Four children getting messy painting in the garden.

Pen Pals & Post for Kids: Crafts for Kids that Teach Sharing and Giving

When you’re young, there’s nothing like the excitement of receiving a letter or package, complete with a handwritten address and a colourful stamp in the corner. It has the potential to bring huge excitement and reward. Here we share the joy of post for kids and ideas to help you get creative, teaching your children about sharing and giving in the process.

Writing Letters for Kids

Post for kids is a way to make and nurture connections

We all want our kids to grow up being able to form and sustain great relationships. Post is a brilliant way to encourage this from a young age. It invites them to put effort, care and time into creating something for their pen pals, and to wait patiently for the return post.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

Send “lift the flap” letters

“Lift the flap” books are great fun, so why not create letters in this style?

  • Pick a favourite theme, such as cars or flowers, and draw this on the card
  • Create a flap from another piece of card in the shape of something from the picture. If they draw a car, a wheel could be the flap
  • Attach a corner of the flap onto the picture using glue
  • Underneath the flap becomes a secret place to write a message
  • The pen pal could return the letter with their own flap and a new message

A correspondence in recipe sharing

  • Choose a favourite recipe and write it down or draw it (if children are very young they can tell you what they would like you to write)
  • The pen pal who receives it must make the recipe, take photos of the finished dish and send them back with a new recipe to try

Writing letters for kids: messages sent by mail come from the heart

Help your kids see that writing letters is a wonderful way to share how they feel, and receiving them can be a way to find out what others are feeling. It might be as small as a “thinking of you”, or a big story; the important thing is that it takes some thought and is written in their own handwriting.

Write a shared story

This is a lovely way for children to learn to read and understand the other person’s contribution.

  • Write the opening lines of a story, or draw the first picture of a comic strip
  • Send it to a friend or family member who then writes the next bit and sends it back
  • This continues until the story is complete and a new story is ready to begin

Kids’ pen pals: sending a letter is a form of sharing and giving

Making a letter or a card for someone takes time and care to plan and make, and it is lovely to see or imagine how someone reacts to the gift.

Jigsaw letter

  • Write a letter, trying to cover every inch of the paper to avoid blank pieces of puzzle
  • Glue the letter onto a piece of recycled cardboard
  • Cut it up into lots of pieces, like a jigsaw, and send it to a pen pal
  • The pen pal will have to piece it together to discover the letter

Write a magic letter

This is a good task for developing kids’ planning and patience: they won’t be able to see the message as they write, so they need to make sure it’s a letter worth revealing!

  • Use a white crayon or a candle to write a secret letter and send it to a pen pal
  • The pen pal will have to uncover the message by washing over it with watercolour paint or a coloured marker

Crafts for kids to celebrate post and pen pals

The world of post is magical for kids – all those envelopes and parcels making journeys around the world. It’s beneficial for children to be part of it, so they feel connected to their community, opening their eyes to their place in a big, grown-up world. You could create homemade stationary or try this idea.

Stamps for Kids' Pen Pals

Make some unique stamps

  • Cut a potato in half and draw a shape on the flat side of the potato
  • Use a sharp knife to cut around the shape (an adult will need to do this bit), leaving the design raised on the surface of the potato
  • Pour some paint onto a plate, then dip the potato into the paint and then onto paper or a sticky label
  • Wash the potato between paint colours
  • When dry, the stamps can be cut out and stuck onto envelopes

Making the most of post for kids

Post is a way to teach children how to give their time generously and, hidden beneath the fun and creativity of putting together a letter or a parcel, is a lesson in empathy, helping them grow into considerate, thoughtful, patient adults. Don’t worry too much if your child gets poster paint on their cotton t-shirt in the process.

Just treat the stain as soon as possible by dampening and rubbing with Surf excel Liquid Detergent, then rinse in water as hot as the fabric allows. You can repeat this until the stain is removed. Then simply wash with your usual Surf excel detergent. Just check the label for care details of the stained garment before cleaning the stain.

Have you made the most of post for kids at home? Do your kids have pen pals? Let us know what creative activities you’ve come up with that help them learn the art of giving and sharing.

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