14 Practical Tips for Writing “Snail Mail” Letters to Grandchildren

My first-born grandchild is now fifteen years old. I still remember when I first started sending mail to her. After receiving her first piece of mail, she went with Daddy to the mailbox every day. Let me tell you, it wasn’t long until I got a phone call from my son-in-law informing me that Little…

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Deborah Haddix

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My first-born grandchild is now fifteen years old. I still remember when I first started sending mail to her. After receiving her first piece of mail, she went with Daddy to the mailbox every day. Let me tell you, it wasn’t long until I got a phone call from my son-in-law informing me that Little Lady kept asking when she was going to get another letter!!

Grandchildren of all ages enjoy receiving mail that is addressed personally to them. Share on X

Practical Letter Writing Tips

  1. Use print, not cursive, when writing to young children. In fact, it might not be a bad idea to use print across the board as many children have not had the opportunity to receive instruction in cursive handwriting the past few years.
  2. Keep the letter short and simple. This will suit the needs of young grandchildren and those with short attention spans. And even if your grandchildren can handle lengthy, letters that are short and simple are more likely to leave your grandchildren wanting to hear more from you.
  3. Be specific and descriptive. Remember elementary writing class? Choose one topic and write about it in detail.
  4. Talk about personal and individual topics not the weather. The weather is obvious. One merely needs to look out the window or pull it up on a smartphone. Engage your grandchild’s attention as they read your letter by talking about things that are meaningful to them or to you.
  5. Write about things you enjoy or appreciate about your grandchildren. Take the opportunity to affirm your grandchild. Tell them about a Christ-like characteristic you’ve seen demonstrated in their life.
  6. Share your own interests and experiences. Be sure to include both the successes and the struggles. No, sharing our struggles isn’t easy, especially when we share them with our grandchildren. But here in this hard place is where our relationship deepens. In sharing our struggles, we show our grandchildren that struggles are normal. We model “how” to struggle.
  7. Use humor. Laughter is good for the soul and for relationships!
  8. Ask your grandchild’s advice.
  9. Use a highlighter to draw attention to things you don’t want your grandchild to miss.
  10. Include pictures you’ve drawn or cut out, photographs, or coloring pages.
  11. Tuck small items in your letters from time to time. This could be something such as a stick of gum, a sheet of stickers, or a magnet.
  12. Attach stickers to your letter. Use them to emphasize a point, as part of your signature, on the envelope, or just for fun.
  13. Create your own personalized signature. Every time you send something to your grandchild, be sure to use a dot of that same perfume, attach that identical fuzzy sticker, or draw your own special smiley face on the envelope or next to your name.

BONUS TIP

One very important thing to keep in mind when using the postal system is: ONCE THE LETTER HAS LEFT YOUR HANDS, DELIVERY OF THAT LETTER IS OUT OF YOUR CONTROL.

If you have multiple grandchildren living under one roof, this is a crucial thing to keep in mind.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard the tale. A loving, thoughtful grandparent who wanted each of their grandchildren to feel special, wrote each grandchild and addressed separate envelopes for each. Simultaneously placing the envelopes in the mail, the grandparent then assumed those letters would arrive at the same time.

Then the phone call is received. A very upset Mama wants to know why one of her children didn’t receive mail like the others did. The child is crushed. The parent is mad.

Be proactive. Don’t let this happen to you.
  • Let your grandchildren (and Mama) know that you will be mailing letters and intend to stagger their arrival. This allows you to stagger your letter writing, makes letter arrival day “special” for the one receiving the letter, and builds anticipation for siblings who know their turn is coming.
  • If, however, it’s important to your family that all the grandchildren siblings in a home receive letters on the same day, you might want to implement this process. Write the letters and address each one separately. Then place them all in one larger envelope. Individual attention arrives at the same time!

Letter Writing Toolkit for Grandparents

The tools in this digital kit help grandparents use the powerful means of snail mail to better connect with their grandchildren.

Toolkit includes: an 11-page how-to guide, letter add-ins, inspiration, organization tools, tip sheets, and so much more.

**Upon purchase, all templates, printouts, and helps in the toolkit may be accessed and printed as desired.

Test Grandparent Ad

This is a test ad for a download related to grandparenting.

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Comments

6 comments

  • One of my childhood joys was receiving letters from my grandmother. She was an avid letter writer all her life.

    What a great tip about either not sending separate letters to multiple grandchildren at the same time, or else putting them all in one envelope instead. It’s amazing that mail all going to and from the same place can arrive at different times, but it happens.

  • What a wonderful post with great suggestions! I love sending and receiving snail mail. My infant son is too young to know when he is contributing, but I often use a stamp to print his handprint onto a card (such as for his grandma’s birthday and for Valentines cards for his aunts) and more recently (less mess), I trace his little hand onto the cards. I hope to teach him how to write thank you letters once he is a little older as well as greeting letters to his extended family since they all live out of town.

  • I love that you write letters to your grandchildren. I am going to remember that for the day I have a few grandchildren. Thank you for sharing with us at Grace & Truth Link-Up.

  • I love these suggestions! Thanks! :)

  • Letters are the best! When my grandfather died, my aunt found some letters my young son had written him several years before. She gave those letters back to us and they are one of my dearest treasures.

  • Elena, I love these ideas for starting them young! No, he can’t know now, but he certainly will in the future. Thank you for sharing!

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About the Author

Deborah Haddix

I am a child of God, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, niece, and friend who loves nothing better than spending time with those I love.

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