I'm all about thank you notes (on fabulous stationary of course) and thrilled to have Jenny Franklin from Party Pail guest posting today with her best tips for making thank you notes a fun process for kids and letting them express their thanks in a way that has meaning to them:
Guess what? January is National Thank You Month. With the wintry weather and the holidays just behind us, this is the perfect time to get the kids involved in a fun project that will also teach them the importance of thanking others. I remember back when I was a child and how I dreaded having to write thank you notes after my birthday or Christmas.
Even though it taught me to show appreciation, I cringed at having to sit down and write out my thanks to friends and relatives. Maybe I was overly dramatic, but time seemed to slow down. I felt like I was chained to the desk until I filled in each card with a small note and signed my name. Only after my mother inspected and approved each one was I allowed to get up and try to make up for the lost time to my youth. Yeah, it was a pretty harrowing experience.
The good news is that it doesn't have to be the same dreaded experience for children today. The important thing is to get the kids to look at it as a fun project. So having them use their natural creativity is an important part of the process of making cards as well as learning a valuable life lesson.
Don’t feel that your children have to follow some formal standards. Let them express their thanks in a way that has meaning to them. Here are 6 tips for getting kids to write thank you notes and make the process enjoyable for both you and the kids.
- Keep your expectations appropriate to their age. As they grow older you can raise the bar for what you expect of them.
- Have your children get in the habit of sending out cards while they are still young. Their enthusiasm at a young age and consistency will carry over as they get older.
- Keep a box of materials at the ready. Include some items, such as certain stamps or glitter, that you only let your child use when making cards. If you have to run errands to gather the supplies then both you and your kid’s enthusiasm will deflate.
- As your children get older and more adept at using a computer, let them use a graphics program to create their own cards. It will still stretch their creative muscles and have a personal touch.
- Send the thank you through the mail. Have your children get use to using snail mail. In spite of what many say, it will be around for a while. This may be the only exposure they get to the postal service as children. Besides, most of us think it’s a treat to get a personal message through the mail.
- Above all, keep track of who gave each gift. In the frenzy of opening gifts who gave what can become confusing.
As for what to create, I’m going to leave that up to your and your child. A simple search on Pinterest or Google will give you far more ideas than I could ever hope to provide you with. Just remember, you’re not only teaching a lesson but having fun doing it.
Jenny Franklin loves stirring up creative ideas while writing about party ideas and other things for Party Pail.