If you thought the era of pen pals was dead, think again, they’re back with a vengeance. Here we’ll show you how to find the coolest pen pals for your kids to not only get them sneakily practicing those writing skills but also giving them the gift of learning about new people and new cultures.
Sit back and get ready to grab your kid a pen pal. If you really want to relive your youth, you can find one too, we don’t mind. Remember, no computers allowed, this is good old fashioned fun at its best.
Do you remember the joy of receiving a letter from a pen pal when you were a kid? Becoming friends with someone you’d never met or even spoken to was thrilling, and finding out about them added to the excitement of a new found friend. Sometimes, pen pals go on to be life-long friends all from a simple exchange of hand written letters.
So why should your kids have Pen Pals?
Well first and foremost it is an absolutely amazing way for your kids to connect and learn, build friendships in a different way which teaches them important social skills; think about their daily interactions, they’re all in person or quite possibly electronically, whether it’s email or over the phone, but these are people they know and the social cues are actually a bit different if you really think about it. How can you be a good friend by just writing a letter? Well you need to know how to be polite, show interest in other people to make the ‘relationship’ give and take, so it becomes a two-way street. It helps kids to build relationships at a whole different pace and level, and can really make them think about what they’re saying, how they’re interacting, it’s not just blurting out the mouth and off you go. Of course it will also teach your kids about different cultures which can open their eyes to the rest of the world and how other kids live, which is not only very cool, but important too. They can learn about how different people live, where they live, what they eat and even how they play. They could even learn a few foreign words too. This could really grab their imaginations and help them to try out new things. Who knows a pen pal could be the start of an amazing friendship.
Why use Good Old-Fashioned Snail Mail?
Well number one it rocks a child’s world when they receive mail that is handwritten and addressed to them. It makes them feel ever so important and grown-up of course.
The next reason; well it’s fun. Yep, plain and simple fun. You get a letter, you write one back, and off you go to the post office, post it and wait in anticipation for the next postal present to arrive. Who knows, maybe it has a picture in it? Oh wow the excitement is too much to bear.
So that’s the cool part, but another reason, writing is still incredibly important, and encouraging your child to get a pen pal, will help them to develop a love of writing, which will never die, even with electronics. This will certainly give them the motivation to put pen to paper. But remember it’s not just about writing; it will also help them to hone those reading skills too. So, we have an all-round winner!
How to Find a Pen Pal
It doesn’t actually have to be hard to find a pen pal and there are a couple of ways that you can do it quickly and easily and most importantly to ensure the safety of your child.
- Speak to friends and family. Often people you know will have friends or family in other countries, or other states that have kids of a similar age to yours. Ask them to check with the parents if it’s okay for them to make a connection. Safe and easy.
- Speak to your child’s school. Why not chat to the school and see if they can help to make those connections and make it a school project. The kids will love it. You could get some brownie points with the head teacher too!
- Speak to local clubs. If your child belongs to a scouts or girl guides group or even has extra lessons somewhere, often they have excellent connections and can help facilitate a pen pal drive.
- Speak to a local elderly home. This could be more local but can also teach your child valuable lessons about kindness and caring for other people. Perhaps they can write to elderly people in the area and sometimes go and visit them.
- Visit pen pal sites. There are whole websites dedicated to connecting pen pals. Just make sure they’re legitimate and safe. Keep a close eye on this. From the research we’ve done, it seems that International Pen Friends, Kid World Citizen and Amazing Kids are legitimate sites. But please play it safe and check everything.
- Become a Junior Detective for us. We’ve got some really cool junior detectives all over the world who are always up for fun and adventure. Why don’t you get your kids to apply to be a junior detective and then they can be in charge of recruiting pen pals. Easy and safe! You can then report all your findings back to us as to how the pen pal adventure is working out for you.
Your kids will have an absolute blast having a pen pal, and as we said, yes if you want to relive your youth you can get a pen pal too if you have to!
So get going and get your kids involved in an amazing pen pal drive! Ready, set, go!