Monday, March 31, 2008

Letter Writing

My girl had a great school project that I thought I would share as a fun activity for kids. Her first grade class read a book called “Flat Stanley” by Jeff Brown, which is about a little boy who is flattened by his bulletin board (that falls off the wall while he is doing his homework) and about the adventures that he has after being flattened. I know, sounds strange – but it’s really cute, and the kids got a kick out of it! Anyway, the assignment was to color and cut out a picture of Flat Stanley, and to mail it to an out-of-town friend or relative. Each child also enclosed a letter that they wrote, explaining Flat Stanley’s story, and requesting that the recipient take Stanley on an adventure and then mail back a letter and perhaps some pictures to be shared with the class.

We have a number of relatives living out of the area, and my daughter ended up sending her Flat Stanley to her grandmother who lives in Long Island. My mother-in-law was so delighted to be asked to participate in this little project, because she lives so far away and doesn’t get to go to school functions or share in day-to-day homework, etc. She took Stanley to work with her and took him to the family Easter celebration at my sister-in-law’s house, so the whole family was introduced to Stanley! Over the weekend, we received pictures of the family with Stanley on Easter, as well as a great letter that Grandma wrote and mailed to my girl. She was so thrilled to get mail addressed to her – she gets cards from relatives, but this was a whole letter with a story that she was able to read by herself! After reading it she said, “Let’s e-mail Grandma to thank her!” And I said, “Well, Grandma doesn’t have e-mail” and she said, “What do you mean? Why not?” So I said, “Well, Grandma doesn’t have a computer – not everyone has a computer. But we can write Grandma a letter – she’ll love that!” So we will be writing a letter to Grandma this week!

Let me tell you – my girl was SO excited about creating her own Stanley, and then writing her letter and mailing it off to Grandma. And my mother-in-law and even the other relatives in Long Island were so excited to get in on the fun of this project – I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and different activity for your child. You can check the book out of the library for no cost, and surprise a friend or relative who lives out of town. And I can’t think of anyone that I know who doesn’t have a close relative living out of town.

Not to mention that with today’s technology, letter writing is becoming a lost art. I think it’s great to show kids that writing letters can be fun – and what a nice surprise for the family member who receives the letter!


Christine said...

Neat! You should have posted Stanley's pics! What a nice way to incorporate family out of town.

I agree that letter writing is getting to be a lost art. I just recently wrote a letter to my aunt in England. Now I email her as well but I thought there was something special about getting a letter from across the pond!

Believe it or not, the best letters that I ever got were from Lisa. She was an excellent writer in general and a very good letter writer!

Deanna said...

I tried, but unfortunately found myself technologically challenged! First, I tried to scan "Stanley" in, so that I could show the Stanley that my girl had colored. No idea what the problem was - the power switch was on, the cord was plugged in - no life from the scanner! Then I tried to use one of the pictures that my husband's aunt sent (through Kodak Gallery) of Stanley at the family Easter celebration -- no luck! They showed up the size of a postage stamp! Oh well.

I think that's nice about you sending your aunt in England a real letter! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the convenience and speed of e-mail, but I definitely think we lose the sincerity that comes with taking the time to sit down and write a letter. It's a thoughtful gesture that we should take the time to do more often!

Lisa as in the Lisa that you know I'm thinking of? B & B kitchen, Lisa? Interesting!

Christine said...

Yup, B & B kitchen Lisa.

Teamcarbone said...

This story reminds me of when my niece gave me SIL her small stuffed giraffe to take on her mother's cruise. My SIL took all kinds of pictures of the giraffe on the cruise ship and the islands and of course my niece thought it was great especially because she could go with her mom.

I love receiving "real" mail, but there is something to be said for email, which allows me to reach people all over at the speed of light.