Can you remember the last time you got a letter in the mail? How about for your child, other than on their birthday?
Growing up, my Grannie (who is now fabulously living out her 90s!) and I would write letters back and forth. I strongly believe this is one of the reasons we have remained close over the years, despite hundreds of miles between us. Just last week I received a letter from her, just a week after I visited, and seeing that letter brought out the biggest smile I had!
I went to my classroom yesterday to catch up on summer work, and found the best surprise in my mailbox...a rainbow colored letter mailed to me from a student! That letter was such a surprise, which made it even more joyful!
Letter writing really has become a lost art, but your child can experience the delight of writing and receiving a letter that can be cherished for years to come. Let's look at some letter writing relationships that are just waiting to begin...
- relatives that live far away
- friends who have moved
- adults that have been leaders to them...camp counselors, dance teachers, karate instructors
- friends in town...who says they wouldn't love a snail mail surprise??
- former neighbors (especially think of older neighbors who would just LOVE to be thought of, and will happily write back)
How about starting a new friendship with someone you don't know? Join the Flat Stanley community at www.flatstanley.com or www.flatstanleyproject.com. This is based on the book Flat Stanley about a boy who gets flattened when a bulletin board falls on him and has adventures only someone flat could have! Last summer I reached out to an exchange class in England, and they even mailed pictures and souvenirs from the Olympics with their paper Stanley.
There is also a pen pal program through Amazing Kids http://amazing-kids.org/get-involved/amazing-kids-penpals-program/, however there is a small fee of $10. Another fee-based program is The Student Letter Exchange at pen-pal.com.
These letters will come to mean so much down the road! Just reading them will take your child back to a relationship that meant so much to your child, or will transport them to the excitement they felt with the adventure of making a friend in another country! Your child may one day realize the gift in giving a letter to someone they don't know, such as a service member or a role model they admire.
Now, let's get out the letter writing supplies, it's snail mail time!