Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "children"

image1

When life is busy and chaotic, settling in with a good book usually slows the world down and allows us to escape into imagination. When the book is a children’s story, we share the experience with another, whether we are reading to a child, or the child is reading to us. And when the book is about a topic near and dear to one’s own heart, the reading is all the more enjoyable.

There are many children’s books about the postal experience, and I have selected a few that are among my favorites.

Letters from Felix The first, Letters From Felix, by Annette Langen and Constanza Droop, features a lost teddy bear named Felix, who has great adventures as he tries to find his way back to his adoring human, Sophie. The book is not only a charming read, but also a visual delight. Felix writes letters to Sophie telling her where he is and what he sees at each location. And the book has the actual letters, in real envelopes! It is such fun to turn the page and find an actual letter your child can pull out and unfold and read. The letters always have an interesting tidbit about Felix’s current location and Sophie learns a little bit geography along the way.

The Day the Crayons Quit

In The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, Duncan goes looking for his box of crayons only to find a stack of letters from the crayons. Each letter expresses a need, like more variety in life or maybe more respect. The red crayon wants to do more than just color hearts and fire trucks. Beige seeks to be more than just “light brown.” And pink, well pink is tired of being considered a “girl color.” Duncan takes the letters to heart and we get a very happy ending.

I Wrote You a Note by Lizi Boyd, Dear Panda by Miriam Latimer, Abuela’s Special Letters by Jacqueline Jules, and The Lonely Mailman by Susanna Isern, all tell stories about how letters connect us to the world around us in unexpected ways. The books are written for children but they will be enjoyed by anyone.

Mixed books Yours Sincerely, Giraffe

My favorite of all the books I read for this post is Yours Sincerely, Giraffe by Megumi Iwasa. This is the tale of Giraffe, who wants to expand his horizons beyond his native Africa and decides to write to anyone who lives far away. Lucky for Giraffe that Pelican has just started a mail delivery service. As the story progresses we read about Giraffe’s concern about the letter arriving, and then his anticipation of what might be in the return post. Postcrossers will recognize those feelings! Giraffe’s letter ends up with Penguin, who lives in Antarctica. As the letter exchange continues, the fun begins. Imagine trying to describe something that your reader has never seen. Giraffe tells Penguin of his long neck. Penguin has no idea what a neck is, but with the help of Whale, they try to figure it out. The back and forth conversation via letters is both funny and thought provoking. And when Giraffe finally goes to visit Penguin, and decides to dress like what he imagines penguins look like… well, my grandchildren found it quite entertaining!

What are some of your favorite postally theme books for children? Tell us in the comments!

PS – A big thank you to postmuse, who patiently read all these books to her grandchildren and then wrote about them for our blog. 😊

on

Tags: ,

We’re always in awe of teachers and their innovative ideas for class projects involving Postcrossing. Sometime ago, we told you about this game of bingo from a Taiwanese school, and now Charlene (aka clbrown) from the USA wrote in to let us know of a project she’s been doing with her class, connecting their lives to Mozart… via postcards!

I know it sounds a bit strange, but it works! Charlene is an elementary school teacher in Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska. This summer, their camp theme was “Making Connections” — and what better way to connect Mozart to students than through postcards? The assignment was to select postcards that represent the student, represent Mozart, and cards that have something in common for both the student and Mozart. Charlene gave them all an example, plenty of her own postcards, and let them do their research. Here are some photos of the result:

Connecting to Mozart with postcards Connecting to Mozart with postcards Connecting to Mozart with postcards Connecting to Mozart with postcards Connecting to Mozart with postcards

Did you know, for instance, that Mozart called his wife "little mouse’, or that he loved the colour red and had a few red suits? What about the fact that he was an animal lover and kept several pets?

The results are great and they show a lot of meticulous researching, as connecting an Austrian composer to a random postcard takes some creative thinking! Turns out, we’re all humans in the end, so connections are inevitable, once you go looking for them.

Well done children, and well done Charlene, for coming up with this imaginative activity!

on

Tags: , ,

Meet Alex (aka Zeby), a very enthusiastic young postcrosser from New Zealand. His mom Marian describes him as a little evangelist who will happily tell everyone he meets about Postcrossing… and he’s doing such a great job that he earned the very special Ambassador badge last year! So of course, we had to have him on the blog for an interview. 😊

Hi Alex! How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

My Mum found Postcrossing on the internet one day and thought it looked interesting. She had collected postcards when she was young and she thought I might like to have a new hobby. My brother had started stamp collecting and I wanted to do my own thing, I really like postcards and getting mail, so it was the perfect hobby for me.

