Tag Archives: thank you notes

Encouraging writing skills: Boys edition

It’s a common misconception that boys are better at math and girls are better at writing and language arts. This popular belief, according to developmental psychologists actually has no basis in reality, but is more of a reflection of the beliefs and teaching of society.

These days, teachers and parents of girls are often encouraged to allow their girls the same math and science play opportunities boys have, because there’s no genetic predisposition to disliking bugs or engineering.

But what can parents of boys do to ensure that they are encouraging writing skills for their son in language arts and communication?

One increasingly popular category of children’s literature has emerged for “reluctant readers” and it’s often called “The gross-out book.”  By appealing to a boy’s enthusiasm for passing gas and other bodily functions, these books appeal to a child’s sense of the taboo.  Luckily, most boys have other interests that parents can appeal to, in case they’re more interested in helping their sons develop a social awareness that extends beyond the idea that “Everybody Poops.”

Homeschoolers and other educators remind us that children’s interests can often be used as a gateway for other learning. Put another way, it isn’t necessary to “make learning fun” because learning is already fun. For boys who enjoy playing video games, there are gamer magazines and websites with plenty of cheats and playing advice to help turn a reluctant reader into an eager reader.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that “Hop on Pop” is far less interesting to an 8 yr old boy than “Six tricks for Minecraft world domination.” The lesson here is for parents to find written materials that support the child’s interests instead of boring him to tears.

Another tool for helping boys harness their literary skills is a nice set of boys stationery.  Parents can use stationary as a learning tool by packing notes in lunch boxes and leaving notes throughout the house.  Making a habit of leaving scavenger-hunt-like clues can be fun for kids to decode especially when there’s a prize at the end.  Parents who are in the habit of leaving notes are illustrating the practical aspects of written communication and giving their son reasons to write.  Finding pleasure in written communication can be the difference between “I don’t want to do my writing homework” and “Hey Mom, did I spell Disneyland correctly?”

Some educational reform advocates are concerned that kids are being taught the mechanics of reading and writing at the expense of their enthusiasm. When a child is interested in something and excited about it, it’s difficult to keep them from learning more. One of the best things a parent can do to help their children succeed in reading and writing is to model the importance of communication and provide the child with the tools to use it in his or her life.

Check out our selection of boys stationery to help your little guy embrace his passion for the written word.

Teacher Appreciation Day Contest

May 6th is Teacher Appreciation Day and it’s just around the corner! We are so thankful for all the teachers who have helped us grow and who have supported us every day, that we are channeling our excitement into a contest!

Teacher appreciation day contest

Tell us something fun or encouraging your child’s teacher did this year! We’d love to hear from kids, too! Up for grabs is a coupon code for 30% off on your next order at AmyAdele.com AND a set of personalized stationery and address labels for your favorite teacher!

Here’s how it will work: Today through Sunday, post a comment to this blog entry with your favorite teacher story. The story must be about a current teacher. You can share your story in the Leave a Reply field found at the bottom of this particular post.

One story per visitor, please. Multiple entries will disqualify your entry into the contest. Contest is not valid in certain states, so please check state contest laws before entering. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random from all of the entrants. Once the winner is chosen they will be contacted via email. Be sure to include a valid e-mail address in the email field, so we can get back in touch with you. How easy is that?

We are waiting with great anticipation to hear your stories…so share away!

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

There are many simple things you can do to protect our planet, each of which might not seem terribly consequential, but put together, they all add up. A beach is made of millions of grains of sand deposited over time – not all earth-friendly gestures have to be as big as planting a forest. To that end, we want to share the importance of recycling and using post consumer products. It’s a simple change you can make to reduce your footprint. Here are a few quick facts about recycling:

  • Only 30% of waste is recycled, but we have the potential to recycle 75%.
  • Also, if every American recycled their newspapers, it would save 250 million trees each year. That’s a lot of trees – and that’s just with recycling one paper item, by one country. Think if the whole world recycled all the paper we generate – phone books, school papers, junk mail…
  • In 2010, Americans threw away $2.8 billion worth of paper.
  • And 37% of paper for American mills is recycled.
  • Recycling paper doesn’t just save trees – it also takes 40% less energy.
  • And just to make you appreciate paper a little more…before toilet paper, you might have had to use corn cobs or leaves. (Toilet paper is also available in post-consumer form.)

At Amy Adele, every single product is made with 100% post consumer paper, and by asking friends and family to recycle our stationery, you can extend the life of a sheet of paper over time – who knows where it might end up? Also, our packing peanuts are 100% biodegradable. They are made from starch, so they dissolve in water, and you could even eat them! That is if you were REALLY hungry. 🙂

For a fun project with your kids this Earth Day, make up a story about a recycled piece of paper. Where has it been? How many people has it seen? What was it used for? Feel free to share your kids’ best and most creative ideas in the comments – we’d love to hear them. If you just received your order  show the kids how you can make packing peanuts disappear. Feel free to post reaction videos or pictures to our Facebook, Google+, or tag us on Instagram.

