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!
- Ask a question and tell them to reply with their answer in a letter back to you
- 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 ~