Tuesday, June 29, 2021

How To Teach Children Letter Writing Skills

Going to sleep away camp is an exciting time in your children’s lives. They will learn new tools that will help them throughout their lives as well as make unforgettable memories. As you are preparing to send your children to camp, there are many aspects to think about!  Many people think about all the supplies their children will need like clothing, bedding, toiletries, etc., but there is one thing people tend to forget—how to properly write a letter! Although your children will be having fun with all their new friends and counselors, they may experience some homesickness and will want to write to you (and many camps require that they do!). It is important to teach them how to properly write a letter so that they are not confused when the time comes.

Teaching a child how to properly write a letter may seem a little difficult at first. There are many components that go into writing a letter correctly. These skills, though, are very important and will help your children learn to be better communicators. If you are struggling on where to start, here are some of our tips and tricks to help prepare your child for writing a great letter home! However, keep in mind that they are not writing a legal brief—so really the emphasis should be on teaching them to be able to communicate their feelings, not so much about form, grammar and style.

Have your children practice writing their alphabet lettersPracticing writing each letter of the alphabet will help them to feel more confident when writing a letter to you, their grandparents, and their friends while they are away at camp. Depending on their age, this may or may not be necessary!

Teach your children the difference between an informal and formal letter.
Although your children will only be writing informal letters to family and friends while away at camp, it will help them to not confuse the two in the future.

Teach your child all the different components that go into writing a letter. When writing a letter, it is important to make sure that your child understands everything that goes into writing a good letter. There are 4 basic parts:

  • Date: the date should be printed at top left or top right
  • Salutation: This is typically “Dear (name)” followed by a comma (e.g. Dear Grandma,)
  • Letter Body: This is the part of the letter where children can share their thoughts and feelings, report on what they have done or what they are looking forward to doing.
  • Closing: Closings can take many forms depending upon to whom you are writing. Popular ones include “Love,” “Your friend,” “Sincerely,” (although this one might be a bit too formal for camp letters) and “From.” Note that all of these closings EXCEPT “From” should be followed by a comma. (e.g. Love, Danny or From Danny)

Have your child practice writing letters. 
If your child is having trouble remembering all the steps that go into a letter, you could write down a list of all the steps and laminate it (tip: use clear packing tape as lamination) so it does not accidentally get ruined while your child is at camp. 

Once the actual letter is written, it is time to teach them how to address the letter to send. 
While your child is learning how to address an envelope, it is helpful to provide a template so that they remember where everything goes. You can draw three lines in the middle of the envelope (where they put the address of the receiver of the letter), three lines at the top left-hand corner (where they put their return address), and a small box on the right hand side where the stamp gets placed. Show them how the name goes on the first line, the street address on the second, and the city, state, and zip code on the last (great time to point out that a comma separates the city and state – but just a space between the state and zip code). Once again if they are struggling with remembering where everything goes, you can provide a laminated example for them to take to camp or wherever they go in life! 

Give them the stationery tools to help prepare them for writing letters. Making sure that your children have everything they need for writing their letters will help them to feel more confident and prepared. Below are a few examples you may want to get your child during their time at camp—but we recommend letting your children choose the designs they wish to have. It will give them the feeling of power which is helpful here in prepping for camp, and, after all, they are the ones that will be using it all summer. We are sure your children will be so excited to use their fun and colorful letters while they are away.

Camp Notepad & Label Sets by Piper Fish Designs (Camp Elements Pink)

Camp Notepad & Label Sets by Piper Fish Designs (Grizzly Bear)

For especially younger campers, you may want to consider getting them a fill-in-the-blank option so that it is easy for them to report on the latest and greatest goings on at camp!

Camp Notepad & Label Sets by iDesign (Rainbow Smiley Face)

Camp Notepad & Label Sets by Three Bees (Camp Status Chalkboard)

Finally, one last tip in preparation is to give them a neat case to keep all their stationery paraphernalia tidy. This has been a best-seller for years and kids love how they can completely customize the personalization. 

Personalized Clipboard Cases

Going away to camp for a few weeks can be a very big deal for kids, but teaching them how to properly write letters can really help them if they begin to feel homesick. This will help your child feel like they are still connecting with you from afar. Your child will be so excited to receive a letter back as well once they send theirs. By learning how to write a letter, your child will feel more confident in their communication skills as they adventure off to camp! 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

How to Prepare Your Child For Camp

There is so much that goes into preparing your children for camp. You don’t know until you’ve been through it!  During this preparation time, it is important to make sure that both you and your child are involved to make it the best overall experience. We understand that there are a lot of different components that go into getting your child ready for the weeks ahead.  
If you are having trouble trying to figure out where to even start preparing for your child’s upcoming adventure, we have provided some of our best tips and tricks to help you and your child get ready for an amazing summer at camp. 
Having your child practice a good hygiene routine without having you around.
While your child will certainly get assistance from his/her counselors at camp, it’s good for your child to start learning to do some of these hygiene tasks themselves while still at home. This will not only help them feel more confident, but they will also start to grow to be more independent. Before they go to camp, try and create a list of important daily tasks they should be doing like brushing teeth twice a day. Turn this list into a game to see who can complete the list first so they do not see it as a chore.
Involve your child in the preparation process for their time at camp. 
Not only will they start to become more excited for their time at camp, but they will also not worry about missing an important item to them such as a special stuffed animal, blanket, etc. This will also help them to start growing a sense of independence as they are not having everything done for them. 
Let your child borrow your confidence about camp. 
Children take their cues from parents. Avoid asking your child if they are worried about camp or if they will miss you. But do have conversations about what they are looking forward to and/or what they might be nervous about in terms of camp. If you personally used to go to overnight camp, you could share some of your favorite stories to help get them more excited to go. Remember, the more confidence you show in the camp and its leaders’ ability to take good care of your child, the more confident your child will feel about separating from you. 
Prepare items that will help your child feel less homesick. 
Sending your child away for summer camp is a big deal and could possibly make your child anxious. In order to help your child feel a little more comfortable when they are away, you could print pictures of the family, encourage writing letters, etc. This will help your child feel more connected to you while they are away. You could even get them some fun stationery items to help get them excited for writing to you while they are away like these: 
 Camp Notepad & Label Sets by Piper Fish Designs (Camp Canoe Brown)
Camp Notepad & Label Sets by Three Bees (Camp Notes Watercolor Hearts)

Kamp Kids Camp Greeting Card Packs - KA5
See our full collection of stationery to write from home here
Go visit the campsite before your child leaves for the summer. 
If possible, visit the camp ahead of time! By going to visit the camp, it can help to better prepare your child for what to expect. This can alleviate any built help stress your child may have had for not knowing what they were going into. Also, by physically seeing where they are about to spend their summer, it will help get them excited for what’s to come. Can’t get there physically, check out the camp’s website. Most have videos, photos and even recordings of staff, campers and parents to help you get a feel for the camp’s atmosphere.
Sending your child away to camp for the summer may be stressful for both you and your child at first, but by following these tips it can help better prepare both of you for a great summer. Before you know it, your child will come home with so many amazing memories and stories that they will be eager to share with you!