Thank You Cards

I love to write thank you cards whenever I can. It's nice to receive real mail and I've always thoroughly enjoyed sending mail. I don't really keep up correspondence with anyone via mail, though I'd love to. I would like to pass that interest on to Phee, though. Actually writing a note is so personal and thoughtful.

As soon as she could scribble with a crayon, I had Phee sending "notes" to family members. When Christmas or her birthday rolled around, I made sure to have her color on the thank you notes that I wrote and sent out. I continue to prepare the thank you cards and write a note on them and then let her color the front (or back!). 

We also do this for teacher appreciation days and weeks. This year, she used a "thank you" stamp with a flower motif, markers and flower stickers to create little cards for her teachers. They were pretty cute and she decorated each one differently for each of her teachers. I love that she's developed a recognition of individual personalities and comprehends her level of interaction with each person and can translate that into corresponding "notes." 

Teaching kids gratitude and thankfulness with thank you cards - www.lifeinrandombits.com
{the thank you Phee made for her lead teacher this year, the wonderful Miss Sadie}
It's very easy and very simple to begin the practice of writing thank you notes, at an early age. You'll have to write the notes yourself, until your child can copy a simple "Thank you" or write a note on their own. After that, let your kiddo have at it with crayons or makers to add their own touch to the note. Once they can trace or write by themselves, let them write their own note. And, once they're interested in little projects, crafts or even just gluing things down, they can create their own thank you cards.
Teaching kids gratitude and thankfulness with thank you cards - www.lifeinrandombits.com
{thank you card Phee colored after her Elmo birthday party last year}
We have used purchased cards and have created them ourselves. Sometimes Phee just colors a half page of paper and I write the note on the back. For her second birthday she had a Sesame Street party so I prepared Elmo thank you cards ahead of time by printing out black and white Elmo coloring pages on card stock. As she gets older, I'm sure she'll use our craft stash to put together her own thank you creations!

A few tips to help you out:

Prepare ahead of time.  If you have a holiday or birthday coming up and there will be gifts, prepare the thank you cards ahead of time. That way, once the party's over, you can write the notes quickly and explain to your child what the cards are and why they are writing them.

Keep it simple.  A simple card made out of card stock or folded paper and decorated by your child is something that family members will thoroughly enjoy.

Black is okay.  Black or brown might not be your ideal color choice for coloring a thank you card, but if that's the color your kid currently loves, just let them have at it. They'll feel proud of their work and involvement in the project and really, the color choice isn't anything to get exasperated over. Just try to keep them from covering up the written note!

Break it up.  A focused task like coloring a specific page isn't going to hold your child's attention for very long. Break it up into several coloring sessions over a few days

Stock up on stamps and envelopes. If you're using purchased cards, then you'll have enough envelopes, but if you're making your own cards, you'll need to purchase envelopes. It's always good to have the stamps on hand, too, so you can get the cards in the mail in a timely fashion. 

Have fun!  This is a great practice to get your kids into the habit of doing. It's lovely to teach and model thoughtfulness and thankfulness for children. If you can make that lesson fun at the same time, children are much more likely to remember it and put it into practice on their own in the future.

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