One of the best things that’s motivated my 2nd and 3rd grader to write more on their own is to write letters to a penpal. We started finding flat things to send to a penpal that fit in an envelope to make it more fun! They were thrilled that some of the letters returned with other flat surprises!
I’ve separated all these flat things into 2 main categories:
- Flat things you can make
- Flat things you can buy
I’d love to make this a better list for you and others, so please leave a comment if you can think of something else that’d be great to send in an envelope to a penpal!
Store stationary and stamps in an easy to grab place
In order to make sending letters to penpals as pain free as possible (not scrambling through 3 drawers to find stamps, letters, flat things, etc…we keep a bin with our main supplies needed to send a letter. The flat items usually get handmade or taken from the craft drawer.
Flat things kids can make and send in an envelope
- paper airplane
- pressed leaves or flowers
- A favorite recipe
- felted gifts
- coded message
- invisible ink message
- print out a photo
- paper dolls
- friendship bracelet (here’s my video on how to make a rubberband bracelet)
- hand made map of an imaginary place
- collage of things you like from magazines
Flat things kids can buy and send in an envelope
- A sticker or badge from a state park or national park
- A page from a coloring book (blank, folded up)
- Printed out sudoku game, crossword puzzle, or word-search
- tea bags
- hot chocolate/apple cider packets
- seed packets (don’t send these to another country to prevent invasive species issues)
- cool Band Aids
- stick of flat gum
- mini diamond art sticker animals completed (we loved sending ones from this set)
- Kool Aid packet
- glow in the dark stars
- googly eyes (or make them into a face)
- A fridge robot magnet(We have these. You could tell them you’ll send several pieces each letter so they can mix and match).
The wax seal: The best part of sending a letter!
My kids LOVE sealing their letter and can very safely do this on their own now at ages 8 and 9. They still have to ask my permission each time to get the lighter out and use it, but they can safely do the melting/pouring/stamping now.
We bought this colorful assortment of wax pieces, and each letter they use 2-3 pieces. Some longer wax sticks came in our wax seal kit, but I don’t like using a knife to cut the wax (it’s hard!) so I prefer the colorful small wax pieces.
Teach kids to address an envelope
When the kids’ handwriting has been too large to address an envelope, I’ve done it for them.
Once they are old enough to trace, you can lightly write in both names and addresses, and have them use a pen to trace over it.
They can help put on the stamp, learning to carefully put it in the upper right hand corner.
We’ve also used this Practice Learning My Address print out before to practice writing our address and where it should go. (No need to laminate if you just want to print a few copies).