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Learning to Say Thanks

Even a kid with lots of energy to try out a new toy may plead exhaustion when it comes to writing the thank-you note for it. It can feel like schoolwork, and it's hard to know what to say. Still, a child this age is old enough, and it's important to learn the value of saying thanks. Plus, it never hurts to practice writing skills! To start:

Keep it fun. A thank-you note can be more enjoyable if your child gets to pick out the paper, cool pens, and even the stamp.

Don't do them all at once. It may be tough to do more than two or three at a time. Have him cross off names on a list as he goes, so he can see the end is in sight!

Come up with an outline. Guide him as he writes his first letter, so that he can use it as a fill-in-the-blanks outline for the rest. As he gets more comfortable with writing, he can rearrange or add to his sentences.

Suggest ways to make every note special. Encourage your child to say something specific about the present (for instance, those socks will come in handy for soccer). If he's not yet a writer, he can draw a picture.