Do you ever get mail? Real mail with real letters or cards or care packages? Even Christmas has less and less cards and more ecards being sent. Which is sad because there is something wonderful about opening the mail box and seeing an envelope with handwriting adorned. Even messy barely legible handwriting.
I remember living in Korea and being overjoyed when letters came. Usually from my mom and Gramma and occasionally from Bal, my brother and friends. Though my Gramma’s letters were filled with weather reports and the latest Weight Watchers updates, I treasured those letters. Partly because I found her hilarious (even though she wasn’t trying to be) and partly because her handwriting was HORRIBLE and it took me forever to finish one letter. While I devoured all other letters sent to me, my Gramma’s I was forced to savour.
Just typing this makes me want to abandon the keyboard, go find my box of keepsake letters, and reread them all. Better yet, I feel it is time to send out some handwritten cards. Which is fortunate since Kaya just made a bunch for her camping friends. Bad mommy has still not bought stamps to actually send them but today is the day!
All this to recommend a fabulous activity for your kids that I have been doing with mine for the last few weeks. These mailboxes were $3 each at Walmart and I can’t even begin to tell you the joy they have brought.
Actually, the Easter Bunny brought them and this was the beginning of the Easter treasure hunt. After that I put in an I Love You heart. Since Kaya has been curious about reading lately, I put in a sunshine cut out with ‘Sun is Fun!’ written on it, then got her to sound it out and read to me. Fantastic! She loved it so I followed it up with a ‘Bugs Love Hugs’ note with some cutout huggy monkies hugging a toy bug we have.
Bugs inspired me to find some real ones, put them in her magnifying bug collector box and surprise her with a spider, a slug, a worm and some other garden creature. I did give her a warning not to scream when she opened it which immediately made her wary. If she knew to do such a thing, she would have ‘Returned to Sender’! Instead she put it in Brennyn’s box which was cool until I almost had all the creatures making themselves at home in my home. Yuk. Close call but after a close look (while Kaya squealed from far, far away), we set them free outside.
I’ve put in sunflower seeds that we then planted, butterfly pictures, and letter pretzels spelling out their names with a snack pack behind.
Such simple, simple things that make my girls not just happy, but giddy! Sometimes I’ll go days with nothing, sometimes once a day, sometimes I sneak something in there every hour. Usually it is something that we were going to be doing anyways. A craft or a snack or felts for drawing on the window. Only now this ordinary activity becomes a treat that makes my girls feel so very special. All because I took 2 extra minutes to cut out a heart and throw it in the mailbox.
I love simple inspiration.