An Introduction to Letter Writing for Kids
Are you thinking about introducing letter writing to your kids? Let me encourage you to take some time and incorporate it into your studies.
Being able to communicate in written form is something your kids will be able to use their entire lives. The misconception that letter writing is for handwritten snail mail only, is mistaken. Letter writing not only encompasses things like thank you notes, but also business letters, and email correspondence.
In our homeschool, we try to revisit this art of letter writing as frequently as we can. Thank you notes after birthdays, notes for neighbors, and simple emails are great opportunities to go over the basics.
Note: We also have a letter writing mini unit that gives a really good overview of letter writing for kids Kindergarten-3rd.
Benefits of Teaching Letter Writing for kids
In our digital age, people question whether letter writing is useful for students to learn. But as a teacher and a mom, I think learning how to write a letter is still very relevant and important for kids to learn.
Letter writing is so much more than writing to a pen pal access the ocean or sending a lengthy update to grandma a couple states away. It’s the basis for learning how to construct an email, a business letter, an invitation, or an important correspondence. Not only that, it helps to build essential skills in the area of language arts and communication.
Benefits of teaching letter writing for kids:
- Practices handwriting skills
- Encourages good manners
- Teaches good writing skills
- Improves spelling skills
- Teaches focus
- Keeps the mind sharp
- Builds good communication skills
- Boosts confidence
- Encourages thoughtfulness and intentionality
Can I Start Teaching Letter Writing for Kindergarten?
Kindergarten is a great time to introducing letter writing! At this age they are just beginning to read and write so this would be a great time to talk about the concept of writing letters, what types of letters there are, and how we will use letter writing skills throughout our lives.
A lot of times, kindergarteners are eager to write new words or leave notes for people around the house–encourage this! And if you get a teachable moment, give your child a new letter-writing vocabulary word to try like: to, from, dear, thank you, or hello.
Show your kindergarteners samples of letters and check out some picture books about letter writing and sending mail. So, make some time in your kindergarten schedule for learning letter writing. It doesn’t need to be complicated or writing intensive, just have fun!
Elements of Letter Writing for Kids
For introducing letter writing, here are some basic objectives you can strive for to give your kids a nice foundation in the art of letter writing (Kindergarten-4th).
- Identify the basic parts of a letter
- Learn some letter-writing vocabulary
- Explore the various types of letters
- Learn how to address an envelope
- Discover options for writing utensils and stationary
- Dive into the history of letter writing
- Read inspiring books about writing letters and sending mail
1. Learn the Parts of a Letter
When you begin to introducing letter writing, show some simple examples of letters, then talk about the basic parts of a good letter: date, greeting, body, closing, and signature.
To get more acquainted with the parts of a letter you can do a labeling activity, play a game, or simply try a rough draft that includes all the parts.
2. Learn Letter-writing Vocabulary
Letter-writing vocabulary words include the parts of a letter but also common greeting words (dear, Mr., Mrs., good morning, hello), well-mannered communication words (thank you, please) and closing words (sincerely, with regards, your friend).
Letter writing vocabulary can also include words like stationary, fountain pen, calligraphy, handwriting, or typing.
3. Learn about the different types of letters
Explore the various types of letters they will be writing throughout their life including friendly letters, thank you notes, post cards, invitations, business letters, and email correspondence.
Talk about the similarities and the differences, or how you might brainstorm ideas before you write one.
4. Learn how to address an envelope
Talk about properly addressing envelopes and the importance of neat handwriting so the post office and deliver it to the correct place.
Discuss stamps: where you can buy stamps, how much they cost, what purpose do they serve, where they are placed on the envelope.
5. Discover options for writing utensils and stationary
Teach kids that letter writing is not limited to a pencil and lined paper, but rather an opportunity to express their creativity.
Gets some stationary that catches their eye or write a letter using a feather quill pen. Type a letter out in an email, or explore the use of a calligraphy pen. The options for creative letter writing are limitless, so have fun with it!
6. Dive into the history of letter writing
Learn about the history of letter writing when written language was first formed by the Greeks. Explore the history of communication and or simple look up some fun historical letter-writing facts.
Read Bible verses about writing letters, or mail sent during the Civil War. The possibilities are endless!
My suggestion, would be to go explore letter writing in the same period of history as you are currently studying with your kids.
7. Read inspiring books about writing letters and sending mail
There are lots of great picture books that teach letter writing to kids. Go to the library and pick up a stack of them! Sometimes books can teach kids in ways we never could.
Not only are there great picture books about letter writing, but you could find some chapter books to read aloud as well. (Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary is an example of a nice one to start with.)
How do I teach my child to write letters?
In short, practice! Give your kids opportunities to write their friends and family members and have fun with it! Practice thank you notes for people who have given them gifts, friendly notes to a friend, a postcard from vacation, or an email to a politician.
Play around with different writing utensils or making your own stationary. If kids see letter writing as an enjoyable experience and a way to express themselves emotionally and creatively they are far more likely to willingly learn more.
How to write a friendly letter for kids
A friendly letter is a great place for kids to start when it comes to learning to writing letters. First, have your kids decide which friend they would like to write.
Then, have them brainstorm some points of conversations. Things like: What is the weather like? What have you done or learned recently? Is there a way to encourage this friend? Is there a story or memory you want to share?)
To begin the letter, start by having them put the date at the top right hand corner.
Next, have your kids begin their letter with a greeting along with the friend’s name followed by a comma (eg. Dear Jane,).
Then, they write the body of the letter using the ideas they did during the brainstorm. When the body is completed, have them finish the letter by using a closing, a comma, and their signature (eg. Sincerely, Sam).
Friendly Letter example for kids
Find some friendly letter examples for kids to show your students. Keep in mind, the level your kids are at when selecting the samples. (Try friendly letter examples at are close to your kid’s abilities.)
Here is a friendly letter example for kids (kindergarten-3rd).
Friendly letter example:
May 8, 2023
I am hosting a book party at my house this weekend. Bring your favorite books and we will talk about them. There will be fun games and strawberry cupcakes. I hope you can come!
Printable Letter Writing for Kids Mini Unit
I’ve got a printable letter writing mini unit in my Etsy shop if you want to use it with your kids. It is designed for kindergarten through 4th grade.
This printable letter writing mini unit includes:
- Parts of a letter
- Labeling parts of a letter
- Addressing an envelope
- Address practice
- Letter parts vocabulary
- Handwriting (PRINT & CURSIVE)
- Friendly letter brainstorm
- Thank you note brainstorm
- creative writing utensils and letter writing posters
- Preschool letter pages
- Blank stationary templates
- Parts of a postcard
- writing a postcard
- AND MORE!
What are your favorite ways to teach letter writing for kids?
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