It’s National Letter Writing Day, and what better excuse to help your child connect with their community and practice important language skills than to celebrate by writing a letter together?!?
Below, find all kinds of unique ideas, prompts, and fun activities to bring the (nearly lost!) art of letter writing to your kiddo!
Why write letters in this day and age, when we could just text or email?
Letter-writing has all kinds of benefits you won’t want your child to miss out on:
- Without a delete key to rely on, writing letters makes you slow down and think about what you want to say.
- With the modern focus on typing, letters offer an important opportunity to practice handwriting.
- It’s a great way to reconnect with loved ones (especially members of the older generation that might not have embraced electronic communication).
- It’s a chance to learn skills that are often overlooked, like how to address an envelope.
Who to write to
Aside from friends and loved ones, kids might be interested in writing letters to:
- Astronauts, zookeepers, or other professionals who have jobs they’re interested in
- Sports heroes or favorite singers/actors (they can even ask for a signed photo!)
- Firefighters, veterans, police officers, or frontline healthcare workers to thank them for their service
- A favorite author, sharing what they love about their books (young children could even write to a beloved book or cartoon character)
- Local politicians, sharing their ideas for ways to improve the community or events to help community members (safely) stay connected
- Neighbors, telling them some small way they’ve brightened your day (putting up festive holiday lights, letting you pet their dog, etc)
Great writing prompts
In addition to the prompts related to specific recipients mentioned above, some ideas for writing to others include:
- “I’d like to know” letter: Ask questions about the recipient’s favorite things, first pet, or other fun personal info. (This could mean they’ll get a return letter in the mail, which is always exciting!)
- Story share: Write the beginning of a story, and ask the recipient to write back with the next part of the story—see how long you can keep the exchange going as the tale evolves.
- Letter laughs: Send your best jokes to a friend you miss or who needs cheering up.
- Love list: Share 3 things you love about the person you’re writing to, or why they’re special to you.
- Spread the smiles: Tell someone about an activity you like to do, a movie you enjoyed, or a book you loved, and share why you think they might like it, too.
Here are a few other things you can do together to get your child excited about sending a letter in the mail:
- Look up a tutorial for folding your own envelopes. Get creative with your materials—old calendar pages are sturdy and often have beautiful pictures to make your letter extra special to receive.
- Teach your child the proper way to address an envelope.
- Go to USPS.com to shop for stamps—with themes from sports to wildlife, your child can find something that really expresses their personality.
- Have them write a letter to their future self, to open in 5 or 10 years. Your child will have a blast remembering all their old favorite things and seeing their old handwriting!