An expression of gratitude is always welcome.

An expression of gratitude is always welcome, and one is never too young to write that all important thank you note.  As an added bonus, children who are taught to write thank you notes tend to craft more creative and thoughtful notes when they become adults

The act of hand writing a thank you note has the added benefit of becoming a learning experience for a child.  It is an exercise in manual dexterity, helps teach spelling, and encourages creativity.  For this reason, some schools sponsor letter-writing exercises, such as writing thank you notes to military service members, or to people in elder care facilities.  Schools may also help facilitate pen pal exchanges, in which the student acquires new knowledge and insights into the daily lives of children growing up in other states or other countries. 

Reading and the ability to write are strongly associative, and children are never too young to enjoy a good book.  Board books for babies, featuring vibrant colors, songs and rhymes, can be shared from birth.  The repetition of words is a benefit to speech development, and, as the years pass, provide the foundation for creativity in future writing.

All young children appreciate the one-on-one time spent with a parent, guardian, or older sibling.   Writing that thank you note need not be an onerous task, but rather a fun time of sharing thoughts and time together.  A little coaching (what do you like best about the gift or experience?  How will it be put to use?  Will you share it with others?) can help the young child find their own voice.

Creativity is not a necessity, but can add a fun element to a thank you note.  “Meowchas Gracias!” wrote our friend Herbert.  Yes, he and his husband also are cat lovers, who recently suffered the loss of their beloved kitty.  Our friend Lorna sent a note in beautiful handwriting, featuring an original photograph of a lavender and white orchid.

Natalie, a stellar reader for a seven-year old, is a student at a San Francisco bilingual school.  She sent us a note that she signed with her Chinese name, Beautiful Calm.  I can’t think of a different or better way to describe this thoughtful little girl, and how lovely it was to receive her handwritten note.

We all love to receive a letter or note in the mail.  Whether it be a valentine, thank you note, get well card, or other greeting, one is never too young to write or receive these special messages.


How to Craft the Perfect Pen Pal Letter by Jennifer Cooper. Adventures in Learning, Jan. 21, 2019

Magic of Reading Aloud to Babies by Lydia Denworth.  Psychology Today, May 5, 2017

Operation Gratitude.  Express Your Thanks, Write Letters

Scholastic.  Veteran’s Day Writing Activity  

Teaching Kids Handwriting to Help Them Read by David Ludden.  Psychology Today, March 26, 2018

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. As always, Marcia, your columns are a delight. Though obligations have kept me busier than I would like lately, I am happy to report that I am beginning to find time again to enjoy your wonderful, thoughtful columns. Keep up the good work!

  2. And let’s hear it for the hand drawn and hand written do-it-yourself card. My best birthday card this year was a cheery note from my son and daughter-in-law, with greetings and drawings from their kids, my wonderful grands!

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