Create a Letter-Writing Kit for Kids

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The following post is by contributor Amy Anderson of Let”s Explore.

Every day, my daughters excitedly walk to the mailbox and check to see if they received any letters. There is just something special about receiving a hand-written note in the mail. I love it, too!

Writing letters is a wonderful way to maintain connections with family and friends. And, letter-writing provides meaningful reading and writing practice.

To make letter-writing a regular part of our weekly routine, I put together a kit with all the supplies we need. Toddlers and preschoolers can use a kit like this alongside mom or dad, and older kids can develop independence with all the helpers and fun inspiration.

We keep our letter-writing kit in an inexpensive plastic envelope from the office supply store. I added a ribbon handle, just for fun. It”s portable, so the girls can take it to their desks, or we can throw it in the car when we”re heading out on vacation. A basket, caddy, or small suitcase would work as well.

Here is a peek at all the goodies in our letter-writing kit:

The Basics


Photo by Amy Anderson

First things first – stock your kit with a variety of paper, cards and envelopes. Replenish and add new choices often.

• Envelopes – My kids prefer the peel-and-stick envelopes to the ones you have to lick. Save reply envelopes you get in the mail. Include a couple large manilla envelopes for mailing artwork to special people.

• Paper – Our kit has both blank and lined paper, in full and half-sheet sizes. Right now, I have included letter paper from and handwriting paper from Donna Young.

• Cards – I like to include a selection of postcards, extra greeting cards, and colored construction paper folded in half. We often make our own postcards using large index cards and note cards using paintings or other artwork.

• Stamps – You can include both postcard and first-class stamps. If your child might mistake postage stamps for stickers, you might want to keep the stamps in a separate location!

Fun Extras

A few special supplies can make letter-writing even more fun. Try adding some of these extras to your kit:

• Special pencils and pens, such as gel pens and mechanical pencils

• Stickers, especially all-purpose stickers (dots, hearts, stars, happy faces), as well as birthday or holiday-themed stickers

• Stamps with sayings, such as Thank You, I Love You, or even your child”s name

• Date stamp (my girls love turning the dials to set the date!)

Helpers


Photo by Amy Anderson

Who should I write to? How do I write Grandma”s name? Does anyone have a birthday soon? Answer these questions and more by adding some kid-friendly helpers to your kit:

• Photo address book – We made simple cards with photos and names for a kid-friendly address book. The back of each card has the person”s address. Keep your cards on a binder ring, or put them in an inexpensive photo album.

• Birthday calendar – A list of our nearest-and-dearests” birthdays helps us remember to send birthday wishes on time!

• Address labels – For younger kids, print address labels for grandparents, friends, and other people you often write to. Then, it”s just as simple as sticking a label on an envelope! Personalized return address labels are fun too – order them or print your own at home.

• Letter words – The back of our plastic envelope has a list of often-used words, such as Dear, Love, and From.

Add-Ins


Photo by Amy Anderson

We like to make our letters extra-snazzy with fun add-ins.

• Artwork – I often tuck extra pieces of the girls” artwork into the letter-writing kit so they are ready and waiting to be sent off.

• Photos – I like to print a sheet of small candids (usually 2″x3″) showing things the girls have been up to. I cut these apart and the girls can tuck one into a letter or even glue it onto a piece of artwork.

• Jokes – A riddle or knock-knock joke is a fun thing to include in a letter. The girls” cousins and friends especially like sending jokes back and forth.

• Quizzes – There is just something about little fill-in-forms that appeal to kids. My girls love making and answering quizzes with questions like, What is your favorite ice cream flavor? or What do you like to do outside?

• Activity Pages – Sometimes we include a coloring page, maze, word search, or other activity we know the recipient would enjoy.

Wouldn”t these letter kits make excellent birthday gifts?

You can download a pdf that includes my letter kit label, birthday calendar, and helper words to get you started on your own kit. Enjoy!

More Letter-Writing Inspiration:

Family Connection Letter Writing Center :: Craftzine

Family Mail :: Let”s Explore

:: Playful Learning

Mail Kit :: good happy day

Quill Pencils :: The Write Start

Do you and your kids write letters to friends and family, or do you mostly communicate via e-mail? What kinds of things would you put in a letter-writing kit?

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About AmyA

At her blog, Let’s Explore, Amy shares her family’s experiences creating, imagining, and playing together. You can read about her homeschooling journey at Early Bird Homeschool.

