Friday, August 18, 2006

Tips for Keeping in Touch

Phillip and Benjamin went out for some "guy time" tonight so Grace and Emily got out their ink pens and practiced their writing. It reminded me of a little something we picked up while running errands this week.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

We stopped into Marshalls and while standing in the checkout lane saw an American Girl Pen Pal Pack. Of course we had to take a closer look! :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Inside is filled with notecards, postcards, stickers, ribbon, envelopes and notepads. There is also a little booklet called Tips for Keeping in Touch and I thought I would share some of the ideas with you. They are great for young and old alike!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Exchanging letters used to be the only way to keep in touch with family and friends who lived far away. Today, there are lots of options. Emailing is easy and phoning is fast. But letter writing is still popular because you can express ideas and share thoughts on paper in a way that's different from talking. It's always fun to get a handwritten, heartfelt letter in the mail!

~Grab a Great Greeting~
The beginning of a letter is called the salutation, which means "greeting." The common greeting in letters is "Dear" followed by the name of the recipient. You can also customize your greeting to fit the person to whom you're writing or the place you are writing from. Be sweet, be silly, or be sincere.
My dear, sweet friend
Greetings from...
Ahoy, mate

~Start with Heart~
The first sentence after the greeting is often the hardest to write. If you have great news to share, don't wait! Start by telling what happened and how you feel about it. If you can't think of an exciting event to write about, don't let that keep you from keeping in touch. Begin by telling the person you're writing to how much she or he means to you. If you get stuck, start with one of these openers:
I'm so glad you're my friend
You're the best Aunt around
I love it when we...
It's so wonderful the way you...
Nobody's grandma is as great as you

~Delight with Detail~
Think of letters you love to read or stories you love to hear. They're probably interesting because they include details that help you imagine what happened. Details can describe an event, a place, or a person. They can also explain what you think or how you feel about something.

~Send Sentences of Senses~
Many writers describe how things look. Don't forget to include how things sounds, smell, taste and felt.

~Add Art~
Pictures are another way to make your writing come to life. Include photographs, drawings and doodles in your letters. Cut out pictures from magazines or newspapers and paste them onto the page.

~Keep the Questions Coming~
Questions show your reader that you're interested in what she's doing. They also show her that your letter isn't for just anyone-it's especially for her! Ask about the activities she's involved in or what she thinks and feels about an issue. Questions will also encourage your reader to write back to you with the answers.

~Tuck in a Token~
Add a bookmark, sticker or bag of tea in the envelope. Slip a pressed flower between the paper of a letter. These little surprises will make your letters memorable. (If your gifts make the envelope bulky, you may need extra postage.)

~Do Something Different~
Letters don't all have to look the same. Write one in the form of a poem or a short story-starring you. Try a diary letter. Write a little bit about what you do every day for a week. Be sure to date each day's entry.

~Close with Class~
The words you write before you sign your name at the end of a letter is called a closing. The closing is one last way to express your affection for the person you're writing to. Some words or phrases are also known as endearments. Many letters end with "love" but there are all kinds of ways to tell someone you care.
With affection,
Your friend,
Cordially yours,
Best wishes,

Always remember that no one else talks or thinks exactly like you do. The unique way you express your ideas, thoughts and feelings is called your voice. Stay true to your voice when you write, and express what's in your head and your heart. Your letters will make your readers feel as if you're right there with them.

I hope this inspires you to send a letter to someone this coming week. :0)


Susan P. said...

Kelli, what a perfect post as we begin our letter writing "adventures" with our friends! Miss Bonnie and I went out today and we bought a wax sealer kit. I am all ready!!

Laurie said...

As much as I love the internet and getting email, it just cannot compare to a good old~fashioned letter. I love to buy pretty notecards, stickers and such, writing and receiving letters is such a treat!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely kit you found for the girls!!! Lots of wonderful letter writing ideas there.

Reviekat said...

Beautiful shot of your girls!! It's nice to see all the replies from ladies who also like to write letters. :)

Carole Burant said...

I have been pen palling since I was 14 years old...I'm now 48 and still at it:-) At one time I had over 60 penpals but over the years I've settled down to a more manageable 12!! I love writing longggg letters and my penpals are from all over the world so it's fun to compare notes on how different our countries are. I have tons of stationery, stickers, pens, etc...and can never resist buying more! lol

Sandra said...

Loved it :) You always inspire me.
I know that email is so much faster, but there's NOTHING like handwritten letters is there?

Hope you're having a wonderful day, and hey, you should try to catch "If Walls Could Talk" on HGTV, I think you would like it :)

Tina Leigh said...

Who would have even thought they made something like that for kids now a days! I bet the girls are having fun....who are they writing too I wonder???

Kelli said...

Susan, I'll bet you and Bonnie had lots of fun! I can't wait to see what color of wax you got. ;0)

Clarice, I'm glad you and the girls enjoy letter writing also! Keep an eye on your mail box this week!

Lady Laurie, I love to buy all the same things, especially sitckers!

Thank you Mrs. Linebarger! The girls are excited to write some letters this week.

Revee, I also happy to hear others enjoy writing letters!

Pea, 60 penpals?! How fun! I agree with 12 being a more managable amount though! :0)

Sandra, we don't have cable but I'm going to look up what time it's on and watch it at my MIL's house! LOL

Tina, the girls have a few friends that like American Girls so they are first on the list. I believe I owe you a little note too! :0)


Grish said...

What a splendid idea. Love your post...

Patty said...

How fun to find an american girl book with all that in it.
Thanks for sharing

Portrait of Peter said...

A fun and creative awareness of the joys of writing - "nostalgia".

Hope your children enjoy the happiness derived from letter correspondence and how to be creative with each letter.

A wonderful blog.

Thank you for sharing.

Have a lovely weekend and greetings from Scotland.

Mystery said...

Your blog is beautiful, creative, inspiring and I want to stop in regularly to see all the goodies you have!...& You have soo much. :o)
The kids are surely blessed with you as their momma, truly.
Great Job.