Setting Up a Letter Writing Station for Kids: Mailbox Monday!

letters inside a mailbox

Letter writing is such a great skill for kids to learn! Not only does it encourage strengthening bonds between friends and family members, but there are educational benefits writing letters, too.

Today, I’m sharing how we set up our letter writing station, how we’ve incorporated it into our homeschool days, and a number of reasons why you should consider doing the same!

Why Set up a Letter Writing Station?

Do you remember getting letters addressed you you when you were little? Sure, we get plenty now that we’re adults and paying bills, (ew) but it was way different when we were kids! I remember getting so excited seeing my name in the mailbox. Whether it was a birthday card, a letter from a pen pal, or junk mail (yep, even got that as a kid), it was exciting!

That, ladies & gentlemen, is why you should set up a letter writing station for the kids! There are so many educational benefits of letter writing for kids as well, but, heck…I set mine up with the main goal of allowing my kids to experience the excitement of sending and receiving some good old-fashioned snail mail.

Yes, we can & do send emails. No, emails aren’t necessarily as exciting to send & receive as actual physical envelopes with hand-written greetings. Come on now.

It’s so easy to set up a letter writing station for the kids, you’re going to wish you had set one up long ago!

Contents of the Letter Writing Kit

Homeschooling can be expensive! I am all for creating resources & activities that won’t break the budget (hence my many free printables for you guys!). A quality education shouldn’t make you go broke, you know?

The contents of the letter writing station are simple for a few reasons:

  • to save homeschoolers some money: spend that money on groceries, your mortgage, or some educational travel
  • a letter writing kit is not something that needs to be complicated: keep it simple!! The more complicated you make the kit, the more overwhelming it could be for the kids
photo of a letter writing station from That Homeschool Family

Since we do most of our homeschooling in the family room and dining room, our letter writing kit “lives” on the fireplace hearth in our family room. We call our letter writing time “Mailbox Monday” because I try to get the kids to write their letters on…Monday. It helps to keep them consistently writing and I’m all about including fun alliteration into our lives whenever possible.

Of course, feel free to call your letter writing station & time whatever your heart desires!

What’s inside the basket?

  • a few writing utensils
  • white envelopes
  • lined paper: make it fun with my free, printable lined paper! The summer lined paper is super cute to use for June, July, & August!
  • stamps: likely the most expensive part of the kit…why’s it cost so much to send a letter?!
  • seasonal stickers: totally optional, but the kids like to decorate their letters with the stickers. The former teacher in me is happy to scoop up a few packs from our local dollar store from time to time.

Once you’ve got the kit set up, all that’s left is to get the kids to start writing letters!

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Encouraging Letter Writing for Kids

Now that you’ve got the letter writing station set up, who are the kids going to write letters to?

Send a Letter to Family Members

Whether they live around the block or across an ocean, the kids could totally write letters to family members! Before writing letters to a family member, though, I would just confirm that your family is willing to respond to the letters. Part of the letter writing experience is receiving a response in the mail and having a letter go unanswered would likely discourage the kids from writing more.

When writing a letter for a family member, a letter could cover topics like:

  • recent accomplishments: share experience of a recent achievement like winning a sports or board game, learning a new skill, or doing well on an assignment
  • favorite activities: share insight on favorite activities & hobbies and ask their family member about their favorite activities
  • family traditions: write about a family tradition and why it’s so special to them, such as holiday celebrations or weekend rituals (Saturday morning pancakes, anyone?)
  • educational experiences: share about a recent field trip, science experiment, or homeschool co-op get together!
  • upcoming plans: share upcoming plans for travel, community events, or a new curriculum or class they’re excited to start
  • recent adventures: share a recent adventure of visiting the zoo, aquarium, hanging out with friends, etc.
  • asking for advice: ask for help with something their curious about or even advice for growing up!
  • favorite books or movies: share a favorite book they read (maybe they’re earning a free pizza?) or a movie they watched
  • special memories: recall a special memory spent together such as a holiday, birthday celebration, or a fun day spent together
  • pets & animals: talk about puts or favorite animals, share funny stories & interesting facts
  • hobbies and interests: ask questions about starting a new hobby or share experiences about a favorite hobby or interest
  • personal goals: share dreams & goals for the future, career thoughts for the future, or skills they want to learn
  • holidays: share excitement about upcoming or recently celebrated holidays
  • weather & seasons: share details about the current weather and how they feel about it
  • creative writing: create a short story, haiku, or such they’ve recently written and ask for feedback

Many of the previous suggestions could also be used for writing letters to friends!

putting a letter inside a mailbox
Instead of putting the letter in your home mailbox for pickup, consider taking a walk or drive to a mailbox in town! It could end up in an adventure!

Send a Letter to a Friend

Just as with writing to a family member, the kids could write to friends near and far! Confirm participation beforehand to avoid disappointment and let the kids write to their heart’s content!

Don’t have any friends interested in exchanging letters? Check your local & global homeschooling groups! I always see requests for pen pals in those groups, but there are typically more requests towards the traditional beginning of the school year (July – September).

When I was in 4th grade, my New Jersey school partnered with a school in California to pair students up as pen pals. My pen pal and I ended up writing for a few years! Oddly enough, I still remember her entire address, but likely couldn’t tell you what I ate for dinner two nights ago. Go figure.

Abby from Anaheim – if you happen to be reading this…”hi!”

Send a Letter to a Person of Interest

Do the kids have any favorite musicians? Artists? Actors? Encourage them to use internet search engines to find an address for fan mail. Then, write a letter and send it!

I’ve grown up listening to the music of The Beatles and, while in school, would always select The Beatles as a project topic when I could. They were my favorite band then and will always be my favorite. I even chose my kids names with them in mind.

When I was in 8th grade, I wrote to Yoko Ono asking her to share any fond memories of her time spent with John Lennon.

Wouldn’t you know?! A few week later, I received a hand addressed (I legit screamed) envelope addressed to me, from Yoko, in the mailbox. Inside was an autographed postcard with a photo of John and Yoko at their Bed In for Peace. It was signed “To Elizabeth, Love Yoko. NYC ’98.”

If that’s not proof that it can be worth it to send a letter to a person of interest, I don’t know what is!

City of Liverpool Penny Lane street sign
My husband and I got to visit London & Liverpool in 2010 – it was a dream come true for me! I’m hoping to take the boys back one day, too!

Send a Letter to a Person in Power

Are you raising little activists? Teaching the kids to fight for their right (to partayyyyyyy)? You could totally encourage them to write to politicians or such! They could share their viewpoints on topics, make suggestions for change, and more!

You never know! Sending a quick letter could result in your child quite literally changing the world!

photo of the white house
Send a letter to the President and let them know what you think of their policies!

Letter Writing Station Success!

It may take some time to set up the letter writing kit and get the kids in the routine of writing regularly (try the “Mailbox Monday” idea!), but I’m pretty confident that the kids will end up enjoying it and learning a ton!

They’ll be making memories and learning without even knowing it!

What about you? Did you have any pen pals growing up? Did you write any letters to “important” people? Did you ever get fun or exciting letters in the mail? Leave a comment!

Until next time, stay safe and enjoy quality time with your family,

- Elizabeth (and the kids. and the husband. even the dog.)

Elizabeth Dukart is a proud Georgia-based born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.

Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She can also be found in her Facebook Group: That Homeschool Family Hangout.

When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!

Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!

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