Start Connecting Again (and have something for your kids to do while they're driving you nuts at
Literally, it's been one day of practicing social distancing.
We've been reading, we've been playing games, we've been doing all the walks, we've been cooking and cleaning.
And it's 10:30.
Seriously. It's tough to be sequestered. One of my kids has assignment to complete each day via online Flexible Instruction. My other child has nothing. (They are in different schools - one private, one public). So no only are we missing being with friends and connecting, we're struggling each day to find activities that are meaningful, stimulating, and involve more than just planting ourselves in front of a screen and zoning out.
Enter the lost art of lettering writing.
Listen carefully, friends, I'm not talking about sending a text or e-mail. I'm talking about literally hand-writing a note, sticking it in an envelope, putting a stamp on it, and sending it through snail mail.
So ancient, I know. Please keep your snorting laughter to yourself.
But think about it. What is more exciting to get (especially when you're not allowed to leave your house) than some fun mail? Mail when it's not your birthday. Mail when it's not an Amazon package (although those are loads of fun too). Mail when it's not junk, not an advertisement, when it's not a bill.
There is something about a hand-written letter that feels so personal. It didn't travel across the airwaves to some receiver on your computer or phone. It was held by another person. It was crafted instead of drafted. It is tangible, beautiful, concrete.
Today, as an "assignment," I had my daughter sit down and write two notes to friends. We happened to have cards, but if you don't a plain piece of paper is fine (or get ultra fancy, take some time, and have your kids make their own out of construction paper). The letter doesn't have to be long. It doesn't have to be intense. I personally think it should include the directive "Please write back," but that's just me.
One important part of this, is make sure the letter gets to its intended person. Mail it. If you don't have stamps, write a letter to someone that can be hand-delivered - a neighbor, a civil servant (our fearless postal carriers!), a community helper (EMTs, fire fighters, police). Heck, if you play your cards right, you could turn this activity into an all-day event - creating, writing, and delivering letters!
Like I said, I had my daughter do this today, and I'd love to say this was a super meaningful activity. The truth is, it probably took her about 20 minutes. However, it was a great opportunity to teach her now to properly address an envelope (I was actually surprised she was unsure how to do this) and talk about how to create a letter that feels personal and interesting.
Looking for a little guidance in writing a note? Check out this resource at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. It's completely free and offers suggests as well as a template to help kids construct a note that is meaningful and thoughtful. Take that, social distancing.