Writing: Why children’s stationery is important

One reason for giving personalized children’s stationery is to help motivate children to do their best possible writing. The ability to write well, especially in social settings, is one that is seldom gets enough time to develop fully in schools because of the sheer volume of other information and skills to be mastered. That is a shame because the ability to communicate graciously on paper enriches life greatly over the years.

However, it is not hard to teach the basics of social writing with just a little know-how. Believe it or not, some of the best advice for teaching the basics of writing comes from Benjamin Franklin, in his Autobiography. His method boils down to imitation – not surprisingly, as this is one of the ways children learn naturally. In his own case, he took an “odd volume of the Spectator” and found he “thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it.”

Franklin records that he read some of the papers and made short notes of the main idea in each sentence. He then set the original book aside and “try’d to compleat the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand.”

After doing this he compared his own work with the original, “discovered many faults and amended them” and often “had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer.”

You can modify Franklin’s method to suit your child’s ability. Simply write a sample note using the form you’d like your child to use, a kind of template to be followed. Then have your child write the same number of sentences with each sentence modeled on the one in your example, making changes to personalize the note. When the note is complete look back and read both notes aloud, compare the changes made to the original, and point out improvements. This method of using a template works particularly well with thank you notes, children’s stationery,  or greeting cards sent out on vacation.

As your child gains experience it is natural to make each note a bit more advanced, until your child easily writes notes independently. The process of checking the new work against the original allows the child to see exactly where improvement is happening and builds confidence and enjoyment of the process. You can be assured that every step along the way helps your child prepare for a lifetime of enjoyable communication.

Three Simple Steps for a Meaningful Thank You Note

With spring birthdays, communions, baptisms, and Easter right around the corner, it is the perfect time to help children find easy and thoughtful ways to show their appreciation. There is no better way than through a well written note. No matter what their age, here is how to help children write thank you notes that truly stand out.

The “Three Sentence Rule”

When doing any activity with children, it is important to keep things simple and fun. The “Three Sentence Rule” gives children three basic steps for what to include in every note they send.  If your child is young, you can write your child’s responses and they can draw a picture or sign their name.  If your child is older, encourage them to add good details or an extra sentence to each step.

Step One: Thank You!

The first sentence is always the place for a simple thank you for the gift. Straightforward and easy.

Step Two: The Gift

Write one sentence about why the gift is special. This step helps your child express what they loved about receiving the gift, and provides a simple way for the gift giver know it was the perfect present for your child.

Step Three: The Giver

Write one sentence about why the gift giver is special. This step is important for helping children make a meaningful connection between the gift and giver. It will warm the heart of the person who receives the note.

Give children these simple steps on how to write thank you notes and they will turn piles of presents into cherished, memorable words of appreciation and kindness.

Back To School: Childrens Party Themes

The end of summer can be a conflicting time for some children. The light-hearted days of summer are coming to an end but it is also an exciting time for them that includes learning new things and meeting new friends. This is a good time to have a back to school childrens party celebration.

Invitations

Send out invitations at least two weeks prior to the party. Invitations should contain the party location, the host, date of the party, start and end time of the party and RSVP deadline with phone number. If you would like parents to stay during the party state this on the invitation.

Decorations

Decorations add some excitement to the party and it need not be expensive decorations. Decorate the party area with balloons and streamers in red, blue and white or use the child’s school colors. Have large paper cut outs in the shape of a school bus, apples, letters and numbers. Purchase party ware like napkins, plates, cups and tablecloth in a color or theme that suits the party. Decorate the dessert table with balloon bouquets using an uneven number of balloons and arrange them at different heights. If you use helium filled balloons tie a ribbon around each balloon and let them float from the ceiling.  Arrange streamers around the doorway and they also look nice hanging from a chandelier as this gives the party a celebratory feel. If having a centerpiece use something that relates to the theme of going back to school.

Games

There are many games that children can play at this party such as 20 questions, bingo, back to school word search, Simon says, pin the tail on the donkey  or musical chairs.  Children also like arts and crafts so set up a craft table for painting, collage and clay sculpting. They might also like to decorate pencil boxes and book markers to show their artistry.

Snacks

For this party serve peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, string cheese, baby carrots or celery, grapes or strawberries, pudding or applesauce cups, chocolate chips cookies and juice boxes. Pack the lunches in brown lunch bags and put the child’s name on a bag. You might also consider serving school bus cupcakes or some form of dessert that relates to school.

When the party has ended send each child home with a favor bag filled with pencils, crayons, note pads, stencils and erasers. This should be a fun filled party which ends the summer on a happy note.

Visit our website for more information about planning a theme party for your back to school child.

School Bus Folded Notecard

 

Thank You Notes for Small Children

Though they may not be old enough to write out thank you notes on their own, kids are never too young to learn to say thank you. Pre-written thank you notes make it easy to send thanks to gift-givers even if the child can’t really write much yet. They can still “write their names” or “draw a picture” on the card to put their own personal touch on it. We have samples on our website — you can either use our suggestions or write your own text.

Samples of Amy Adele’s pre-written thank you notes:

Birthday Balloon Flat Notecard
Birthday Balloon
Hayride
Toddler Gym
Reindeer