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Teach Your Child How to Write a Letter

A handwritten letter is a treat to receive. It seems to convey that someone took the time to sit down and put their thoughts on paper- just for you!

Children love to get letters, too. Watch a young face light up when they’ve received a letter from Grandma! It is something very special and very personal.

Children can write letters as soon as they can write, even earlier if they dictate to Dad or Mom. Teaching your child to write a letter is handing them the power of the pen!

Preschool

Preschoolers love to see cards come in the mail. Although most are not able to write they still have much to say. Youngsters can draw a picture and dictate their message. Pictures can very effectively communicate thoughts and feelings.

Having your child send a Christmas or birthday card to a playmate or relative is a good reason to start “writing.” Sending a thank you note will teach your child to be gracious.

You may want to surprise your preschooler by sending a letter to him that comes by post. Having them experience the surprise and joy of receiving a letter will show them just how important it is to send a written letter.

Main points to address:

  • Young children can “draw” a letter.
  • Have your child dictate a letter to a loved one.
  • Show them the joy a letter can bring.

Grades K-3rd

Young school aged children can begin to write friendly letters as soon as they can write. Using a letter they have received as a model, show them the form the letter follows. A friendly letter has these parts:

  • The Heading- Address (optional) and date
  • The Salutation or Greeting- Usually starting with Dear …,
  • Body of the Letter- The message you want to send
  • Closing- Generally: Sincerely, Your friend, Love or Very truly yours
  • The Signature- Usually first name only

Following the form will give you a friendly letter! Slip it into an envelope and address the front. Always include a return address, just in case the letter needs to come back.

Children of this age love to put the letter in the mail box or slot themselves. Then begins the waiting! Mom was right when she said, “You’ve got to send a letter to get one.” Getting an answer back completes the circle and brings much excitement!

As children get a little older, say 8 or 9, they may want to find a pen pal. Pen pals can be found through schools, church and online. Be careful that your child’s pen pal is a safe person to write to.

Main points to address:

  • The friendly letter has 5 parts.
  • Children love getting an answer back.
  • It is fun writing to a pen pal.

Grades 4-6th

Older children can easily follow a friendly letter form. They can pen their letter with little or no help. Go to the stationery store so your child can pick out stationery for different friends or occasions. Buy some pens and enough stamps to get started. You may want to pick up an address book at the same time. They will feel very grownup!

Sending thank you notes is good etiquette after a favor, kindness or gift has been given. Teaching your child to write a thank you is one of the social graces that we haven’t forsaken. It means a lot to the person who is being thanked. Having a box of blank notes so that the note can be personalized will give your child space to express their thanks.

Children this age also like to communicate with a pen pal. You may want to monitor letters received, just to make sure they are from a child that is approximately the same age and is relaying safe content.

Children this age seldom have need of sending a business letter. But if they need to, just add an inside address (of the person and company you are sending the letter to) after the return address (yours) and date and before the salutation.

Teaching your child how to write a letter will appeal to them as it seems a very grownup thing to do. E-mail? Letters are more fun to send and more fun to receive!

Main points to address:

  • Older children will be able to follow the friendly letter form easily.
  • They will love having their own stationery, pens, stamps and an address book!
  • Sending thank you notes is good etiquette.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

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