Friday, January 13, 2012

* Letter Writing Center

When "C" and I went out to get the mail yesterday, 
she asked me why she never gets any mail. 
Well it just about broke my heart. 
Then I realized an easy way for her to get her own mail 
is if she starts sending some  of her own to grandparents, 
aunts and uncles, neighbor friends, and great grandmas! 

I remembered the wonderful letter writing center in Mariah Bruehl's book
and decided it was time to make our own (smaller) version.

We started with a basic lesson on how to properly address
an envelope. I glued an envelope to a piece of card stock
showing where to put a return address label, 
the address and name of the person you are sending the card or drawing to,
and where to put 1 stamp.  : )
I had to emphasize that stamps are not stickers and you only use ONE per envelope.

Then, I needed a way for "C" and "E" to have addresses 
for the people they would be mailing cards to. 
So, I printed small photos of all of our important people
and slipped each one in a baseball card collecting page protector.

Then, I made address labels for each person and stacked them 
in the proper pouch behind their photos.

I also made some key vocabulary word cheat sheets
for "C" since she's learning sight words and can copy names
and words if she has one to look at. 

I didn't have a super cute basket or bin to put the supplies in 
but then we received a care package from Grandma in Texas
and I just cut off the top flaps of the priority mail  box and put everything inside.
I even used the two long flaps as little dividers inside the box.

I included two boxes filled with blank cards, envelopes, writing utensils.

I also included school directories and a neighborhood directory
in case "E" wants to look up an address.

Blank cards. Some homemade and some are from our stationery stash.
The ones on top were made from "paintings" by my mom's cat on her iPad.

Blurry photo of envelopes, stamps, etc. in the other box.

"C" didn't let me finish stocking the box before she was "writing" 
her first card to grammy. 
There are three cards in today's outgoing mail. : )

As soon as "E" got home from school, she wrote a letter
to her best friend as well. I think this little letter writing box 
is going to be a fun new activity for the girls.

This is a fun activity for this time of year as practice 
for Valentine's Day!

This was a million years ago, look how little "C" was!

Wish we still had our homemade mail box, 
we may need to make another one for incoming and outgoing mail! 

Photo used with permission from Ikat Bag blog.

We're planning to make some of Ikat Bag blog's awesome 
homemade sticker card sets today after school!
Go here to get the full tutorial.

We will also be making a new batch of my

We're off to the post office to buy more stamps!

Pink and Green Mama 


Mariah said...

It turned out lovely! Don't you love it when they come home and use it right away?

pink and green mama MaryLea said...


Yes absolutely! It's all about making it available and appealing and they'll do the rest!!

Thank you for the inspiration! Can't wait to start your e-course next week.


LiEr said...

MaryLea, I LOVE your mail center!!! And It's not only a mail center, either. There's so much learning (disguised as fun- and isn't that the best learning?). I love the photo cards, the sample envelope, the copy words.... all such great ideas. Will definitely be using them for a Valentine's mail center for the girls, especially since both sets of grandparents are out of town (one lives in Singapore) and the other is in NC for the winter.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Lisa said...

I love this! It makes me want to sit down and write some letters!

Lisa said...

What a great idea! I love how you did the pictures, along with their addresses. My girls love sending & receiving mail so I will definitely be doing this!

Kim @ The Educators Spin On It said...

Just pinned this on our Writing Board. We just set up our mailbox yesterday. My daugther can't wait to create love letters to all of our family. I love how you have prewritten ideas too, teaching independance.

Rebekah said...

Lovely writing center! When my daughter was out of school this past summer, one of her favorite activities was playing post office. We need to get back into letter writing especially since we are long overdue for Christmas Thank You cards. I think we will end up combining Thank You and Valentines Day into one. ;)

jojoebi said...

looks great! love the bit about not using stamps as stickers!

Our Japanese gran doesn't 'get' it and will phone us to thank ebi-kun for a letter he has sent so if your relatives don't read your blog, give them the heads up. Ebi-kun loves getting letters and postcards. - who doesn't?

Heather @ Life, Gluten Free said...

I love this :) I bet everyone will be so glad to get letters from her too.

Paintings from a cat using an iPad?? That sounds awesome! From the picture, they look really neat.

Make It Happen Mama said...

Absolutely adorable! Also reminded me that I should be spending more time writing actual letters to my far-flung friends and relatives instead of always emailing/texting. Oooh, the shame of going digital! ;-)

Dawn Grobe said...

I have always done a letter writing unit in my second grade literacy. Certain stories lend themselves to friendly letters and one in particular is a good one for addresses. Each kid has to figure out what their home address is (most just need to learn the number) and then I teach them how to write it out. One of my secrets is an index card with lines slipped into an envelope. The final project is each kid has to write a letter to a classmate (random draw) and address the envelope, which I send. They love it!

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

@ Dawn -- You are such a good teacher! That sounds awesome. I remember the campus school doing a similar lesson in February and they would mail a valentine to their parents and come to the campus post office to hand cancel their stamped letters and send them on their way! : )


pink and green mama MaryLea said...

@ Make It Happen Mama -- one of my resolutions for this year was to start writing letters again so this is a good motivator for me as well as for the girls! : )


Jess- said...

This is great!! Love it!

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