On Getting a Pen Pal

On Getting a Pen Pal

When I was younger my school set up penpals – I ended up with various penpals but there was only one where we exchanged letters for a substantial amount of time. She lived in Alabama and it must have been a good few years of exchanging letters.

I still remember how exciting it was to receive post and to sit and read about this life this other person my age had and to delight in looking at the stamps on the envelope etc. A month or so ago we were reading through a book we had been sent, The Great Big Book of Friends, and it made reference to penpals. D asked more and later that week I spotted my friend posted a package her son had received from a new penpal.

It got me thinking and I soon found a Facebook Group for home educators to make penpal connections for their children. We linked up with a family in the USA and their first letter to us arrived last week. Both D and E were super excited and went to the map to see where Oregan is and looked at just how far that was from us.

They both quickly opened their letters and enjoyed reading them and looking at the things that had been included and wanted to, straight away, write a return letter. We had a think about anything we might want to ask and what we might include in our letters. We decided to include a colour by number Union Jack and some coins. E drew a picture and D chose a postcard of a monkey to include.

I was amazed at how motivated D was to write – he can be resistant to writing at the moment, but he was keen to get started and was considered in choosing which writing paper and envelopes to use. They both enjoyed decorating their envelopes with stickers too.

We packaged it all up in one large shiny envelope and went along to the post office a day or so ago to send it on its way. The lady in the Post Office was brilliant with the children and talked about where it was going, the air mail stickers, that it would travel on an aeroplane etc. D enjoyed telling her about his letter and asking her to send it to the USA. I did however soon realise that stamps aren’t placed on the envelopes – rather a printed confirmation of postage being paid. I am going to save some stamps from any received post in the coming weeks for them to include in their next letters.

I think it will take around two weeks for the letter to arrive in Oregan, and I hope it’s greeted with as much excitement as theirs was here. I think it’s always exciting as a child to receive post and I look forward to D, E and I think of some small thing we can pop into the next letter we send, along with the stamps we will save to send.



  1. 3rd April 2018 / 06:35

    splendid – the art of letter writing lives on

  2. Pat
    3rd April 2018 / 08:38

    That’s lovely. It must be exciting for them getting post from abroad.

  3. 3rd April 2018 / 16:16

    I remember how fun it was to have a pen pal! I never had an overseas pen pal though. It’s just not the same talking to people on the internet. There is nothing like an old fashioned, handwritten letter!

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