With Christmas coming up and the possibility of travelling far and wide to see family up in the air, it’s never been more important to teach your child to write a letter.
From ‘thank you’ notes to traditional letters, putting pen to paper feels more and more like a thing of the past. But there will certainly come a time in your child’s life when they will need to write a letter, so it makes sense to arm them with the skill as soon as possible.
Here are our top tips.
- The 5 W’s: Remembering the classic ‘who, what, when, where, why’ when teaching your child letter writing will help them determine what, and how, to write. In particular, ask your child to consider their audience (the ‘who’) – how they write to Grandma will be very different to how they write to a classmate – and the purpose of their letter (the ‘why’).
- Remember the essentials: Five things that must always be included in a letter, from the top of the page to the bottom, are the date, a greeting, the body of the letter, a closing and their name or signature.
- What to write: A good letter will typically be written in chronological order, detailing what has happened or what has led to the letter being written. This might mean a detailed account of your child’s birthday or Christmas celebration, for example!
- Punctuation: Letter writing is a great time to teach your child proper punctuation (and perhaps brush up on your own!). Having them put a comma after the greeting and closing, properly use parentheses, question marks and other punctuation marks and distinguish between different words (think ‘your’ and ‘you’re,’ ‘to,’ ‘too’ and ‘two,’ etc.) will help sharpen their literacy skills.
- Practice, practice, practice: Now that your child has grasped the basics of writing a letter, they’ll need to put their knowledge into practice. Have them write letters to their classmates, friends, teachers, relatives… anyone! Perhaps a letter to Santa is the perfect place to start?