It’s the final week of the #sendcardsspreadlove challenge! [sniffle, sniffle] I can’t believe how quickly it all went by.
Today, we have a guest post from Coleen of PaperFreckles. WARNING: total cuteness ahead! And on Wednesday, Linda of Curious Notions will be our final guest post. Which brings us to Friday, when yours truly will be back with a recap and another special giveaway.
As a reminder, we’re asking you to send 4 cards out into the world this month based on the 4 weekly prompts we’re providing. Totally do-able, right? Our intention with this challenge is for you to connect with the ones you love in a fun way, while bringing back the joy and beauty of real communication…that still fits into your fast paced lifestyle.
Day 22 Of The 2016 #sendcardsspreadlove Challenge
Week 4 Challenge: I Get By With a Little Help from My…
This week’s challenge is to send a card to kids, family or friends and the prize is your choice of one of the single curated collections. To be eligible for the prize, share your card and/or note, tag both Christina and Pretty By Post on IG, along with week 4 challenge and the #sendcardsspreadlove hashtag by May 2nd at 11:59 pm EST. All winners will be announced on May 4th via newsletter and IG.
And if you’re looking for, or would like any info from the previous weeks, there’s a recap for you at the very end of this post.
Today we have a guest post from Coleen of PaperFreckles, with tips for writing to the precious little ones in our lives. I adore this husband and wife super duo, Joe and Coleen, because of their snarky and funny cards (and because they have been super kind and supportive of my mini paper empire). They say it best: [we] “…create snarky, funny greeting cards to poke fun at all of life’s little complexities.”
I believe that we all need humorous and snarky – when done right – cards, because I love to laugh and make others laugh too.
Hello! It’s Coleen from PaperFreckles blogging today for National Card & Letter Writing Month!
One thing that almost everyone I meet learns about me very quickly is that I’m head-over-heels for my niece and nephew: Charlotte and Nicholas.
Nicholas is almost 4 (he’s getting so big!). Since he turned 3, I’ve been sending him a card every week. I want to encourage his love of snail mail and help him with his reading skills as he grows up. Just because we live in different states, I refuse to believe that means we cannot still feel connected.
Also, I hear if you start young, you can really ingrain some brand loyalty into their mold-able little minds.
It all started with this adorable video my sister sent me – Nicholas wanted to write our dogs, Jude and Max (two giant, fluffy Great Pyrenees), a letter. There’s an Internet rule of thumb that you can’t go for any extended period of time without watching a video of a cute kid or small animal, so check out the clip below for some full on 4 year old sweetness!
You can also find some tips below for writing to the children in your life. If done right, you may be lucky enough to score an invite to a slumber party (when else do you have the opportunity to have your hair braided?)
Little Something Extra – Not Required
I usually stash some stickers and piggy bank cash in my letters to Nicholas, but by no means is it necessary!
Don’t feel obligated to include something special each time you send a letter to a child. It can be a fun surprise, but receiving mail will be exciting enough on its own! Kids just like getting stuff in general.
No Boring Bulleted Timelines
No kid wants to read the meeting minutes of your life. Not only will they not find it interesting, you’ll probably get bored writing it. And letter writing should be anything but boring!
Don’t treat it like a journal or daily planner; instead take this time to share your thoughts and feelings on random subjects, tell a corny joke, tell funny family stories, or give some sage advice on growing up.
Little One Need Help With Hard Words?
This is one of the most valuable parts about sending cards to children – you get to encourage their love for the written word, and also help them learn.
Don’t shy away from using big words just because you think they will be over their heads. Instead, try writing them out phonetically or giving big content clues to their meanings.
Ask their parents in advance to read along with them and help them with sounding it out. You can also ask their parents in advance to suggest that the child write back and help them with it.
Exciting from the Jump
Don’t waste blank space! Decorate the outside of the envelope (but don’t make the address hard to read) with stickers and drawings!
Choose a theme – consider something the child likes, such as dinosaurs or Hello Kitty. It will make it that much more fun for them to receive.
The Long and Short of It
Just one sentence is boring, but too long and you can’t compete with a kid’s attention span, which can often rival that of a hyper Border Collie.
The sweet spot is between four sentences and two short paragraphs, and depends on the child’s age.
I Just Wrote to Say…
So why exactly are you writing this letter? Is it their birthday? Did they just have some kind of graduation? Obviously you’d mention that if it is so, but what if you are just dropping a note in the mail because you wanted to say hello? That’s fine too!
Don’t forget, encouraging reading and writing is a positive thing and an easy way to feel just a little closer. No need for an excuse to do it!
I did warn you about the super cuteness, didn’t I? Thanks Coleen for sharing your invaluable tips on writing to children and instilling the letter writing habit to them in a fun way. So for this week’s challenge, we’d love to see YOU write to a little one in your life.
Is there a child in your life – your own, “steal” a friend’s or relative’s or check out #20 in our big list of reasons to send cards post – that you can write letters to? Share with us in the comments below.
Coleen and I started our little greeting card making empire, PaperFreckles in 2009, initially creating custom invitations for brides and logos for small businesses. What we eventually discovered was we did NOT enjoy creating custom invitations for brides and logos for small businesses. What we DID enjoy was laughter and silliness. So, seeing as how I’ve never fully matured into a functional adult, we thought we’d use my sarcastic, mid-brow humor and illustrations, and Coleen’s eye for detail to create snarky, funny greeting cards that poke fun at all of life’s little complexities. Our inspiration comes from the “way too serious” world around us, our silly day-to-day banter and sometimes way, way too much coffee.
Even when we’re not creating greeting cards that are sometimes barely socially acceptable, we spend time being creative in the kitchen and love to dote on our 350 pounds of furry children – Grace, an Akita, and Jude and Max, our rescue Great Pyrenees.
Here’s a brief recap of the previous weeks cuz there’s a lot of good stuff you don’t want to miss out on:
- BIG LIST of reasons to send cards [Day 1]
- Resources on what to write [Day 3]
- Guest post by Claire on tips for sustaining a letter writing habit [Day 5]
- Guest post by Josh with Hello Happiness Card Company on the power of letter writing [Day 8]
- Guest post by Kara with Boho Berry on her 29 day InCoWriMo letter writing experience [Day 10]
- Guest post by Lauree with Simply Leap and a special 300 Simply Leap Spring Hearts Challenge [Day 12]
- Guest post by Ryan of Silver Mountain Solutions with tips and tricks on saying thank you, as well as ways to show you care [Day 15]
- Post from me showcasing challenge entries and the cards I’ve sent out [Day 17]
- Guest post by Sarah Schwartz with The Paper Chronicles on her Letter Writing Campaign, plus a chance to win some gorgeous stationery [Day 19]