Emails are way easier, text messages more concise, but there’s something about receiving a letter that makes everyone, especially kids, feel special. If your kids want to experience that feeling all the time, all they have to do is write letters. The following tips will show you how to get kids to write letters, and why it matters.
Kids who write letters get great practice in handwriting, writing mechanics, grammar, spelling, and letter formatting – all skills that will aid them in their adult lives. But besides teaching invaluable writing skills, letter writing helps kids mature emotionally. Letter writing takes time, and maybe that’s exactly the point; the recipient of a letter can tell that the sender truly cared enough to write to them. When children exchange letters with someone, they take the time to consider what’s on their mind, but also what the person on the other end might be thinking or feeling. This combination of introspection and empathy doesn’t usually happen when you shoot off a text message.
But how do you get your child enthused about writing letters? It’s easy with young children. Curious toddlers will love hearing about a magic box where letters and packages disappear. Be sure to introduce them to your mail carrier, take them on errands to the post office, and let them slip household letters into the mailbox’s slot. Want to really make an impression? Write a letter addressed to your child and have it sent to the house. Most young kids rarely receive mail, so having their very own letter to open will be lots of fun. You can do the same with older kids – write them a letter about anything that’s on your mind.
If your child made some new friends while at camp or on vacation this summer, encourage them to keep in touch by writing letters. If your child feels strongly about a certain topic, help them write a letter to a newspaper about it. Be sure they know that just about anyone would really appreciate getting a letter from them: relatives, celebrities, even the President.
Letter writing is a valuable skill to teach your children, certain to help both their intellectual and emotional development, but it won’t happen unless you encourage them. So the next rainy day, set your child up with some stationery, stamps, and addresses and tell them to get writing!