Pen Pals- Let's bring them back!
Remember the anticipation of receiving a letter in the mail before the world was digital? There is just something special about opening a letter, seeing the person's handwriting and reading their words. Nothing can ever replace that.
Children today are surrounded by technology and screens. While these devices have a useful place in our lives, there are so many benefits to having a pen pal.
Promotes Reading and Writing Skills
Writing and receiving handwritten pen pal letters practices both reading and writing skills. When tweens use email and text messaging, they tend to rely heavily on shorthand language called 'textese' (such as LOL, 2moro, THX), fail to capitalize and punctuate properly, and write in phrases instead of full sentences. Sitting down with pen to paper can help exercise the skill of writing full words, sentences, etc. AND-it's much more fun to practice writing while writing to a friend than writing an essay for the teacher!
Encouraging the skill of delayed gratification is so important as children move into the tween years. Text messaging and IMs work against the ability to delay gratification - there is barely any wait for a response. In contrast, letters from a pen pal can be spaced out by days or weeks. By having a pen pal, tweens can experience the joy of anticipation and the potentially more satisfying reward of getting something after a wait.
Supports Development of Social Skills
Social skills are being developed during the tween years. Having a pen pal promotes many key skills, including reciprocation- a letter filled with all "me" and no questions does not make for a good pen pal relationship! Empathy and mutual concern are also nurtured through a pen pal relationship. A pen pal with a peer can help identify common bonds, a key element of true friendship.
A pen pal relationship can be a great way for your tween to foster meaningful friendships beyond the screen. Our pen pal kit includes everything they need to get started.