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace

Comments

  1. These are all such great ideas. Our theme for Poetic Play this week is mail and this ties right in!
    The Little List´s latest post: project 18- Make A Montessori Continent Map

  2. I love the idea of the photo address book.
    The whole letter writing kit is great. We are into sending postcards in my family, but I hope that as the kids get older they will want to share letters, puzzles and jokes with their cousins (none of whom live near by).
    Catherine´s latest post: nursery rhyme time

  3. Great idea! This would be a nice present for friends as well.
    Wendy´s latest post: Spring Pressed Leaves

  4. Oh my goodness I love this. My sister writes to my twins asking them questions and sending them jokes. They love to write her back, and always want to send little notes to Grandma and friends. Having this kit is a great idea. I used to scrapbook cards with my mom and I still have a lot of the papers and stickers and doodads from that in a box. I think I’m just going to transform that into their kit. Thanks too for the links and pdf files.
    Rana´s latest post: School at home or something like it

    • I was just looking through the links. We have the family mail boxes on all of our bedroom doors. The kid love getting notes from me and my husband and little gifts. Thanks for the link to that I couldn’t remember where I had found that before.
      Rana´s latest post: School at home or something like it

  5. So many fun suggestions! The date stamp is a big hit in our home as well :-)

  6. I’m a sucker for kits and love the idea of add-ins beyond just a drawing.

    Have you heard about the International Postcard Swap that Playing By the Book is doing? http://www.playingbythebook.net/2011-international-postcard-swap-for-families-faq/

  7. i LOVE this idea! what a great gift idea, too… my oldest niece is 5, and lives 3000 miles away from me :( i think she would just love having a kit like this so we can write letters to each other. it’s going to be my weekend project!

  8. My daughter received letter writing kits from two friends as their families were moving. The kits contained stationary, and address labels with the address the friends to which the friends were moving.
    Catherine´s latest post: Why Are Boys Worth More Than Girls

  9. In love with this idea! My girls love to write and the older one is forever trying to get me to send things in the mail to friends. This is a must do for our summer project! Thanks for putting all these great resources together.
    Amber´s latest post: Happy Easter

  10. I love this idea! Thank you! My son’s birthday is coming up and I know what he’ll be getting. I’ll probably include a few “thank you” templates in there too ;) Thanks!

  11. Miranda says:

    Thanks for the idea! My son and I made this today and had such a good time with it. He loved the birthday list

  12. What a great kit; and what a fabulous gift this could make! I just recently bought my almost 6 yr old an adorable stationery kit (“Fairy Writing Set”) that includes stickers and she’s been enjoying writing letters with it. However, I am going to add some of your fabulous ideas. My girls enjoy letter writing and email.

  13. This is a great idea! My oldest is going to college and I think I will tweak the kit to give her some basics to use from school. Thanks for the info! :)
    Paula@Simply Sandwich´s latest post: Caution- Stranger Danger Ahead!

  14. Another great idea to encourage our children to write letters. Remember thank you letters, seem to be a thing of the past nowadays? I will make up a couple of kits for my grandchildren and encourage this practice, and yes it is so nice to get a letter in the mail, they have also almost become a thing of the past too. Sad.

Trackbacks

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  4. […] children just a little older than mine, you might consider this post on creating your own “Letter Writing Kit“. The author assembles everything the children might need into the kit: stamps, stationery, […]

  5. […] some well-written thank-you notes that people send to you and place them in your letter-writing kit or in a folder. Then when your child needs some inspiration for his own Thank-yous, pull out your […]

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  8. […] on the heels of contributor Amy Anderson”s wonderful post on letter writing from Wednesday, here are five more ideas for keeping your child”s language arts skills fresh […]

  9. […] From Simple Kids, also see Create a Letter-Writing Kit for Kids. […]

  10. […] Create a Letter Writing Kit for your Kids ::: from the Simple Kids archives […]

  11. […] And I can’t wait to go shopping for what to put it all in! Love this cute little plastic envelope kit from Simple Kids: […]

  12. […] lists, planning the lunch menu and writing notes to Grandma and Grandpa. Have them seek out pen pals or start a journal documenting their summer […]

  13. […] took many ideas from this post (You really should go and visit it. She has great ideas and additional links). I am almost finished […]

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