I am delighted to welcome picture book author Stacy McAnulty to the blog today. She has a wonderful post about how to get kids writing letters! Also be sure to check out her yummy cookie recipe.
Letter Writing Fun | By Guest Blogger Stacy McAnulty
In this age of e-mail, texts, and Skype, the art of writing letters is becoming extinct. My debut picture book, DEAR SANTASAURUS, is an epistolary book—meaning a book written as a series of letters. My own children write letters to Santa annually. And it’s often the only letter they write all year. (I’m not including the obligatory thank you notes I make them pen after a birthday party.)
Here’s a quick list of letter writing ideas to get kids corresponding.
Dear Grandma and Grandpa,
No one would love a letter more than grandparents. These letters will likely be kept in a drawer or a shoebox forever. A kid can tell Gram about scoring a goal in soccer and tell Poppy about her speaking part in the spring play. (I used to love writing to my grammy because she always wrote back and she always included a dollar. Score!)
You don’t need to wait until Memorial Day to remember our men and women serving in the military. Kids can write to soldiers any time. This is truly a win-win situation. Look online for more information. Here’s one such organization http://www.operationgratitude.com/get-involved/write-letters/
I can still remember my favorite teacher from elementary school—Mrs. Chew. If a child has a favorite teacher, why not write a letter telling her/him. I have a feeling that a heartfelt note would mean a lot more than a #1 Teacher mug.
My kids are already expert complainers—usually it’s about my dinner choices. I don’t want them writing me a letter of complaint every time I serve a casserole, but if they have a legitimate complaint I will encourage them to share their discontent. If a kid has bought a toy that doesn’t operate as shown in a commercial, he/she could write a letter to the manufacturer. If a kid thinks a slide at the local park is unsafe, she/he can write a letter to the mayor.
Authors love getting fan mail. If a kid loves a book, let the author know. Questions and suggestions are also welcomed. Of course, kids can also write to superstars like Taylor Swift, but an author is more likely to write back. (Writing—it’s what us authors do!)
Dear Pen Pal,
Pen pals can be arranged through school or online. They can also be cousins who live seven-hundred miles apart or friends met at summer camp. Pen pals are a great opportunity for enthusiastic letter writers.
The list of potential recipients for your child’s letters is endless. You can even start with letters between family members within your own house. Everyone can create mailboxes to hang on their bedroom doors. (Think of the Valentine’s Day boxes you make in elementary school for all the cards.) Then let the letter writing begin.
And now for the daily cookie…
(visit http://stacymcanulty.blogspot.com/ for the recipe)
Stacy lives in North Carolina with her three children, two dogs, and one husband. She loves books, Christmas, letters, and sweets. DEAR SANTASAURUS (Boyd Mills Press, 2013) is her first picture book. For more information on Stacy, please visit www.stacymcanulty.com