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Yesterday, my children wrote letters to Santa. I know there are a lot of opinions out there on how to approach “the Santa issue” and your family might have a completely different belief than we do. That’s okay!
If you still want to participate there are plenty of people who your children can write letters to at Christmastime. If you’re curious about why my husband and I choose to acknowledge Santa Claus, click here. [I will add the link when I have written the post!]
We don’t do this activity the exact same way every year, but this year I let my kids each pick their own Christmas card at the store to send to the North Pole. Kids have… interesting taste, but to each their own!
We sat down at the kitchen table and the kids were given their box of coloring and writing utensils, and some stickers to personalize their cards. I give them complete creative control over projects like this. My 6-year-old started out with a very sweet message (with some help with spelling from me), and a drawing of Santa’s sleigh.
Of course, children don’t know when to leave well enough alone so from there it started to devolve into weirdness. I’ve had to learn to relinquish control in these areas. It is too easy to micromanage their work to make sure it ends up the way I want it to be.
There are worse ways for children to express themselves than too many stickers and totally off topic artwork on a Christmas card, right?
After the cards were successfully… adorned, each child was given a sheet of lined paper. My oldest is 6, so we’re still using that handwriting practice paper with the extra large spacing with dashes to mark the center of each line.
Then we numbered the page 1-12 with 1-6 being in one column and 7-12 in a column halfway across the page. My 6-year-old did this herself, I helped my 5-year-old do it and I did it for my 3-year-old.
Then they each filled out 12 things that they wanted to ask Santa for as Christmas presents. My 6-year-old does a pretty good job at spelling things herself although I was there to help her on some of the tricky words.
My 5-year-old needed a lot of help on both spelling and writing, but that’s okay, she’ll get there!
My 3-year-old opted to draw pictures of what she wanted instead of having me help her write words. Fortunately, Santa can read toddler hieroglyphs.
To the North Pole!
After that, they sealed their letters, addressed them and put them in the magical North Pole Mail-Box.
Today, the letters had mysteriously been taken by the magical North Pole Postal Service and tomorrow it will have three letters in it from Santa, one addressed to each girl. My kids love getting personalized notes from Santa!
This activity involves all kinds of fine motor skills practice! Drawing, coloring and even peeling and sticking on stickers are great ways for children to develop the skills that will help them hold a pencil and form letters.
In other words, it’s a great way to fill out your attendance charts when using the Ron Paul Curriculum.
Writing letters to Santa or a loved one at Christmas is a great way to start teaching your child about the parts of a friendly letter. There is a rhyme and a reason to letter writing and it is a very good skill to have for everything from writing thank-you notes for birthday gifts, or writing professional emails one day.
There’s the added bonus of teaching them how to properly address an envelope. Your kids will be learning new skills and it won’t even feel like work!
Making lists is also a very simple writing project that has huge benefits. Whether they realize it or not, when children make lists they are learning to clearly express their thoughts by writing them out on paper in a logical and orderly way.
They are learning how to number a page, which is something they will probably do countless times during their academic careers. Also, they are getting practice with spacing for writing. Proper spacing between letters, words, sentences etc. is one of the things that I see early writers struggle with the most.
I hope you have as much fun writing Christmas letters as we did! And when your kid’s artistic vision doesn’t line up with your own? Remember the words of everyone’s favorite ice queen and “Let it go!”