Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is good for the soul. But I admit my children have never written a thank-you note. I know, I know (Diana’s article on Making Handwritten Notes a Priority is shaking it’s head at me.)
In my defense I did not enjoy writing thank-you notes as a child and I wanted my children to choose to write a note on their own accord rather than writing thanks out of a sense of obligation. Apparently, my children have not caught to my altruistic philosophy.
So, this year I have decided it is time to teach my children the art of writing a thank-you note. When teaching kids a new skill I think it wise to develop a battle plan, that way when the whining and complaining starts, you have reinforcements. Here is my plan of attack….
HOW TO MAKE WRITING THANK YOU NOTES EASY!
1. Mark Your Calendar:
Plan a time when you can sit down and write thank-you notes as a family. Depending on the age of your children this can be anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. A child’s card-writing attention span varies. But a good gauge is your child’s age. If your child is four they will have the attention span for about four cards.
2. Make a Thank You Note Box:
Organization makes everything run a little smoother. So, fill a box with the following essentials to encourage your family’s thank-you note mojo…
Commonly Used Addresses (friends & family)
3. Keep it Simple:
Here is an idea of what you can expect at each stage of learning.
2-6 years: Children at this age can draw pictures and “sign” their names on cards. At the bottom of the card you can write, “This is a thank you card from (child’s name).
7-10 years: With this age group stick to the three-sentence rule.
1.Thank you for….
2. I liked it because….
3. I am glad you came to celebrate my….
11 years and up: The three-sentence rule applies to this age group as well. This age group can focus on personalizing thank you notes by writing the three sentences to fit their personality as well as the unique characteristics of the reader. Remember to watch the length.
Three to five sentences are all that is needed for a well-rounded thank-you. It doesn’t need to be long to be sincere.
4. Have fun with this!:
Talk about how excited people will be to receive these notes in the mail. Discuss how nice it was for them to give them a gift. Think of other times to send out note cards. Something for their birthday perhaps? Or the next closest holiday?
5 FREE PRINTABLE THANK YOU NOTES FOR KIDS
Don’t want to spend money on thank you notes? Or looking for something quick?
There are some fun free printable thank you notes floating around Pinterest. Here are a few of our favorites. You’ll see that they offer different levels of writing involvement depending on the age of your child.
I also like that many of them leave room for coloring and decoration, too. It is definitely fun for your child to be able to personalize them. And most likely they feel more comfortable coloring than writing (at least my kids do!).
1. Free Printable Thank You Notes for kids to color from Sunny Day Family:
2. Free Printable Mad Lib Thank You Notes from Petite Lemon:
3. Free Printable Picture Thank You Notes from MunchkinsAndMillitary.com:
4. Free Fill in the Blank Thank You Note Printables from ItsAlwaysAutumn.com:
5. Free Printable Thank You Notes for Kids from FunHappyHome.com:
I KNOW I SAID THIS BEFORE…
But have fun and your kids will look forward to this task! You may even want to write out a few thank you notes of your own while you are helping them.
Turning my heart towards gratitude and well wishes for others always helps to brighten my day.
If you have any thank-you note suggestions, please share!