How To Be a Great Pen Pal Friend
Can you remember the first time you got a piece of mail that was only for you? Do you remember getting excited because you had received a letter from another part of the world? Do you miss keeping cherished letters in a box and wondering about the person who had sent them?
I can still remember the thrill of receiving mail as a kid. Letters or postcards that were addressed to me only and how eagerly I would write back. I wish that I had persevered with my first penpal but after our initial first few letters we never made contact again!
Then as I grew older I wrote to school friends and family when I went to University. This was before mobile phones were widely available! In fact, this was before email, text and other social media platforms as well! To keep in touch you called home on a landline or you wrote a letter and posted it in the hope that a reply would be sent within a few weeks or months!
Why a Pen Pal and Why Now?
Now that Peakles is starting to formerly learn to read and write at school I thought that finding a pen pal of a similar age would be a great idea for these reasons:
- It would be fun!
- It would give writing a different purpose rather than the writing she does in school
- She would have to think about what would be interesting and appropriate
- It would give her a chance to communicate with someone outside her family and local peer group
After asking Peakles if she would like to have a pen pal, we then had to find one! As we belong to a great blogging community we soon found that there was another blogger’s little girl, K, who was interested in having a pen pal! Soon our girls had sent each other a simple introductory letter about themselves. Both girls sent envelopes that were decorated in sparkly stickers and the local postman must have been amused with this glittery and unusual piece of mail!
So now that the initial letters have been sent and the excitement has calmed down a little after our first letter I decided to help Peakles come up with some ideas on how to be a good Pen Pal Friend.
Write Little and Often
This is a start of a new relationship and like any relationship it needs nurturing. Instead of waiting for weeks and weeks and saving up all her news. I have suggested to Peakles that she tries to write at least once every month, even if she feels that she has very little to write about. It will be good writing practise for her and will help her establish a great writing routine too. It will also mean that the girls will start thinking of lots of other things to write about as well!
It’s Not All About Me!
Like any friendship, being a good pen pal friend is not all about you. Although the girls are still young and their writing skills are still developing, it is important for Peakles to share news and ideas with K. I have suggested that Peakles starts to ask some simple questions to find out what K’s favourite toy is or if she has any pets.
Also to be understanding of each other. Sometimes letters may get lost in the post or there may have been a genuine reason why a letter has not been sent back. Best thing to do is write another letter just asking how they are and how much you are looking forward to getting their next letter.
Check Before Sending
Peakles has to check with me before she sends things to her pen pal. This includes sweets, presents, photographs and other sorts of things that she may think K would find interesting! If there is something that Peakles would really like to send or receive, such as a photograph, I will check with K’s mum first.
With some support and encouragement from the grown-ups, the rest is really up to the girls now. I truly hope that Peakles and K can enjoy a long, happy writing friendship as pen pals.
The Pen Pal Blog Hop