My older daughter organically started a pen pal relationship with her great-grandmother in Florida. On a whim one day she said she wanted to send a letter to Grandma Lainie and wrote up a sweet and simple note to her grandma. She addressed the envelope herself, put on the stamp and took it to our mailbox. Our very first Weekly Kindness Project last fall was a heartfelt letter to her great-grandma, but it hadn’t quite evolved to a pen pal relationship. This time around the letter was much simpler- no arts and crafts involved. And when my almost 6-year old wrote the letter, she received a letter back. My daughter was very excited to receive the return note. After reading her great-grandmother’s response, my daughter immediately wanted to write something back. And just like that a pen pal relationship was formed.
She is so excited about the letter exchange that my daughter is now starting to write letters to her other grandparents and some close friends as well. I simply provide the mailing address. She does the rest.
For my younger daughter, who can’t yet write, I put together a super simple template so that she can also participate in the process. Using the template, I ask her what or who she played with this week and something she is grateful for. The template also has room for a drawing. It’s worth noting that while my 2 1/2 year old doesn’t fully understand the meaning of “grateful,” we include her in our daily gratitude discussions to start making the positive associations. You can download the template here: Pen Pal Letter Template. And while the template was initially intended for the “itty-bittys,” my older daughter also enjoys using it.
Upon receiving Grandma Lainie’s first return letter, my girls and I explicitly talked about how their letters may be brightening up someone’s day. I don’t know how long these pen pal relationships will continue, but I hope they last for some time, as this exchange is an easy but meaningful way to share some kindness with loved ones.