, not to mention learning how to address envelopes. A fun and educational activity!
This year, I’ve decided to expand on that idea. Instead of just one pen pal, I’ve assigned both my daughters a number of people to write to. So now, as part of each school day, they work on one letter to either:
- an out-of-state family member, such as their grandmother and great-aunt or
- an friend who lives far away that we don’t often see or
- a child we’re supporting through Compassion International.
Though handwriting is usually met with a few groans and moans of “Do we have to?”, this has quickly turned into an exciting assignment they can’t wait to do. On their own, they’ve continued to add to the list of recipients. Even my seven-year-old, who doesn’t do much writing yet, has joined in and started writing letters to his cousins.
To make it even more fun, we’ve also added:
- decorative papers to write on
- small items to include in the letter, such as stickers
- photos of family members and pets
We’ve been using scrapbooking papers as stationery, but there are a lot of websites that feature free stationery for kids. Here are a few of them:
ActivityVillage.co.uk – notepaper, holiday stationery, and thank-you notes
If you’re children need an interesting way to get in that handwriting practice, consider finding some pen pals. If they’re like my children, they’ll have as much fun writing the letters as they do receiving them!
Photo by dancerinthedark