Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pen Pal Kit


My niece's 8th birthday is just around the corner and I fell in love with the idea of making her a Pen Pal Kit. 

I remember receiving long awaited envelopes from France from my favorite pen pal and delighting in the items she would send.  From paper money (which looked SO cool!) to post cards from places she visited.  I also remember making envelopes out of magazine pages and swapping FBs (friendship books).  *virtual high five for those of you who remember FB before Facebook ever existed*  Okay, enough of my dorkiness! 

But, the pen pals I wrote the most were my cousins, who lived a couple of hours away from me.  We wrote frequently and I believe it helped us become extremely close to one another.  (love you, Evie!  miss you, Genice!)

So, when I shopped for my niece Emma, I knew her cousin (my son) Bryan would need his own kit as well.  Can you imagine the visions of letters and growing family bonds that have been dancing through my head?  I can hardly contain my excitement for  the two them!  To top it off, Bryan is SUPER excited about it as well!  He even made his own kit!

I love his "googly eyes" on the front of his accordion file. 

There are so many options for this, but here are the items I included in theirs:

Pen Pal Kits

-Pencil Box
-Accordion File
-Address Book
-Glue Stick
-Blank Tags
-Idea Cards

Blank Cards/Envelopes (These were all in my stash of crafting supplies)

Stickers (some to keep, some to send to Pen Pals)

Idea Cards
Secretly, I'm trying to develop writing skills here, but ssshhhh - they don't need to know that! 
My favorite is the "First Letter to Pen Pal" idea card.  There's a sample letter on the back that reads:
"Dear _____,
My name is _____.  I am __ years old and in the ___ grade.  I live with ________. My hobbies are ____________.  My favorite food is _______.  Have you ever eaten _____?  What do you like to do for fun? 
I can't wait to hear from you!
Your Friend,

Paper, Envelopes, Larger Envelopes, Extra Neon Index Cards and Blank Tags (to make bookmarks to send to Pen Pals)

Everything is tucked away neatly into this accordion file for easy access and organization.
The address book was just a notebook from the Dollar Tree that I added stickers to.

What little girl wouldn't love to receive this? 
Honestly, I think the art of writing and sending handwritten letters is becoming obsolete.  There's just something wonderful about seeing a loved ones handwriting on an envelope in the mailbox with your name on it. 
There's also patience involved.  In a world with instant gratification through texting, email, Skype, etc., I worry that my boys will never grasp the joys of delayed gratification.  Sometimes, waiting for something makes it that much better once the time comes for it to happen.
All of these little lessons being compacted into a cute little kit?  They have no idea how cool this really is.
It's a beautiful thing!