Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Making Kid Thank Yous Fun!

I've hit on a fun trick for making thank you notes a more playful, positive experience.  Clearly, this is one of those learned skills that takes time.  The infant isn't doing much... maybe a hand print for something special, but it's mostly a parent job to express gratitude. The toddler can participate a little more with some basic drawings, but there aren't many words yet.   I loved to include pictures of them playing with the given toy or experience.  The preschooler can often start writing their name at the bottom of a card and help with the content by sharing what they like about a particular gift.  This has bridged into my current thank you note practice which is lots of fun for both of us.

So, my son gets a gift and plays with it.  The following Saturday morning, we gather at the kitchen counter to catch up on any writing tasks (thank yous, letters, school work).  If we've received a gift, I bring out the construction paper.

1. He picks the color.
2. I fold it into a half twice for a card 1/4 size of the paper.
3. I draw a big box on the front with a line under it
4. I draw two lines with a dotted line in the center across the bottom inside of the card
5. He draws a picture in the box and labels it (at this point, he's bursting to tell me all about his picture).
6. He writes his name inside the card.
7. I get the pen and take dictation, "Dear x" and then it's up to him.  I write down some rather amusing sentences!  He knows the format is to thank them for the gift and then to say at least one thing he likes about it.
8. Then he says, "I drew this picture just for you" and proceeds to fill the rest of the card with an elaborate description of his fanciful machines that wash 100 loads of laundry at a time or float / dive the ocean or allow the card holder to travel super, super fast.  I often have to stop him so that I can catch up with writing all the words down!

Last weekend's entry included:
I drew this picture of a copee just for you, and you can share it with your friends.  A copee is very useful.  It can fly backwards, frontwards, sidways, diagonal (in all directions of diagonal- left, right, and everything).  It has no engine, but it can travel 18 miles even though it has no engine.  It's a burning glider which makes it go extra fast, so fast that it can catch up to a jet airplane.  But, it can go much faster than a horse.

Every card is unique.  Every card is personalized and brings a smile.  It starts making the thank you process into a solid, life-time habit and it makes it fun!  I certainly don't always stumble on such playful, easily-successful ways of working habits in (when will he be happy to brush his teeth?!?!?), but this one has been a delightful winner for us!

1 comment:

  1. I'm making a note for myself that this has started a fascinating thread on the OGrownups List under the title "Thank You Notes":