So here are some tips for encouraging your young child to write a thank-you note:
– Show your child thank-you notes when you receive them and let your child know how pleased you are to get them. Then, you can remind him of how happy his relatives will feel when they find his thank-you note in the mailbox.
– Let your child pick out some colorful cards that are either blank inside or have a very short thank-you message with room to add a personal note. One year I even saw a sale on personalized note cards and ordered them as gifts for each of my children. A cute or personalized card makes this activity more inviting.
– Keep it short and simple. Ask your child to mention the gift and show his appreciation in one or two sentences. It is really the thought that counts here and I didn’t want to make the process too labor intensive, especially when there were a number of notes to write. You might want to brainstorm a few ideas to get him started.
– Let your child use his inventive spelling. You can say the word he wants to write slowly and clearly, but allow your child to decide what letters he should write to indicate the intended word. This activity can promote writing skills as well as good manners. (If you believe that the relative receiving the note will not know what it says, write the message in pencil under your child’s writing or draw an arrow to instruct the reader to turn the card over. Then write the intended message on the back of the card. Your child does not have to see you do this.)
– If your child struggles to properly write each letter, try tracing worksheets to help him improve his pencil control. Or, if his pencil control is strong but he is still having difficulty writing each letter, try tracing letters worksheets to improve letter formation. The thank-you note activity can be an incentive for children to hone their handwriting skills, and tracing letters reinforces proper letter formation.
Renee shares tips for working with young children at www.schoolsparks.com where she offers a free kindergarten readiness test parents can take to assess their child’s readiness to start school plus hundreds upon hundreds of free kindergarten worksheets for parents to use at home with their children.