Recently I came across a blog that is organizing pen pals for kids ages 1-12. Stephanie of Twodaloo created a “Snail Mail Pen Pals” group for parents to have their kids matched with kids similar in age. I didn’t even hesitate to sign my kids up. I had pen pals when I was growing up and loved it. It’s exciting for them when they get mail. Plus, what a wonderful opportunity to teach them about how the mail system works and a little bit of geography?!
I’m really amazed at the work that Stephanie put into this. She could not have had any clue how big this would become. But she patiently matched up every child. We got our matches last Wednesday and I immediately sent our address to our new friends’ parents (or in one case, teacher).
Then I started thinking about what we would send to their pen pals. My kids don’t write much more than their names yet and drawings still don’t resemble anything concrete. I’d seen posts from people sending “stuff” like stickers and small trinkets, but I really wanted this first one to be more about “getting to know you” type stuff. So I use their love of taking pictures!
I had them take pictures of things that would tell their new friends more about them. That evening after putting them to bed I printed out some of those pictures (I did not see the point in printing a picture of the ceiling fan 😉 ). I had the kids glue the pictures onto construction paper and tell me what to write beside each picture. I also printed up a map of Texas and we put an X to show where we live.
It might not have been much, but at least it was a start. We got to put them in the mail today. One is going all the way to England! It will be very exciting to see how they react when they get mail in return.