We still feel it. The thrill of receiving a handwritten note in the mail. In this age of e-mail and rapid-fire texts, there is something slow and beautiful about writing a letter. The hard work, the ink smudges, the cramping fingers are worth it when… you receive a letter in return!
As a mom, I’ve found that having my children write letters is one of the most effective ways to strengthen their writing skills… and much more.
Why have your kids write letters?
1. It’s a fun and sneaky way to practice writing skills.
With my second grade daughter, I focus on one or two skills per letter, such as beginning a sentence with a capital letter and ending with a punctuation mark.
2. It helps your children look beyond their normal world.
Send a letter to the President of the United States or a kid living in another country? Focusing on these far-away recipients expands their horizons.
3. Writing letters helps your children develop empathy and curiosity.
When we write letters, we focus on asking great questions. Letter writing is time spent wondering what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes.
4. Letter writing builds your child’s sense of self-worth.
Especially for younger children, who can’t write a letter on their own, the pride of sending a hand-drawn picture, or scrawling their own name is huge. That pride is felt tenfold when a letter arrives in the mail addressed directly to them!
Here are 24 writing prompts that will keep your child writing letters all year.
- Write a letter to a family member who is guaranteed to write back promptly. (Remember, you’re just getting started, and your child needs all the encouragement he/she can get!)
- In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., write to the editor of your local newspaper. In your letter, identify one problem in your local community and offer ideas for how to fix it.
500 3rd Ave SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
- Write to someone who has been a good friend to you. Tell them how much you love and appreciate them!
- President’s Day is this month. Write a letter to the President of the United States, or a past President.
- National Read Across America Day is March 2nd. Celebrate by writing a letter to your favorite author.
- March is National Women’s History Month. Write to a woman who has made a difference in your life or the lives of others.
- Write a letter to a family member, consisting of jokes or riddles. It’s April Fool’s Day, after all!
- Write to a teacher or coach, telling them thanks. April is a time of year when teachers can use a lot of encouragement!
- Write a letter to your mom, grandma, or another important woman in your life. Ask her questions about her life before she had kids and be sure to tell her how much you love her.
- Write a letter to a soldier. May is National Military Appreciation Month and many soldiers appreciate handwritten letters. Operation Gratitude offers suggestions and ways to send letters to members of the military.
- Write a letter to your favorite Disney character and receive an autographed postcard back!
Walt Disney World Communications
P.O Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-0040
- Father’s Day is in June. Write a note to your dad, grandpa, or another man you respect. Tell him why you look up to him, and ask him questions about he liked to do as a kid.
- July is National Anti-Boredom Month. Write a letter to cousins or friends in a secret code. Be sure to include mysterious clues for them to figure out.
- July is also National Ice Cream Month. Think of a new flavor of ice cream you’d enjoy, and write a letter to an ice cream company, explaining why you think it’s a great idea.
- August is National Zoo month. Write a letter to your favorite animal at the local or regional zoo.
13010 Niabi Zoo Road
Coal Valley, IL 61240
- Write to your favorite athlete. What did they do in order to accomplish their goals?
- September 13th is Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day. Send a favorite recipe to someone who will love it!
- Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19th. Send a letter to a friend or relative using only pirate-speak. Yo, ho, ho!
- Farmers spend the month of October harvesting for long days (and nights) in order to feed the world. Write a letter to a farmer you know, or a local CSA, thanking them for their hard work.
Bass Family Farms
840 Bass Lane
Mt. Vernon, IA 52314
- Gorgeous fall leaves are everywhere! Collect a few of your favorite leaves, and send them in a plastic bag, along with a letter, to the family member you wrote a letter to in January.
- Write a letter to a child in need. There are many ways to include a letter along with gifts for children in need at this time of year. Our family favorite is packing a shoebox through Operation Christmas Child.
- Gratitude is contagious! Write to your family, using each letter of the alphabet to list one thing you are thankful for. It’s okay if X, Y, and Z get a little zany!
- Don’t forget to write a letter to Santa!
- Write to someone you know who may be lonely or far from family during the holiday season.
Here’s our free and easy printable chart, featuring month-by-month suggestions to keep your kids writing letters!
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