Sunday, 30 April 2017

10 Reasons To Encourage Children To Write Letters

When was the last time you wrote a letter by hand? I can’t remember when I last did. Of course I write birthday cards and I send emails to stay in touch with family, but actually putting pen to paper and writing to someone? It seems to be a dying art. In a recent post I asked the same question and for many readers it had been years since they had written a letter. 

It’s a shame because I love getting post. It doesn’t matter what it is, I get a thrill from opening the envelope and discovering what is inside. I have worked in jobs where I would offer to go the post room just so I could get the team's post and open it all. My eldest daughter loves getting post too, there might just be a pretty picture inside, but her face lights up when she reads her name on the envelope.

A 5 year old girl sitting at the table opposite her sister at the dining table. They are both drawing with colouring pencils

My daughter is learning to read and write at the moment. She is at the stage where she will try and spell words herself and loves to practice writing in a notebook. I have recently encouraged her to write letters. The effort it takes means the letters are currently quite short, but she enjoys the process of creating a letter, putting in it an envelope, sticking on a stamp and running to the letter box at the end of our road to send the letter on it’s way.

M is standing in front of a red letter box with a yellow envelope in her hand ready to post the letter


Why am I encouraging letter writing? Here are 10 reasons to encourage children to write letters:


1. It’s a great way for children to practice their handwriting and spelling.

A close up picture of M's hands writing on white paper with a pencil which is grey and says "Write Size" on it

2. Writing a letter helps develop communication skills, children need to think about what they want to say and plan before writing. 

3. Whether it’s a thank you letter or talking about their weekend writing it down helps with a child’s memory development as they have to recall what happened.

M is sitting at the table writing a letter. SO far she has written "To Gr"

4. It requires a lot of concentration to write a letter whether they are just learning to write or they are an expert. Sitting down to focus on the letter helps develop a child’s attention span and over time the letters start getting longer.

5.The longer the letter they write the more creative they will get. They might start by talking about what has been happening and go on to tell a story. 

M is still writing the letter with the write size pencil. The Froot colouring pencil box is open next to her. She has written "To Grane howow ar you"

6. The iPad and television are always much in demand by children, and they are great to give adults some quiet time too. Encouraging children to sit down and write a letter keeps them engaged and gives everyone a bit of a break. 

7. If writing is mostly used for homework or filling in forms the art of writing for simple communication is lost. Writing a letter can help develop a love of writing that will help in all parts of a child’s education. 

A table level photo of M drawing a picture at the bottom of her letter

8. Sending a letter to someone can brighten their day. The rarer it is for people to receive post the more valuable it is so a child can make someone smile. 

9. There is a romantic side of writing and receiving letters which can be kept and reread which you can’t appreciate in the same way with emails. Writing letters encourages others to write back too, and those letters will be treasured.


10. When the child is older they will love to look back at the letters they have written. They will see how far their writing has improved and the letter’s will bring back some happy memories.

***Disclosure: We were sent the Froot coloured pencils by Mustard (which smell of fruit) and Writesize pencils which are made to scale for children's hands (M is using the age 2-6 pencil in the photo). We received these products as part of our involvement in National Stationery Week.***
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5 comments

  1. I love this post! My daughter has a pen friend and enjoys writing to him. I love seeing the randomness of what they write to each other!!

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  2. This is really lovely. My son is only 1 so he cannot write yet. We let him draw with pens because he watches us take notes a lot. We are a travel family and we plan to let him write postcards home to his grandparents when he is big enough :)

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  3. These are great! I would love to find a way for my kids to get involved with pen pals so they can write more!!

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  4. What a great post, I love receiving letters so this is such a great point. It makes my day. Cant wait until our little guys start doing more than a scribble

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  5. My 8 year old daughter loves writing letters, it is definitely a skill that children need to learn in this day and age.

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