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.
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)
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!
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
~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.
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.
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)