As parents, we want to support our children and their academic success. Reading and writing are two vital areas of focus for young children. Studies show [original source]:
The number of words in a child's vocabulary can be an important indicator of later academic success.
Still, we want time at home to be enjoyable and relaxing for our little ones. Letter writing is a great way to play with the vocabulary building blocks your child has received at school. A family mailbox is a unique way to make writing, spelling and reading an activity your child enjoys on a regular basis. The project is as easy as 1-2-3 and can literally be started with supplies from around the house.
1. Create or Customize Your Family Mailbox
Our girls were thrilled to customize their My Own Mailbox Classic Toy from Melissa & Doug. Your mailbox can also be as simple as a decorated shoebox or as cool and complex as this awesome DIY Post Office Box tutorial from Tori Spelling. That's right, Tori Spelling.
2. Write Letters
Let the writing commence! Our wood mailbox came with reusable postcards, a ruled letter, plastic envelope and wipe-clean crayons. Rose loved being able to wipe away spelling errors.
We also used regular note cards to write longer messages. Quinn quickly got frustrated with the thickness of the wipe-clean crayons. She switched to a pencil and regular sheet of paper. In an effort to recycle, we also created these super easy mini-books from one piece of paper to share.
There are no rules. Let your children decorate their letters with drawings and encourage them to write notes to their pets. In other words, let them play. Keep the activity fun and lighthearted to ensure it is something you can do together as a family on a regular basis.
3. Find a Designated Spot
Find a fairly prominent place in the house to place your mailbox. You want it to be somewhere you'll pass often to keep it top of mind. We have ours station at the top of the staircase leading into the house.
Each morning the girls see the mailbox and are excited to write new notes. Each evening, when Shad comes home from work, he smiles when the little red flag is up signaling "you've got mail." Before Shad and I go to bed we take a few minutes to reply to their notes. Here is an Instagram of a recent note written during the week of Thanksgiving.
We will see how long this back-and-forth cycle holds with time! I know your family will enjoy this interactive idea as much as we do. If you create your own mailbox I'd love to see it, be sure to tag me if you share the image on Facebook.
Keep on writing,
Let's Lasso the Moon is proud to be part of the Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador program. We worked hard alongside Melissa & Doug to explore fun ways to keep children inquisitive and to promote classic creative play. Click here to read our full sponsorship disclosure.