Back in the prehistoric era, before email existed, people sent thank you cards. It was considered the polite thing to do, and nearly everyone sent a handwritten card to acknowledge a gift, service, or visit.
Nowadays thank you cards seem nearly obsolete. Even after more formal events, like weddings and baby showers, cards are not always sent. Sometimes thanks are sent digitally, and sometimes this custom is foregone altogether.
But I don't understand that. When a gift is given, isn't it merely common courtesy - plain old-fashioned good manners - just to say 'thanks?' Aren't our loved ones' feelings worth the few minutes that a card takes?
So since our children were born, we have sent thank you cards for gifts, visits, and events. We especially work hard to show our thanks for birthday and holiday gifts.
This practice can actually be very educational - and fun, too. Here's a few simple ways to do 'thank-yous' that are age appropriate and fun:
- Take a picture of your young child with a sign that says, 'Thanks.' S/He could be awake or asleep, an infant or a toddler - but any picture of your child will be cute. Slide the picture into a store-bought card or attach it to the front of a piece of paper. Write a simple thank you as if from him/her inside. For fancier cards, you could have your pictures printed professionally as cards. Many printing companies do this.
- Let your child paint or color a picture on a blank piece of paper. On the other side, write their own words saying 'thank you' for the gift. Include a picture of your child opening or playing with the gift.
- Have your children create pictures on index cards. For very young children, write inside a note card for them and include their art. This is an easy way to send cards for multiple young children!
- For beginning writers, use big paper and a light-colored marker. Write a short, simple message for them and allow them to trace your writing with a dark color. They get handwriting practice and to learn good manners at the same time!
- Write the notes for your child in a blank note card and let them sign their own name. Eventually, they'll be able to write the 'love, name' part, and soon a whole sentence: 'thank you for the ___.'
- Finally, turn the thank you cards into a family project. Get out paper, scissors, crayons, markers, paints, glue, stickers and gently-used wrapping paper and allow the children to go to town. You can even make your own envelopes out of construction or other paper for those larger-than-usual creations!
We usually make a few each day until we're finished. This way the children don't feel overwhelmed and the cardmaking remains a fresh, fun project for the duration.
How does your family say 'thanks?'
Shared over at I Can Teach My Child.