Why Your Kids Should Be Writing Thank You Notes

By Nikki M

These days, kids can take a lot for granted! You know things are bad when every excursion out of the house results in a brand new toy haul. And truth be told, we're often the ones spoiling them rotten. We (gleefully) succumb to their every demand, teaching them awful values and habits.

When a little backpedaling is in order, sit your kiddos down and teach them the fine art of writing a thank you note. It's an excellent way to teach your children about gratitude and appreciation, while letting them in on some of that snail mail goodness. Rather than a quick and impersonal "thx" via text, taking the time to create a lovely, handwritten note feels much more personal and thoughtful.

Here's the 411 on writing a great thank you note:

The supplies

  • There's a whole lot to be thankful for, so it's best to buy cards by the bulk. There's a ton of gorgeous options out there — pick something that suits your kiddo’s taste, and they'll surely be inspired to write more, honing those all-important penmanship skills.

    We love Papyrus' beautiful offerings. For something a bit more quirky/vintage, check out Anthropologie. Want something simple? Try these lovely minimalist cards by Terrapin. If you feel like splurging – Kate Spade all the way.  
  • Want something a wee-bit more personalized? Buy some plain cardstock and go wild with paint, stickers, glitter, and all that jazz! Bonus: Cardstock makes for great watercolor paper (it's a lot more affordable, too!)
  • Don't forget to get a good pen— a calligraphy pen not only lends itself to beautiful handwriting, it also makes the letter-writing ritual extra fancy. Pilot Petit1 Mini and Pelikan Pelikano Junior are both lovely fountain pens specially-made for kids.

When to write a thank you note

  • Traditionally, thank you notes are written to guests after an event has taken place. And events aren't limited to birthday parties that take months to plan out — random playdates, tea parties, backyard barbecues, Friday night pizza nights , monthly art gallery openings, and other fun, casual gatherings are all prime candidates for a thank you card.
  • Always write a thank you note whenever you receive a gift.
  • Be generous with giving thanks. Random acts of kindness definitely deserve a card, but feel free to send them out for even the most trivial things— thank your neighbor who always throws the stray baseballs back over the fence, or the lady at the donut shop who knows your order by heart!
  • As for the timeframe, it's best to send out a card within a month after the event has taken place . . . although it's always better late than never!

Letter writing tips

  • Be specific with what you're thankful for. Rather than saying, "Thanks for the present," say: "Thank you for the cool remote-controlled helicopter you got me this Christmas. We've been flying it non-stop in the living room even the cat goes wild over it!" Isn't that a lot better?
  • Keep things short and sweet. A thank you note doesn't need to be 10 pages long to be sincere. Get straight to the point, and save the rambling for your pen pal.
  • Consider including printed photos of your guests from the event. Now that all albums are digital, it's nice to have a fun, physical memento of the occasion!
  • Make sure to continue the connection by leaving things open ended. A simple "Hope to see you soon!" will do the trick.

Once you've written the perfect thank you note, teach your kiddos how to properly address the envelope, lick the seal (hands down, the best part!), and affix the stamp. Drop it off in the outgoing mailbox, and let them bask in the glow of fulfilling a good deed!

Are you an avid writer of thank you notes? Share your fun tips with us in the comments below!

Tags : education   language arts   writing   life lessons   gratitude   

Camille Aud
Such a great idea. It's a perfect way to use up all the beautiful stationery I have laying around...