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Word play - Print and text
Writing a letter or card  Like this activity  
30 - 45 mins activity Suitable for Birth - 5 years

Location Indoor

Writing a card or letter is an interesting activity for children.

First think about who the letter is for and what you want to say. Is it for a birthday, is it a get well card or a postcard while you are on holiday? It could even be a letter to the child themselves. Your child can draw or write the letter. Or if your child is younger, ask them what they want you to write for them.  As they get older they can copy some words that you write for them on the letter.

Materials you will need

  • Crayons
  • Paper
  • Envelopes
  • Pencils
  • Textas
  • Stamps
  • Card

Alternative tools

  • Cardboard
  • Pictures

Why does this matter?

Children learn that we can communicate through writing and drawing. Children learn that letters make up words and words make up sentences that tell a story. They learn that there are conventions in writing.

What does this lead to?

Children gain an understanding of different ways and purposes of communicating and that writing conveys meaning. By writing a letter children will learn that words can be written and through writing you are communicating a message to another person.

Language and Questions to use

  • Letter, word, sentence
  • Envelope, stamp
  • Writing, drawing
  • Post, postie, letterbox, post office box, delivery
  • Postcode, address
  • Copying, communicating
  • Would you like to write a letter to Granny?
  • How do we put the address on the envelope?
  • What will we put in the letter / card?

Useful Tips

  1. When writing words for children to copy use lowercase or small letters.
  2. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.
  3. Encourage your child to write in your home language.

More ideas

  1. It would be great if Granny writes back to your child. Maybe you could ask her to do that.
  2. If you post a letter to yourself you can wait and see how long it takes to be delivered. As you wait, mark off the days on the calendar.
  3. Your child could make a book about their week, their favourite things, or their family. This is a bigger project and can be sent to significant people.

Variation by age

Birth to two year olds

  • Children of all ages like to scribble on paper and this will lead to writing. Let your child scribble on a letter that you write to a friend or family member as a way of involving them.
  • Cut out some pictures and use cardboard to make a card that your child can scribble inside and send to family or friends.

Questions to use

  • What are you writing?
  • Who are you writing to?

Three to five year olds

  • Ask your child what they want to write and help them with the letters. Maybe you could write the letters in pencil so that they can trace over them.
  • Cut out some pictures and use cardboard to make a card that they can write inside and send to family or friends.
  • Talk about addresses and how they work. Show your child your house number and your street sign.
  • Talk about what stamps are and why we need them. Look at the mail that arrives at your house. Some have stamps and some have other marks. Maybe you could start a stamp collection.

Questions to use

  • What are you writing?
  • Who are you writing to?
  • How many days will it take for the letter to arrive?
  • Can you see any letters from your name in the words?
  • Are there letters in the words that are the same?
  • What is our address?
  • Will we need a stamp?
  • Do you buy stamps from the post office or the shop?
  • Where will we post the letter?

Writing a letter or card

Skills this activity improves

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