Encouraging early readers and writers through happy mail

 

The other week Little Button (year 1) came home all fired up from school, completely jelly-bean keen to practice her typing and google search skills on our Mac. We are indeed a family obsessed with tech and gadgets, so this in itself wouldn’t be surprising at all. *Thinks back to the time she decided to print a billion different LOL Surprise colouring pages out. By herself. While I was in the bathroom for 2 teeny seconds.

 

via GIPHY

 

But it did get me thinking.

 

I’m not sure we show her enough of the written word, in practice, on a day to day basis at home. Digitally yes, but if I’m completely honest, handwritten, no.

 

So we’ve decided to have a go at using good old fashioned happy mail (or snail mail) as a way of additionally supporting her reading and writing development. Because how fun is it getting a little slice of happiness through the post every now and again. We can’t wait.

 

 

happy mail

 

 

Encouraging early readers and writers through happy mail

If you fancy joining in too, here are a few tips to get you started.

 

  • Build up a stash of colourful writing paper, envelopes, cards, postcards, stickers to decorate and those all-important stamps. If your little one loves shopping, get them to pick their own. The supermarket chains tend to have relatively cheap stationary ranges for this kind of thing *Sainsbury’s is particularly awesome.

 

happy mail

 

 

  • Always (well, when you can) say yes to funky writing sets, glitter pens, rainbow stick on jewels and Halloween googly eyes. Because anything that’s going to get them excited about writing is going to be a winner.

 

  • Once you’ve got everything needed, encourage a friend, family member or even neighbour to get the ball rolling by posting your little one a handwritten note. If you don’t have someone to do this for you, write one yourself.

 

  • If you have a young primary school aged little one, like us, make sure the sender includes a specific question to answer, and keeps the note simple. A couple of lines is more than enough to start with.

 

  • Don’t tell your little one they should expect a letter. Keep it a surprise and once they have opened and read what’s inside, encourage them to reply and answer the question left by the sender. *Now would be a good time to whip out that fabulous stationary stash.

 

  • If they have a friend that they don’t see very often, you could introduce the idea of being pen pals. Swapping holiday photos, updates on what they have been up to and perhaps sending little drawings or mini makes to each other.

 

  • Above all, enjoy!

 

Let us know how you get on. I’ve just bought stamps today, so hopefully we will get our first happy mail sent out in the next few days.

 

 

This post is part of #Blogtober18 to celebrate #WorldPostDay.

 

#Blogtober18

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. October 9, 2018 / 9:45 pm

    What a great idea, and you’ve just sparked one in me. My kids have cousins that live down south and we don’t see them often. It would be lovely for them to keep in touch with a letter, I’ll have to go and get them some funky new stationary to tempt them into putting pen to paper.
    #blogtober18

  2. October 10, 2018 / 8:29 am

    Aww! This really made me smile! What a fab idea.
    I think I might try this with my youngest. She loves receiving letters x

  3. October 10, 2018 / 8:42 am

    LOVE this idea! My daughter is 6, and writes to her cousin who lives 600 miles away. They both love sending and receiving little notes. #blogtober18

  4. October 10, 2018 / 8:43 am

    SO CUTE! I used to do this as a child. I had a penal who lived in Turkey & we wrote to each other all the time. Turkish birthday and Christmas cards were always an amazing treat – as was the packets of sweets we’d occasionally pop in for each other. #blogtober18

  5. With love from p
    October 11, 2018 / 6:42 am

    What a great idea! My son absolutely loves receiving mail with his name on it! I was I will most definitely be trying this out an actually I think I’ll get the stuff today! Thanks for the Inspo hun! X

  6. October 11, 2018 / 6:45 am

    I love this idea! I’m definitely going to try this with my two oldest. I used to love getting post as a kid

  7. October 11, 2018 / 4:44 pm

    That’s a great idea to encourage little ones to practise hand writing. I hadn’t thought that in our technology world we might be losing the chance to help them with the written word so letters are a great idea for overcoming that problem.

  8. October 11, 2018 / 5:56 pm

    This is such a great idea and who wouldn’t love a letter in the post. My double trouble are just starting to write things down and would love to be able to do this.

  9. Wendy
    October 12, 2018 / 5:57 am

    This is a really great idea! My son is also in year1 and he isn’t the best writer, he doesn’t enjoy it at all. I think I’m going to try this with him xz

  10. October 12, 2018 / 8:32 am

    I love this idea! Writing and posting letters is so much fun and also a great skill to have.

  11. October 12, 2018 / 10:36 am

    Great idea!! Pen pals were the best, I remember my pen pal in France and it is a great way to learn skills without it actually feeling like study xx

  12. October 14, 2018 / 6:03 am

    I absolutely love this idea! My mums a teacher and loves 200 miles away so she would be the perfect person to send Lamb a letter. Definitely going to try this! Xx

  13. October 15, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    I absolutely love this idea! For a while, my eldest and his cousin were writing each other letters and it was the sweetest thing.

  14. October 18, 2018 / 11:10 am

    Aww I love this idea. It sounds perfect for those who are getting into reading and writing. Thanks for sharing this xx

  15. October 30, 2018 / 2:04 pm

    Absolutely yes to this! My kids love sending and receiving happy mail and it definitely encourages them to put pen to paper. It helps that they see me sending and receiving letters, too, so they want to do the same.

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