By Lexi Walters Wright
If your child has trouble with writing, sending traditional thank-you cards may feel like a chore to him. Consider these alternatives to written notes. (Kids without writing issues may enjoy these fun options, too.)
Did Grandma knit your child a sweater? Have him take a selfie or take a picture of him while he’s wearing the sweater and his biggest grin. Did Aunt Lucy send modeling clay? Help your child roll out the letters of the words “Thank you” and snap a pic. You can print the photo or send it digitally. Seeing your child happily using or wearing a gift is the best thanks most gift-givers could get.
Using your smartphone or video camera, capture your child explaining how he’ll use the gift card Cousin Ben sent him. If his godmother sent a scooter, have him shout “thanks!” as he whizzes by. Text, email or post the video so the gift-giver can appreciate your child’s gratitude in action.
Use the microphone on your smartphone to capture your child playing a tune on an instrument or singing a thank-you song. (That could be as simple as repeating “thank you” to the tune of “Happy Birthday.”) Or you could buy a recordable card at a stationery or drug store. Then record your child singing his thanks.
Some kids with writing issues are more comfortable using a keyboard. If your child prefers typing, encourage him to type up a heartfelt email or funny e-card to send to his gift-giver. For a small fee, some online services like Postable.com or Postagram.com will even let you upload your child’s typed greetings and then send your recipient a printed card, with or without photos.
Let your child draw, paint, ink-stamp or use stickers to create the word “thanks.” Or you can write “thank you!” in big, thick white crayon letters on white paper for your child. Then he can paint over it with watercolors: The words will stand out clearly from your child’s painting.
Younger kids can help you bake thank-you cookies, brownies or other treats for local gift-givers. Older kids can take charge of choosing the recipe, assisting with shopping and doing the baking. They can help you deliver the treats, too. Or if the gift was from a close neighbor, your child may even be able to take them over on his own.
Help your child create fake flowers out of pipe cleaners. Or you can help him snip some posies out of colorful paper. If the gift-giver is nearby, you could even make a bouquet of balloons. Whether you mail or hand-deliver the “flowers,” the recipient will know the sentiment is sincere.
Consider buying pre-printed thank-you cards that leave spaces for your child to write in things like what his present was and his name. If your gift-giver knows about your child’s writing issues, she’ll be impressed with his efforts. Some fill-in-the-blank thank-you notes are also available online for download.
Let your child cut out pictures and letters from magazines and combine them to show his gratitude (and his artistic strengths). He might assemble the letters of the word “thanks” plus images of smiling people. Or his collage could be a collection of images he chooses with the recipient in mind. Let him take the lead, and mail the collage when it’s complete.
Write down what your child says to explain why he appreciates his gift. The handwriting (or typing) may be yours, but make it clear who’s expressing the thanks. “Nana, thank you for my knight costume. My teacher read us a book about the Middle Ages and I got so excited. When you come in the spring, maybe we can play dress-up!”
Spring is in the air. And that can make staying focused even harder for kids who are easily distracted. With many weeks of school still to go, keeping your child on track is key. These seven tips can help.
From interrupting others to feeling left out, kids with social skills issues often struggle when working in groups. These tips can help your child troubleshoot common challenges.
Lexi Walters Wright is a veteran writer and editor who helps parents make more informed choices for their children and for themselves.
Jim Rein, M.A., has lectured on postsecondary options and summer programs for kids and young adults with learning and attention issues.
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