When I was growing up I loved writing letters. I had lots of pen pals across the country and the world! I used to look forward to the postman arriving and seeing what my new found “friends” had to say. It’s a good experience having a pen pal because it really helps with your spelling and writing. I have noticed texts these days are all short hand. LOL this and OMG that. It might encourage your child to write properly.
I had so many pen pals at one point it was a struggle affording all the stamps, but other than that it was a real enjoyment for me. You can learn more about the customs and ways of life across the globe through the eyes of other children.
Pen pals seemed quite popular back then. It’s a shame people don’t seem to write as much anymore, everything is carried out online. But there is nothing quite like getting your first letter through the post. You must learn to be patient its not instant correspondence. I had a friend in Australia and it could take ages back then to get my next letter in the post. Children at the moment have a quick fix with an instant text or social media message, there is a lot to be said about the joys of appreciating something you had to wait for.
What your child will need
Stationary can get expensive too, so it helps to buy in bulk! I had a look at bestbuyenvelopes UK as I wanted to find a good deal. If my boys are going to be anything like me and they become hooked on having pen pals too then I need to bring the price down somehow. That site has lots of colourful appealing envelopes and half the fun of receiving letters for me was seeing how attractively they were decorated.
Get your child a pen that feels comfortable in their hand. You want to facilitate the process of writing as much as possible. These Zebra pens had a good grip and the bold colours definitely appealed to my boys.
I didn’t think about the risks when I was a child of writing to strangers. I guess I was quite naïve but its very important that your child uses a safe site to find new pen pals. My pen pals were usually found in my favourite animal magazine. You can find people to connect with through the teacher supervised ePals which is meant to be a safer portal for children. It does seem though that many of the connections these day are now carried out online. Other ways to safe guard your child is to make sure they don’t send photo’s or give away too much information about themselves.
A good start is to encourage your child to write to someone they already know. If your family live more remotely they can reconnect with their cousins or friends of the family.
Kids can be quite self-centred so it’s a good idea that they read about other children’s perspectives and lives. It can help them be more rounded individuals.