The other day we went to visit my brother and his growing family. My children love visiting their cousins. As soon as we walk through my brother’s front door, the girls disappear upstairs to explore their cousins’ bedrooms, toy boxes, and wardrobes. During the drive home, they always have a million stories to share.”Mummy, did you know Dylan has a new Playstation?” and “Mummy, have you seen the size of Jane’s room?” This time, however, I was pleased to hear the kids excitedly discussing a great new initiative that has been started at their cousins’ school.
The programme the kids were discussing is known as a “postcard exchange”. Like the pen pal programmes of my youth, postcard exchange involves writing and sending a note to someone you have never met in real life. The twist? Postcard exchanges (as their name suggests) involve sending postcards, not letters. This might seem like a minor difference, but this kids activity is much more exciting than just writing letters (though that can be super fun too!).
By receiving postcards from people who live overseas, the kids get to learn more about different places and cultures. This knowledge is incredibly valuable for a child's education, particularly if they are studying geography and history. But the learning doesn’t just go one way. By sending postcards from their own region, kids are also made to research their surroundings and will inevitably learn more about the world just beyond their doorsteps.
Being involved in a postcard exchange has also provided by niece and nephew with a great new hobby – stamp collection! My niece in particular just loves getting a new stamp from a faraway place and putting it into her stamp album. And my nephew has started collecting his postcards in a crisp new album, which he can flip through and compare with his friends’.
My kids were so excited about the prospect of being part of their own postcard exchange that I have contacted their school to discuss starting a programme there. Our local post office also runs a postcard exchange programme for kids, which I will sign the girls up for if the school doesn’t come through. There are also plenty of online groups which facilitate postcard exchanges, so if your kids are interested that’s another option.
I’ll be sure to follow up and let you know how it goes!
In the meantime, if you need any more great suggestions be sure to check out the ActiveActivities Directory!