A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Pen Pal Fun With Grandkids

I walked out to retrieve our mail today expecting the usual advertisements and bills.  However, as I opened the mailbox, my eyes went straight to a different piece of mail.  There was a long white envelope addressed to Mimi & Pappy.  Well,  that sure did bring a quick smile to my face!  As I began to open the letter, I had an epiphany.  It is time to start having some pen pal fun with the grandkids!

In July, I wrote this post about Grandparenting from a Distance and in that article I discussed snail mail with the grandkids.  In fact, I even admitted then that I am not very good at it but want to get better.  Well, NOW is the time to start having some fun with the snail mail and pen pals!

Letters From The Grandkids ~

This particular mail was from Max.  He drew us pictures and wanted to send them to us.  Now, keep in mind that we are very lucky grandparents that get to see the kids several times a week.  However, this should not keep anyone from sending fun letters, cards, games, jokes, etc. to the grandkids.  As we all know, everyone likes to receive a special piece of mail.  It gives you the same feeling you get when opening gifts at Christmas.  Someone took the time to personally acknowledge you.

I actually keep a folder in my office of artwork and letters they have written for us.  Each one gets labeled with their name and date on the back of the pages so they can see how their writing and picture drawing improves over time.  I also pull them out once in a while just to enjoy the love they share in each page they create for us.

Pen Pal:  A person with whom one keeps up an exchange of letters, USUALLY someone that is so far away that a personal meeting is unlikely.

Benefits of Pen Pal Fun With Grandkids ~

  • Create a close connection
  • Allows opportunity to praise the children’s artwork and writing = boosts self confidence
  • Long-lasting memories
  • Teaches correspondence skills – stamps, addressing envelopes, proper writing etiquette over time
  • Patience – in this world of everything at our fingertips, it is good for them to learn the anticipation of “waiting for something good to come.”
  • Fosters creativity
  • Improves penmanship

Fun Snail Mail Ideas ~

  • Pre-stamp and address some fun post cards and give them as a gift to your grandchildren.  This way they can correspond with you any time they want.
  • If they are old enough to practice envelope format, then give them a blank notebook/stationery and envelopes.

Include some small item with your letter to them:

  • An old picture of you
  • A picture of the two of you together
  • Several charms – one at a time so they can make a bracelet or keychain once all are sent
  • A fun drawing
  • A coloring page
  • A seek and find page – I have always loved the Highlight brand but you can also find a lot of free ones to download on Pinterest! – I especially love this Highlights Back to School Version!

  • Bookmark
  • Ask a question and tell them to reply with their answer in a letter back to you
  •  Origami
  •  Stickers
  • Send a small puzzle a few pieces at a time
  • Cut the letter in large pieces so they have to put together like a puzzle
  • Write the letter in coded ink and send special pen for them to uncover the message.  I LOVE this Invisible Ink Spy Pen set…kids will too!

  • Bible verse – you can write them yourself in your letter or use something like this fun book to send in your letter – Fun Bible Memory Book for Kids

  • Send a Hug!  – I love this idea by Becca of Who-arted.com
  • Start a Write Me Back! – Jennie Moraitis describes this fun idea in her littlegirldesigns.com blog
  • Write a letter on a deflated balloon for them to blow up and read
  • Make an origami fortune teller – We love to create our own but if you struggle in this department, here is an easy fortune teller (or cootie catcher as we used to call them) book with templates – Origami Fortune Teller Booklet with pre-printed and blank templates!

  • Create a family quiz – it would be fun do do this annually and save to look back at their answers later!

These are just a few fun ideas.  Once you get started I am sure more fun ideas will come your way.  These ideas are simple ones that can be included in a small envelope.  It is also fun, of course, to send a small gift once in awhile.  However, the bigger importance here is trying to foster a fun relationship with your grandchildren with money not being the focal point.

Keep in mind, too, that it doesn’t matter if you live far away or in the same town.  It still can be such a fun activity between grandparents and grandchildren.  As I am sitting here writing this, I am getting so excited about all the fun ideas that are forming in my head.  I am truly looking forward to having some pen pal fun with my grandkids!  (And don’t you think for a second that I won’t be involving Pappy in this fun adventure as well! 😉)

Happy letter writing to you ~




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  1. Smelly Socks and Garden Peas

    Love this! My kids write cards and postcards and sometimes letters or send art to their grandparents and great grandma. It’s just wonderful.

    • Shelly Latinovich

      That is so great to hear….fun for your kids and their grandparents. I feel like it has become somewhat of a lost art that needs to come back! I have old letters from my Grandma when I was in college that I’m so happy I held on to….precious memories!

  2. bravestepsproject

    I had penpals when I was younger and I loved it! Some were far and others were so close I would see them after school. Haha! I completely understand having penpals that you get to se on a regular basis. So fostering a relationship in different ways like this great way is just amazing.

    • Shelly Latinovich

      That’s great that you remember your penpals with fondness. I, too, had penpals when I was younger. I feel like it has become a lost art that hopefully will gain new life! 😊

  3. Jenn Smith

    What a wonderful idea! I might have to do this with our kids and their grandparents.

    • Shelly Latinovich

      Thanks! I bet they will enjoy it! Such a good way to foster family connections!

  4. Evie

    Such a cute idea. I love that you suggested the giving post cards and letters/envelopes as a gift. What a great gift to start the pen pal relationship and limit the toys and other gifts that parents don’t need around the home.

    • Shelly Latinovich

      Thanks Evie. The kids do end up with an excess of toys many times…hopefully this is a gift that keeps on giving! Thanks for reading my post!

  5. whatdoesmammasay

    Such wonderful ideas! I want to encourage my son to find a pen pal as soon as he’s old enough and we will definitely borrow some these suggestions. Thank you for sharing them.

    • Shelly Latinovich

      I do think having a pen pal is such a good benefit to children. I hope you enjoy the ones you try! Thanks for reading!

  6. Dana Vitolo

    Penpal writing with the grandparents is a fabulous idea! This is great practice for learning how to write and send letters and it’s wonderful for bonding. I will keep this in mind and try this with my daughter!

    • Shelly Latinovich

      Yes! So many benefits to penpal writing with grandparents! I hope your daughter enjoys it when you give it a try!

  7. anatureescape

    Pen pals and grandparents! 💕💕💕 This is exactly what we need more of! Great idea, thanks for sharing!

    • Shelly Latinovich

      I completely agree that we need more of this! So glad you like this fun idea for grandparents! Thanks for reading!

  8. Anita

    I love these ideas! I’m from the letter writing generation – I still love the idea of handwritten letters and postcards.

    • Shelly Latinovich

      Awww thanks! I feel that grandparents keeping in touch with grandchildren is so important. I, too, love the idea of handwritten letters and postcards! Thanks for reading!

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