Postcards for Kids | Still Playing School

Postcards for Kids

Writing postcards is a motivating and fun way to add literacy to your vacation! Here are our best tips for inviting children to write postcards.

Writing postcards is perfect summer literacy practice for kids!

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Our preschool daughter loves writing almost more than any other activity. I attribute this to the fact that we have always shown her that the printed word is meaningful, allowed her access to explore writing for herself, and provided her unlimited access to the tools she needed to write

Whether you have a motivated or a reluctant writer, postcards highlight an exciting time while showing kids that writing is purposeful. Here are our best teacher tips for writing postcards with kids:

1. Make a list of who you will mail postcards to in advance.
(Gather addresses as needed.)

As we anticipated and packed for our annual beach vacation, we wrote a list together (Yay for more writing!) of all the family and friends to whom she would like to send a postcard.  Ideas might include family, friends, neighbors, and teachers. (Send the card to the school's address and I promise the teacher will be thrilled to receive this meaningful writing gift!)  Acquire any addresses you need before you leave and tuck them away in your luggage. Older children can help gather and record addresses.

2. Buy stamps and print labels.

Once we had a number in mind we made a trip to the post office for postcard stamps. Our daughter loves our post office so visiting the one at home that is familiar to her as a way to gear up for this writing activity added to the excitement!

Addressing postcards in the small amount of space provided can be difficult for children. All kids love stickers so if you have time you can print pre-addressed labels for your postcard recipients.

3. Let your child pick out the postcards.

While on vacation we went to a souvenir shop to pick out her postcards. She remembered how many we needed, picked them out herself, counted to make sure she had the right amount, and paid for them at the check out. Her participation teaches life skills but also adds to her motivation for writing!

Even if you aren't on vacation, postcard books make it fun to send this quick mail any time of year and from all locations! 

4. Adapt the writing as needed.

Our daughter would have happily written the whole postcard note herself but I anticipated that she may get frustrated with making it all fit in the small space available. As a compromise she wrote the recipient's name and signed her own. I wrote what she dictated to me and addressed the postcards. Older children may write the entire postcard independently.

It was fulfilling to see what she said to each person in her note. She highlighted parts of our trip so I learned what had been important to her. I saw our vacation through her eyes in her writing. I melted when she wrote polite little pleasantries such as, "I hope you are having a great day, too!"

5. Send the fun mail!Our daughter put the stamps on herself. She loved this task and removing the stamps from the paper to stick them to the postcards was excellent fine motor work.

You can mail the postcards while on vacation or wait until you get home. If you're traveling, you can use this website with your child to find the nearest mailbox. Explore the area together as you go mail your postcards!

Do your children enjoy writing postcards on vacation?  Will you try it this year as you travel?

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  1. Great and meaningful tips! Gonna share this!

  2. Such an authentic writing invitation. I love it.