Thursday, January 28, 2021

Teaching Children to Write Thank You Notes

Even with text messages, email, social media and near-instantaneous communication in the 21st century, the art and etiquette of writing a thank you note is not lost. 

At More Than Paper, writing a handwritten note and sending it in the good old fashioned mail is important to us and, therefore, we’ve been teaching our kids how to write thank you notes since they were young.  Is it something that you value?  Here are some tips to teach your children how to write thank you notes.  

Around age 2-4

It’s never too early to start – and yes, children this young can help in creating a thank you note!  Most children this age love using stickers or rubber stamps.  How about the grown-up writes the words “THANK YOU” and the child’s name on a piece of paper or cardstock – and have the child decorate with stickers, stampers or crayons! Explain the activity and why your child should write a thank you note (“Remember the teddy bear that Aunt Diane got you? Let’s write her a thank you note!”).  The child will begin to learn about the concept of why one writes a thank you note and will also have fun doing the task.

  

Pen At Hand Stick Figures Stationery - Create-Your-Own Flat Card (Boy)

Around age 4-6 

By age 4, children can get more involved in the “writing” part of thank you notes. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children are in the beginning stages of learning to form letters and words, and many children at this age have the dexterity and attention span to copy letters.   When our children were young, we wrote the words “thank you” and their names using dots and simply asked them to connect the dots.  This was a delight to grandparents, aunts and uncles, and family friends who had been kind and generous enough to give our children a gift or gesture.  They absolutely loved seeing our little ones write their names and the words thank you.  That is all it took. 

Stacy Claire Boyd - Stationery/Thank You Notes - All Fired Up

Around ages 5-8

As children being reading and writing, this is a good age to have them start writing their own “Dear ___, Thank you for my gift.”  We typically wrote this message out on a piece of paper and let them copy it while studying the paper.   This helps speed up the process.  Another idea is to let them phonetically spell and compose the message all on their own.  Likely you’ll get a ton of misspellings, but you are not striving for perfection here! Plus, the free-form phonetic spelling can be quite funny and will make a great keepsake for the future! Plus you’re allowing the child a lot of independence and creativity.  Just be sure to give them enough direction or assistance so they don’t feel overwhelmed by the blank card. 


Boatman Geller Stationery - Rugby Navy & Kelly

Ages 8-11 

Here’s where children can begin composing their own letters.  Teach them the salutation, punctuation, and value of good penmanship.  It is also a good time to remind them to be specific about the gift they’ve received and why they like it or how they will use it.  Rather than “Thank you for the gift,” your child might write “Thank you for the doll that I wanted. I am so excited to play with her.” 


Chatsworth Robin Maguire - Stationery/Thank You Notes (5 Sandals)

Ages 12+ 

If you have been encouraging your children to write thank you notes since they were little, hopefully you don’t get a lot of pushback from your preteen or teen on writing their notes.  After every birthday or holiday, have them sit down with their personalized stationery and list of people to thank and write several a day.  If they have received a lot of presents, encourage them to break the task of writing notes into chunks – just a few at a time. Then it is not so overwhelming.   At this point, they should be writing several sentences being specific about what they are thanking the person for, how they intend to use the gift, and what they like about it.  We also encourage something personal to the recipient.  This can be done with ideas like, “I hope your holidays were fun, and we missed celebrating with you this year. Can’t wait until we can get together in the summer!” or “Hope you are feeling better after your knee surgery! I was thinking of you.”  A little personal touch or extra sentence or two can make the letter feel more personal and less curt. 

Rosanne Beck Stationery - Ornate Floral - Pink

Quite honestly, there is no wrong way to write a thank you note, especially thank you notes written by children. They are so unexpected these days and a treat for people to receive that your recipient will just be glad that they have written one. 

Here are two other unique thank you note ideas that we have seen from children. 

1)     Draw a picture instead of writing a note. Especially good for really little ones, a picture (of rainbows, the dog, anything!) can be a nice thank you! 

2)     Use your Instapix camera! Take a picture of the child holding the gift and smiling. Sign the bottom, “Thank you!! Love, ____”.  Send the picture in an envelope! 

What ideas do you have? 

Shop our personalized stationery for children and adults at More Than Paper and find your perfect correspondence for thank you notes, everyday letters & anything else you need!  

Monday, January 18, 2021

Options for Valentine's on Valentine's Day

As you carefully put away decorations for one holiday, do you start thinking about pulling out your decorations for the next?  We can’t get enough of the holidays and so we just let one roll right into another!  Valentine’s Day is, of course, February 14th which at the rate things are going will be here shortly. 

In an effort to be really organized in 2021, it’s never too early to start thinking about options for Valentine’s Day.   Want to do something beyond the drug store selections? There are some really cute ideas, and with a little advanced planning, you can get your kiddos adorable Valentines that will wow the classroom and their friends.  Here are 6 ideas for Valentine’s Day in 2021.  

 

1.     Exchange Cards are smaller than greeting cards.  Typically, they are about 3.5 x 5”, though we have some options that are 2 x 3.5” (like a business card size!)  We have dozens of styles from which to choose – from hearts, princesses, castles, and cupcakes to alligators, baseball, trains, and dinosaurs – your child will surely find one they can get excited about giving.  Each can be personalized with your child’s name.  They are an affordable option for a personalized printed valentine! 

 

Valentine's Day Exchange Cards by Kelly Hughes Designs (Dig It)

2.     Valentine’s Day Stickers are perfect for the do-it-yourself types.  Order clear plastic treat bags (find on Amazon or your local craft store) and get some wrapped candy in bulk.  Insert the candy, tie, and finish with a personalized sticker.  We have round and square shaped stickers in so many designs!  Will it be mermaids, hearts, or stripes? Or one of our other hundreds of options? 


Little Lamb - Valentine's Day Gift Stickers (Blue Balloon)

3.     Treat Bag & Topper Cards are sold as sets – they include both the clear treat bag and the personalized printed card that goes on top.  Insert candy, pencils, or items from the dollar store in these clear bags. The printed front and back cards arrive scored, and you simply fill the bag, fold and staple the card to seal it all up!  It’s easy to distribute in the classroom and kids love it. This is definitely a great choice for those that are looking for something a little extra. 


Little Lamb - Valentine's Day Treat Bag and Topper (Disco)



 

4.     Gift Tags are a great option if you are doing larger-sized gifts for Valentine’s Day.  These tie well to gift bags and look polished.  We have dozens of design styles and they can be personalized with your last name to give as family gifts or your children for individual gifts. The choice is yours! 


Little Lamb - Valentine's Day Hanging Gift Tags (Be Mine)

5.     Photo Greetings are a great way to send Valentines! Did you skip sending your annual holiday card in 2020?  If you missed it this year and wished you had sent one, consider sending your friends and family a Valentine’s Day photo greeting card instead.  We have a bunch of options with various styles, colors, die cut shapes, and ways to make it yours.  Even if you did send holiday cards in 2020, consider getting a few photo greeting cards to send to a select group of relatives.  Especially for those who haven’t been able to see their friends and family, these Valentine’s Day photo greetings might really brighten someone’s day!  


Spark & Spark Valentine's Day Cards (A Valentine Wish - Photo)

6.     Non-Photo Greetings. Not everyone loves a photo greeting so if you are looking for a simple card or greeting for Valentine’s Day, we have options for you, too.  


With a little planning and ordering in advance, you can really make some cute Valentines in 2021.  What option will you choose this year? What is your favorite? Are there any ideas that we missed? We would love to hear from you on our Facebook page or in the comments below.