Everyone likes to receive happy mail, which is pretty much anything other than a bill. You can use these ideas to have kids send mail to grandparents, friends, cousins, or pen pals.
Writing letters is a great way for children to practise their writing skills and penmanship in a practical and fun way. Sending them (by “snail mail”) instead of e-mail is especially fun. Below are some suggestions for fun and creative mail they can send.
A Homemade Photo Postcard – Take pictures and let the your child turn them into postcards by sticking a white index card onto the back of them. They can then write a message, fill in the address, put a stamp in the corner and send their personalized postcard.
A Puzzle – Have your child draw a colorful picture on cardboard or thick card stock with a message for a friend or relative. If the child is old enough, have them cut the picture into puzzle pieces. If they are too young, you can cut the pieces for them. Pop the pieces in an envelope and mail to the intended recipient for a very fun greeting card.
Invisible Ink – Have your child write a message or draw a picture in lemon juice on a paper. Include a note on a separate piece of paper explaining that in order to view the message, the recipient will have to heat the paper up over a candle. This one is as fun to receive as it is to make.
Secret Code – Your child can write a letter using a secret code. Be sure that they send a decoder along with the letter of course!
Building Suspense – One idea that can improve your child’s creative writing abilities as well as their desire is to have them write a story and send a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or friend one chapter at a time. The recipient will want to know how the story ends and will phone or write to ask the child, who will then feel encouraged in their writing and be spurred on to finish that story and to write others as well.
Add a Sentence – This one is also good for building creative writing skills in your child. The way it works is that your child writes on sentence or one paragraph (depending on the age and writing level of the child) and sends it to the recipient. The recipient then adds another sentence or paragraph on to the story and sends it back. Your child then continues the story from there and this continues back and forth until the story is finished.
Sending and receiving mail is fun for any child (it’s fun for adults too!). If there isn’t a relative that your child can send mail to, consider asking a Senior’s care centre if there is a lonely resident there that your child can send letters to or find a pen pal for your child.