Monday, November 25, 2013

Ways To Make Writing Thank You Cards More Fun For Kids

Sending thank you cards seems to be a dying art. It seems like it's become more of a chore than something to do from the bottom of your heart because you really are grateful for the gift or act of kindness. 

So, in the spirit of being grateful (with it being almost Thanksgiving and Christmas), I am sharing several tips & tricks about teaching your children to say thank you.  I'm calling it my Thank You Series.  (although it can and should be practiced all year long) Here's my schedule for the next few days. 

Saturday: Simple (& Creative) Ways to Help Your Child Say Thank You

Sunday: Benefits of Teaching Your Kids to Send Thank You Cards
Monday: Ways to Make Sending Thank You Cards More Fun For Kids  

YOU ARE HERE! ^^^ Read this below!
Tuesday: Thank You Card Etiquette (For Kids)

Wednesday: People You Should Say 'Thank You' To More Often
Thursday: Thanksgiving!

Explain It
explain what you're doing & how it will make others feel
Let me tell you a little story...
My mom came to visit us the other day.  My oldest daughter instantly asked where grandpa was.  My mom replied that he was at work, but so sad that he couldn't be there to see Paige.  I mentioned casually to Paige that maybe we could draw him a picture before grandma goes to let him know we missed him too & to cheer him up.  Instantly, Paige ran to get a pen & paper & drew her picture of grandpa (with lots of hair), and his house "with two doors".  He called her later that night to tell her how much he loved it. 

My point is that, even though it wasn't a thank you card I told Paige we could make, as soon as she heard we could do something to make grandpa happy, she was so excited to do it!  Chances are, your child will be similar. 

One other awesome way that a friend of mine told me is to read a book about service.  Sheila from Pennies of Time read The Secret of Saying Thanks with her cute boys.  You can read about her experience here.

Use Special Supplies
Give your child special stationary, paper, markers, stickers, etc.  If they are able to use supplies that they normally don't use, they'll feel more grown up & important.  Even better... let them pick out their supplies!

You could also make a personalized card with their cutest picture on it.  I've made several from Shutterfly and tinyprints with my favorite pictures of Paige & they were always a big hit with Paige & the recipient.

Do It Together
Make it a family activity (or something fun to do WITH mom)
If this is something you are doing together, or side by side, that will make it even more fun for your child.  It will also create a great example for them if you're doing it right next to them.  I can almost guarantee it will leave a lasting impression on them. 

Let Them Create
I usually like for things to be a certain way, so I often have to remind myself to let my oldest daughter create.  If it's something from the child's heart, they will enjoy doing it so much more than if they are being told what to do & how to do it.  If they want to scribble a messy picture, great!  If they want to add princess stickers, great! 

Be Strategic
If they write thank you notes to others who also write thank you notes, chances are they might get one back eventually.  If they receive thank you notes themselves (especially in the mail), they will know how good it feels to receive one.  This will motivate them to write even more & possibly make this a habit! 

*I'm not saying to only write thank you cards to those who also write them, I'm just suggesting you make it a priority to send them one.  I'm sure you can think of a reason to tell them thank you, even if it's not something big that you're thanking them for! 

Make It Simple
You don't need to go way out of your way, or empty your pockets on thank you cards.  Sometimes the simplest acts mean the most.  Thank you cards don't have to be anything fancy or elaborate, especially from kids.  If your toddler can only scribble, then that's fine!  If it's from your child's heart, it will be loved that much more from the recipient.

For many simple ways for kids to say thank you, click here

Let Them Lead
If your child is resisting "writing", ask them to draw a picture, or if they're a teenager interested in photography, ask them to take a picture of their gift in use (or find a way to say thank you with their camera).  That will let them be creative in doing something they like.

Think Outside of the Box
Although I highly recommend sending out a thank you card in the mail, I think you can get creative every now & then... especially with kids.  Would your kids rather take pictures?  Would your kids rather make a video?  Check out my post here to find more original ways to say thank you. 

Make It Educational
Kids love learning about mail.  Why not let them help seal the envelope, put the stamp on, take it out to the mailbox, or even to the local post office?  While you're at it, you can explain how that specific card will get to it's recipient.  They'll love learning about how the postal system works! 

Think Outside of the Envelope
Address it from your child & if possible, have your child write their name at the bottom of the card (it's good practice!).  Am I the only one who ADORES little kid's handwriting when they are first learning how to write their name?!  Also, take advantage of all of that blank space on the back of the envelope!  I loved drawing a picture on the back of the envelope when I was a child! 

What are some things that have helped your child enjoy saying thank you?

Read the rest of my Thank You Series here:

*This post contains affiliate links.


  1. What a great idea! I haven't written a thank you card since my baby shower. These days it's become something we have to do for major events (graduation, weddings, showers) and that's really a shame. I think we need to bring back this courtesy and we can help our children with this!

  2. This is becoming a lost art! With email, and social media. I love this.

  3. Since most of us moms have more kid art than we can feasibly save, use it as a thank you card/gift, esp with family and anyone that works with your child - pediatrician, librarian, etc. Most of them love the thought, even with 'toddlerese' scribble ;-)


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