Getting your kids writing a letter to Santa is an opportunity not only for festive fun but also a chance to have them learn some lessons on letter writing and more. Here are seven ways your little ones can learn from writing a letter to Father Christmas!
1. Plan ahead of time
Start talking to your child about writing a letter to Father Christmas ahead of Christmas. That way you have time to enjoy every step of the way. Plus, teaching children not to procrastinate until Christmas Eve supports good organisational skills. And Father Christmas (ahem) needs time to get the presents on the list.
2. Have a practice
Before your little one creates the actual letter encourage them to first write down a list of everything they think they want. This might take a few days to think about — it’s the most important part after all!
3. Have boundaries
Of course your child is hoping to find lots of toys under the tree this year, but if the pre-list is starting to get a little long, talk about narrowing it down. As much as you want to give them the world, having them ask for (and get) everything on their list can do more harm than good — no matter how it makes you feel to spoil them. When writing a letter to Father Christmas, ask your child to think about just one or two special items that are really important. Getting fewer toys can actually help your child to slow down and take the time to explore, enjoy and appreciate their new gift. Learning to ask for less can help them acquire boundaries.
4. Encourage empathy
Writing a letter to Father Christmas can include a request for someone else — a good friend, sibling or less-fortunate child. Ask your child who they would like Father Christmas to help this season. Empathy is a very new feeling for small children and must be supported by their parents. Let children know that Christmas isn’t just about getting stuff. Teaching your child that empathy is at the root of love and faith can be folded into a wonderful tradition that includes writing a letter to Father Christmas.
5. Teach letter writing skills
When your child is ready to write the letter, talk how about to actually go about it. What should you put in the greeting, body and signature sections? Where should you write the date and the sender’s address? Should you ask about Mrs. Claus and the reindeer? How should you say thank you? (Add more or less details depending on your child’s age). This lesson will come in handy as they start writing letters of their own. Reinforce their newly found letter writing skills with writing thank you cards after the holidays.
6. Be creative
Turn a wish list into a fun activity for your child. Add holiday-themed designs, draw borders along the edges and include a bit of glitter. Make sure there is plenty of card, paper and envelopes and let your child have fun with it.
7. Write the envelope
Now stuff that letter into an envelope and show your child how to address it. The most common address is: Father Christmas, North Pole, Alaska. Your child probably knows that Father Christmas lives at the North Pole, but where is that exactly? Use this as an opportunity to talk about geography. Pull out a map of the world and point to that area. Talk about what it must be like there.
And now you can get sending! But, if your little one has created a lovely piece of artwork, or perhaps you need the list of presents to do your shopping, you won’t want to put the finished letters in the postbox. Children will still want to post their letters to Father Christmas – so try creating a special ‘Christmas Postbox’ out of an empty tissue box, which you’ve painted red. Tell them that Father Christmas uses a special postbox for his letters.
Or perhaps leave the letter on the fireplace, for Father Christmas or his Elves to pick-up – don’t forget a glass of sherry, a mince pie and a carrot for Rudolf too!
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