Updated: October 20, 2016
Do you send thank-you notes for Christmas gifts, birthday presents, or other thoughtful gestures? Handwritten notes are an essential part of your social correspondence.
These days, they’re less accessible than email, phone calls, and text messages. So you may wonder if thank-you notes still important in this digital era.
My answer is a resounding YES! Thank-you notes mean so much to a gift giver, and notes from children are priceless. In this article, I’ll share six ways to make thank-you notes fun for kids.
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Thank-You Notes Are Important
Thank-you notes are always a good idea, but they’re especially important for gifts that arrive by mail. If you fail to acknowledge a gift, the sender may wonder if you received it.
When you can’t write a note immediately, it’s okay to express your gratitude by phone or email. But follow up with a handwritten note as soon as possible.
A thank-you note can be a heartfelt letter on elegant stationery or a short scribble on a postcard. A designer greeting card or a child’s crayon drawing. Whatever form it takes, the recipient will appreciate your effort and gratitude.
Cultivate a Culture of Gratitude
This Christmas, cultivate a culture of gratitude in your home. Send a thank-you note for every gift you receive, and encourage your children to do the same.
It’s never too early for kids to learn about gratitude. If they can hold a crayon, they can color a thank-you note. Before you mail their creations, add a personal note to express how much they enjoy their gifts.
If your children are learning to write, help them print their thank-you notes. Ask them what they like about their gifts, and give them a short message to copy. Supervise your older kids as they craft their own messages.
How to Make Thank-You Notes Fun
In the meantime, I have a few suggestions for you based on my experiences as a preschool teacher and stepmom. Here are six ways to make thank-you notes fun for children as you teach them about gratitude:
1. Fill Up Their Stockings
To get your kids in the thank-you habit, tuck some note cards in their Christmas stockings. Fill-in-the-blank cards are a good choice for young children. Personalized cards are great for older kids.
2. Schedule Note Writing
You can’t teach children about gratitude by nagging or rushing them. Schedule a specific time to write thank-you notes.
Gather your supplies (address book, crayons, pens, stamps, stickers, letterpress blocks). Then prepare a healthy snack and settle in with the kids.
3. Play With the Words
Give your children a list of synonyms to use in their thank-you notes. For example: awesome, fantastic, marvelous, and super. Encourage the kids to use a different word in each note. Award prizes for creativity.
4. Turn Pictures Into Cards
As a parent, you take a lot of pictures at birthday and holiday parties. Use the pictures to create photo cards. Let your kids pick their favorite shots. Attach the photos to card stock and finish with a handwritten note.
5. Get Help From Guests
When guests arrive for a party, ask each of them to write their address on an envelope. Put the envelopes in a basket, draw a name during the party, and award a prize. When it’s time to send thank-you notes, your envelopes are ready to go.
6. Send Notes to Children
As you write your own thank-you notes, don’t forget to send notes to children who gave you a gift. Kids learn by example, and this is a great way to teach them about gratitude and manners.
Over To You
Now it’s your turn to chime in. How do YOU cultivate a culture of gratitude at home? What thank-you note tips above will you implement with your kids?
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