When was the last time you got mail? Isn’t it a great feeling to know someone was thinking of you? Today, your mission is to spread joy through letter writing and sending! We created activities that all have a letter-writing theme. These activities include things that will help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving and engineering skills, and can help them engage in cooperative play, while fostering creativity and perseverance. Each theme also comes with recommended literature and movie connections. Feel free to throw in your own activities that might relate, and don’t forget to post your results to social media and tag @discoverymuse to share with everyone else!
Art Activity/Fine Motor Activity – Letter Writing 101
For this activity, you’ll need to collect some paper, envelopes, writing utensils, and stamps. You will also need the addresses of your friends and family.
- Choose which people you will be sending mail to, and then make sure you have their address. If you don’t, make sure you contact them to find out their address.
- Create a letter or draw a picture to send to them. You can even do both!
- Make sure you sign your name to the end of the letter so they know who it came from.
- When your letter is finished, place it in an envelope and seal it with water, tape or stickers.
- Add your recipient’s address to the front of the envelope, right in the middle.
- Place your address in the top left corner.
- Stick a stamp to the top right corner.
- Decorate the envelope, but make sure the addresses and stamp are visible.
- Leave your mail for the postal delivery to pick up, or drive to your nearest drop off location (you know, those blue mailboxes?) and pop your letters into the box!
- If you don’t have family or friends to send mail to, or you have extra mail you’d like to send, why not consider sending mail to a senior living facility?
Science Experiment – Secret Messages
How could we think about letters, without mentioning secret correspondence?!
Spies, sleuths and chemistry fans will enjoy this experiment. You will need the following supplies: milk or lemon juice for “ink,” white paper, a q-tip or paintbrush, and a heat source (light bulbs work well, or over the toaster).
- Pour your “ink” into a shallow dish.
- Use a q-tip or paintbrush to write a secret message on the paper.
- Allow message ample time to dry.
- Write additional things on the paper, to cover any visible trace of you secret message.
- To reveal your secret message, hold paper over a heat source. The heat should cause the liquid to brown (it reaches a burning point before the paper does) and reveals your message!
Physical Activity – Messages of Hope
Get some of those wiggles out while learning a little about kindness and letter writing.
- Grab some sidewalk chalk and set off around your neighborhood on a little love-note-leaving adventure!
- Write messages of hope on the sidewalk as you travel.
- Draw pictures of things that make you happy. Include things like hopscotch boards or other jumping activities (practice your ABCs or counting by labeling the jumping spaces).
- Leave special messages for your friends or family along the way.
- Be sure to wave at any neighbors you see!
Conversation Starters and Research Questions
- When did the United States Postal Service start?
- Where was the first post office?
- How did early postal delivery people get around? what were uniforms like? what did stamps look like?
- Do you know your address?
- Does your family remember any of their old addresses?
Videos and Websites
- Facts about the post office: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/
- Unusual mail facts: https://www.rd.com/culture/us-postal-service-facts/
- Stamp facts for kids: https://kids.kiddle.co/Postage_stamp
- How stamps get designed: https://youtu.be/eKh3lq6SV84
Because we know you’re stuck at home with limited access to movies and books, we tried to compile a list that connects to today’s theme that you might already have in your collection or be able to access online. These include:
- The Jolly Postman Or Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
- Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin
- Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James
- Dear Dinosaur by Chae Strathie
- A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats
- Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings
- Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin by Duncan Tonatiuh
Consider making a mini playlist with some songs about letters. Add these classics:
- Return to Sender by Elvis
- I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter by Fats Waller
- Please Mr. Postman by The Marvelettes
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) by Stevie Wonder
- Take a Letter, Maria by R.B. Greaves
- The Letter by The Boxtops