Why bother having your child write and send a thank you note in this day of Snapchat, texts and email? Doing so teaches our children basic letter writing skills, gratitude and is sure to bring a smile to the gift giver. Let’s face it, no one gets enough “good” snail mail these days. As more communication is shared electronically, old-school note and letter writing becomes even more appreciated and treasured.
Toddlers and pre-schoolers can draw a picture or have an adult write their thank you message.
Beginning writers can write a note as a simple as “Thank you for —insert gift—.” You can even find pre-printed Mad Lib-type thank you cards at the store for your child to fill in the blanks. Let them write in crayon, pencil or even all the markers in the box. It’s okay if they have spelling errors, this isn’t a college application essay. We want our children to start forming the habit of writing a thank you note.
Older children can elaborate and state why they like or appreciate the gift. If they received gift cards or money, then they can share how they might use it. Even writing in a straight line on an unlined thank you card or an envelope may be a new experience for your child.
If your child knows how to write in cursive, then writing thank you notes gives them the opportunity to share their skills.
The basic skills of addressing an envelope will teach children where to place a stamp, the recipient’s address and the return address.
While Emily Post advises sending thank you cards for gifts within 2-3 days, sending a thank you note late is better than not sending one at all.
Jann Fujimoto, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and owner of SpeechWorks LLC. SpeechWorks helps children become confident communicators and empowers parents to be their child’s speech-language advocate. Jann can be reached at 262-490-5653.