It’s never too early to teach your kids the importance of thanking people appropriately. But teaching kids to say thank you is more than just proper etiquette…it helps kids pause for a moment, after the flurry of wrapping paper, and acknowledge that the gift did not just appear…that someone picked it out just for them…that someone wanted them to have something special. And that “someone” would love to hear that they loved their gift.
It may be easier to just say “thank you” or to type a quick text, but sending a hand written thank you note makes a big impact and allows the gift-giver to hear first-hand what a child likes about their gift. And the benefits don’t stop there. Kids feel accomplished and learn to express their appreciation. (And let’s point out that you are guaranteed to get parenting bonus points when your kids write thank you notes.)
Our kids have been “writing” thank you notes since Pre-K. Initially it sounds like a chore, but here are some tips and tricks to make writing thank you notes fun (most of these work for grown-up note writers too, so don’t be afraid to try them out).
- Make a list with your child of the gifts for which they need to thank someone.
- Check them off as you complete them…it’s fun and it makes kids feel that they have accomplished something.
- Don’t try to do too many notes at a time…one or two at sitting is probably all that you should attempt.
- Encourage picture drawing.
- Use fun stationary fun. (check out our adorable bunny thank you notes here)
- Let kids help you address the envelope by putting on the stamp, return address label and sealing the envelope…don’t forget to use stickers; lots and lots of stickers!
Set your expectation to your child’s ability. The spelling doesn’t have to be perfect and the message can be simple. Here are some suggestions for some of the youngest note writers:
Even if your little one can’t write, they can still be involved in sending a thank you.
- Explain to them what a thank you note is and that it makes the person who gave them a gift feel really happy.
- Ask your child what they like about the gift and literally write it down within quotation marks in a card.
- Have your little one sign their name or draw a picture.
Kids in school are capable of writing thank you notes, but they don’t need to be complicated or complex.
- A couple short sentences go a long way in making a gift-giver smile.
- Create a template for your child to follow or copy (and plan to sit next to them and help them)
Thank you for the _________________. I really like _________________.
Thank you for the teddy bear. I really like how soft it is.
There are suggested time lines on sending thank you notes, but don’t get so caught up with timelines that you end up not sending anything at all.
Thank you for reading!