Category Archives: Mail

Connecting with Distant Grandchildren: Part 2

Ready for round two of ideas for ways to use the United States postal service to connect with your grandchildren who live over many rivers and through many woods?  Good.  I’ve got some great ideas for you!

Color my world.  Go to a store that sells art supplies and purchase several brilliantly-colored colored pencils.  I really like the kind that are like water-colors.  They blend like water colors do when you go over your drawing with a wet brush.  Send your grandchild one pencil a week with directions to use the pencil to draw a picture.  You could also have her write a story, poem, limerick, or  haiku.  (If the colored pencil has an interesting name, have her write a story using the name of the color somewhere in the story or base the story around the color.)  When you have sent all of the colored pencils in a set, send your granddaughter a binder and plastic pages to put her drawings in.  Then, the next time you visit, she can show you all of her drawings and stories.

Here are directions for creating a simple book of your granddaughter’s work.  Here’s an idea to create a Japanese book from your granddaughter’s work.  Here’s another similar way to put your book together. This can be as simple or complex depending on the age of your granddaughter.

Teeny tiny postcards.  First, print out this cute little mini mailbox.  Then, cut up index cards into small pieces that will fit into this mailbox.  Write letters on your teeny postcards.  Put them in the mailbox.  Then, box up your paper mailbox containing your teeny postcards and ship it off to your grandchild.  After your grandchild reads all of your postcards to him, he can make his own postcards, put them in the mailbox, and send the teeny mailbox back to you.

Round robin story. Begin writing a story. Mail it to your grandchild.  Have her write a paragraph and mail it back to you.  Add a paragraph and mail it to your granddaughter.  Continue sending the story back and forth with each person adding a paragraph until the story is finished.

Memory match up. Make a simple paper matching game.  Using clip art from your word processing document, print up sets of matching pictures.  Include them in your letter to your young grandchild.  You can also make sets of pictures of you and grandpa and other family members.

Print stationary.  Here’s a link to a site where you can make your own stationary. Print up several sheets. Make self-addressed stamped envelopes. Mail these off to your grandchild to use to write a letter back to you. You can include ideas for your grandchild to write about: favorite thing at school, favorite thing to do on Friday/Saturday night, a pet, book recently read, friends, what they want to do during their summer vacation.

What fun things have you done through the U.S. mail to strengthen your relationship with your grandchildren?

Connecting with Distant Grandchildren

The other day I got a comment in Facebook that got me thinking. (Unusual activity for me, huh??)

I know it stinks when your grandchildren live far away and that you can’ do a drive-by-scoop-them-up-hug-and-kiss-them-and-say-good-bye quick visit.  It’s difficult to build a strong relationship with those far away grand kiddos.  So I’ve come up with a few ideas of things that you could do using the good ol’ U.S. postal mail.  I’ll post part of them today and then part of them in two days.

Our grandchildren love to play with our ping pong balls.  Being only 3, 1 and 3/4, almost 1 1/2 and almost 1 year old, they aren’t quite into playing ping pong by the rules.  (Sheesh! Why am I talking about rules? They are not tall enough to even see the top of the ping pong table!)  Anyway, back to the ping pong balls.  Write a short letter, draw a picture, or write a poem on the ball with a permanent marker.  Mail the ball to your grandchild.  Not only does she get an unusual letter in the mail from her grandmother, she gets a fun ball to play with. (If you buy a package of ping pong balls, write something on all of the balls.  You could send them all together or one at a time.)

Write a regular letter to your grandchild.  Then, on the opened inside flap of an envelope, draw a picture, maze, or write a joke.  (You’ve got to be sure that your envelopes are not the privacy envelopes with the blue design on the insides of the envelope.)  When your grandchild gets a letter from you, he will enjoy seeing what you have added to the inside of the envelope.  (You could do the same thing to the outside of the envelope, too.)

Back in the Dark Ages when I was in college, I wrote a unique letter home to my parents.  What I said wasn’t especially unique because I’m rather a boring, blah individual . Rather.  What I DID to the letter was unique.  (At least at the time I thought it was unique . . . ) I cut up the letter into a puzzle so that my parents had to put it together before they read it.  You could do the same thing for your grandchildren. Oh, and don’t use boring white paper.  Go to you local copy center or scrapbook store and get some wild neon bright colored paper.  (Or the cutesy paper that scrapbook stores sell.)

I must have been going through a phase at the time that I wrote that letter because I was also into making unique envelopes.  I made them out of pictures from a magazine.  For grandchildren, select pictures that are on topics of interest to them.  They will be delighted to get that type of envelope in the mail.

For those of my readers who may not be familiar with Grandma Lisa over at Grandma Briefs, I want to introduce you to her.  She is a fabulous grandmother.  And, she knows all about the pain of being a distant grandma.  She’s also creative.  She creating a fun mailbox for her grandson so that he could receive her snail mail letters in his very own special mailbox.  Read here about her her idea.

What are some of your ideas that you have done using the regular mail to connect with your grandchildren?