Pen pals are a fun way for kids to practice writing skills. My kids have had a couple over the years and it is something they always enjoyed. It’s something I enjoyed as a kid, too. I remember one in particular that I traded a few letters with that lived in Spain.
How to Find a Pen Pal
You can find a pen pal a few different ways:
- Extended family in a different state…or not. Who says a pen pal has to be far away? A family member who is willing to write could be a great pen pal.
- Try a website like Pen Pals for Kids or PenPal World.
- Facebook. I’ve said it before, Facebook is a great tool. There are a couple groups that you could try: Homeschool penpals/postcard exchange/geo-cac/book exchange/activity bagswap and Twodaloo Snail Mail Group.
- Ask your friends and family if they know of someone in the right age range.
What to Write About
Depending on your comfort level, the sky is the limit. As a parent, I would caution children to not divulge TOO much information, particulars of regular habits like shopping at such and such every Tuesday or a special event before it happens. Writing about events afterwards allows you a chance to give more details without risking your safety.
Ask questions and then answer them yourself. “What do you like to do for fun? I like to read and ride my bike.”
Tell about something special that happened recently. Maybe you attended a wedding or someone you know had a baby that you got to visit.
Talk about the general area in which you live. Maybe there is a famous landmark near you that you have visited.
Ways to Make Pen Pal Writing Even More Fun
Write in Code
Create a key for your secret code and mail it separately. Then write each other in your very own secret spy code! You will need to assign a code mark for each letter of the alphabet, like A=5, B=9, C=22 or something.
Take Turns Writing a Story
Write the opening paragraph to a story and send it to your pen pal. Have them write the next paragraph and send it back to you. Keep adding to it until you feel it is finished.
Mail Something Unusual
You don’t have to send a letter in an envelope every time. Here are a few things you can mail through the postal service:
Get Creative With Your Envelopes
A Couple More Resources
I came across a couple other resources while writing this post that I thought I would pass along, too.