We rediscovered some of our pen pal letters in an old box a while back and it brought back a whole load of memories for us. After showing them to the kids, we questioned whether children these days even have pen pals that they write letters or emails to like we used to back then and we set out to find some good resources to help our kids find some pen pals that they could write letters to and share little parts of their lives.
There are so many benefits to having a pen pal, as it allows your children to have their eyes opened to different cultures and ways of living from areas of the world which they may not be exposed to in their regular life. For instance, one of ours came up to us the other day to tell us that her British pen pal refers to fries as chips – who knew right?
It can also allow your child to have a deeper friendship than what they may have with their home friends, for example, they may feel more comfortable opening up about their emotions or struggles to someone they’ve never met.
Now our kids are set up with pen-pals, we love to see how exciting they get when their letters come in the mail with the airmail stamp on and want to help our readers find pen-pals for their kids so they can share this excitement with them.
Obviously, if you don’t feel comfortable or safe with your kids finding a pen pal online, you can always seek out when you’re on vacation, find someone your child already knows, or seek out a friend of a friend’s kids.
Best Places To Find Your Child A Pen Pal
As we said, you don’t always need your child’s pen pal to be from another country, they can always be another child of a family friend, or you can even ask your other parent friends if they know some children of a similar age who’d be interested in becoming pen pals.
Sometimes schools will partner up with another school in a different location, or even a different country to encourage their students to become pen pals with different people. This may not be in every school though.
However, if you would like your child to find a pen pal that is from another country, then there are multiple resources available to you to help you find a suitable one.
- Global PenFriends
- World Wide Snail Mail Pen Pals
- PenPal Schools
- Students Of The World
- International Pen Friends
Please make sure to look into the recommended websites before making your choice of which one to go for and ensure you don’t disclose personal information before you get to know the person with whom you’ll be corresponding.
You might find it helpful to have a handful of possible candidates that you’d like your child to become a pen pal with and go through a vetting process to ensure your child’s safety and identity is protected online and when corresponding with their pen pal.
Some of these websites may require a membership fee to sign up to cover the costs of running the website.
It’s recommended that you sit within your children whilst browsing on these websites and do not leave them unattended on them.
Is Email Or Snail Mail Better For Pen Pals?
It’s completely up to you and your child whether you’d like them to handwrite letters or email to correspond with their pen pal.
We’d recommend handwritten letters as they add a personal touch and also give your child time away from screens to concentrate on something else. This will also give them time to practice and focus on their handwriting.
It’ll also teach your child to be patient as they’ll have to wait for a letter to be returned in the mail to continue the conversation, which can be part of the fun of it.
However, sending emails can be a much quicker way to communicate and it may give your child the opportunity to learn how to use a computer. On the other hand, this may be a negative thing as they may feel inclined to want to use social networking sites to communicate more efficiently with their friends.
How To Be A Good Pen Pal: Our Best Tips!
Be True To You
There are no expectations or pressure to impress someone over a letter or email, so let your child relax and encourage them to be themselves in their letters. We’d recommend allowing your child to write their letters on their own and then checking over the letter before you send it for any major punctuation or spelling mistakes.
We all love talking about ourselves sometimes, but it’s important to ask questions and be curious about other people’s lives as well. If the pen pal has asked a question about something, then give your response and ask the same or a similar question back.
You’ll find the letters and conversations are easier to keep going when there is a good balance of questions from each party.
Set Some Rules
When you begin writing to each other, agree on how often you’d both like to write letters so you’ll both know when you’ll be receiving them and you won’t feel neglected if you send more than the other has in a short period.
If you’re going on vacation or you’re struggling to keep up with the letters, let the pen pal know so they’re not left in the dark.
Recommended Topics For Pen Pals
- Hobbies and Interests
- Pets and favorite animals
- Members of your family
- Favorite subject in school
- What your bedroom looks like
- Your favorite movie or TV show
- Places you have traveled to
- The area where you live
- Career goals
- Favorite type of music
- Favorite sports (and what sports you each play)
- Describe some recent dreams you had
- What book you’re currently reading
- What you’re excited about in the coming months
- Describe some of your friends
- What you normally do on the weekends
- Favorite birthday/Christmas gift
- Any musical instruments that you play
- What you’re most proud of
- A famous person you’d like to meet
Once you’ve exchanged letters a few times, the conversation may begin to flow easier and you’ll be able to keep tabs on what is going on in the pen pan’s life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Pen Pals Still Exist?
Yes, despite the growth of the internet, email, and social media sites, pen-pals are still a common thing, with many people continuing to write handwritten letters to send to their friends.
At What Age Can You Get A Pen Pal?
You can have a pen pal at any age, but the age of 8 and over is normally recommended as the reading and writing skills will be up to scratch and they’ll gauge a better understanding of the responsibility to continuously write and send letters back and forth.
What Is The Safest Way To Find A Pen Pal?
There are plenty of safe websites online where you can find a pen pal, however, it is always recommended to get to know the pen pal online first and find out a bit more about them before exchanging addresses just to be on the safe side.
Some people will meet other children on vacation and exchange addresses to become pen pals so they can stay in touch even when they’re in different regions of the world.
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