Pro-Tip: Find a Summer Pen Pal to Avoid the Summer Slide

Texting is cool and all, but the excitement around finding an old-school, snail mail letter in the mailbox can’t be beat! Inspire your little writer to send letters to a cousin who lives across the country, craft a card for a neighbor, or color a picture for a best friend from school.

Using real paper, stamps, and envelopes, children can work on their reading and writing skills in a genuine way consistently throughout the summer.

Here are some tips to make your child’s pen pal-ship a piece of cake:

1. Choose a pen pal of a similar age with a few common interests. Can’t find a suitable friend? Grandma or a favorite uncle are another great option because you know they’ll keep writing back!

2. You don’t have to send the letters far away. The thrill of receiving physical mail will be just as exciting from a friend who lives on the other side of town.

3. If writing a letter is too daunting or advanced, try writing a postcard or drawing a card with a super short note.

4. Having some fun stickers or colorful paper on hand will help them keep writing all summer long!

Need some prompts to get your kids started? Try these:

“What was your favorite memory from the school year?”
“What are you most excited to do this summer?”
“Where is your favorite place to go in the summertime?”
“What was your favorite summer vacation ever?”


Do your kids have successful pen-pals?
We’d love to hear about tricks that keep them engaged all summer long! 


Book Trust