Postcrossing has been a great experience so far, it gets even more interesting each day. It gives me the chance to talk to people on the other side of the world. I get to learn about what creatures live in their countries, what their capital city is like and what their lives are like.

I’ve joined in a lot of Round Robins on the Postcrossing Forum, it’s a lot of fun. From the Forum my brother and I have also got penpals our own age — it’s really nice to write cards and letters to other kids.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

I’m a Cub Scout. I love earning new badges, last year I earned 12 individual award badges. My twin brother and I got more badges than other Cub in the pack but it was a lot of work to get that many done in the year. Dad joined Cubs as a Leader late last year too and we all went to the Cubs 100 Years Camp in November.

Zeby and his family

My biggest hobby is reading. I love it. I read a lot, over 200 pages every night but Dad turns the light off if it gets too late. My favourite kinds of books are fantasy books. I got a lot of books for Christmas and I go to the library nearly every week.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!

My letterbox is a long way away from my house, it’s a big rural letterbox and we don’t get mail every day in our valley. My postie comes in a van and sometimes I am at the letterbox waiting for him. He was very curious about all the mail I was getting so I told him about Postcrossing, he says I’m keeping him in a job with all my Postcrossing mail.

Zeby's mailbox

Here’s me at one of our local postboxes, I normally post my cards here as it’s outside the supermarket.

Zeby's postbox

I have a whole wall of cards on display. There’s one from each country in my collection pinned on the wall and I’ve got string leading to where it’s from in the world.

Zeby's wall of postcards

My world map got too crowded so my uncle gave me a map of Europe.

Zeby's wall of postcards

I swap cards around with my collection boxes and the wall. I have collections of native animals, native costumes, Cold War, volcanoes and space. My brother and I also have a box of Greetings From cards we are collecting. In my room I have my special owl collection on the wall. The house is covered in postcards!

Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?

I’ve talked to my gifted education class about Postcrossing. They liked the idea and a lot wanted to join themselves. The teacher liked the idea too because it opens the world to classrooms.

My Scout Pack Master loved my Postcrossing so much she joined. Dad says I talk to everyone I meet about Postcrossing. Everyone who comes in our house gets a tour of my Postcrossing maps!

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

I like picking a new person to send a card to and then reading their profiles. I want to know about the people and match a card to them. It’s like a lucky dip, getting a new person. I enjoy sending cards out.

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

I have so many postcards that I love. I don’t have an absolute favourite but so many people have sent me amazing cards. My rarest official card was from Montenegro:

ME-2303

Someone else sent me an official with my name on the front!

NL-3625135

My favourite rare country was a card from Antarctica, though it didn’t come from Postcrossing. It was sent from a New Zealand scientist I met, she went down to Antarctica to do some field work this summer.

Antarctica
Is there anything that you are passionate about?

Space is a big passion for me. My hero is Neil deGrasse Tyson, he’s an astrophysicist. I love astronomy and one day I’d like my own telescope to look at the stars. All science is amazing.

I love learning, I want to know as much as possible. I like trying to learn languages. I like learning about history and how the world works. I’m lucky that I’m a worldschooler!

on

Tags: , , ,

Nothing melts our hearts like the happy combination of children and postcards. They might be young, but they can already appreciate the magic and awe behind these little pieces of paper!

When Audrey was born, her dad opened her an account on Postcrossing, so that she could receive postcards from all around the world. This was two years ago, and though she is still too young to read her postcards, she’s been enjoying Postcrossing in other, simpler ways.

Alan Yung (Audrey’s dad) shared these lovely photos with us:

Audrey picking up her postcards! Audrey picking up her postcards!

Doesn’t she look sweet? Alan says Audrey is excited to pick up her postcards from their post box and can even recognize the origin of a few of the cards she receives by the stamps she’s familiar with! Many nice people send her cards with all sorts of cute characters and animals, and often cover the back with stickers and drawings.

Audrey also helps with the sending part of the process sometimes, by helping her dad drop the postcards in mailboxes all around town, which she learned to recognize! :)

Audrey picking up her postcards!

Although Audrey doesn’t always understand the messages, Alan says that sometimes during bed time, she’ll ask for her pile of cards to go through the pictures again. Awwww… I must confess, I quite like the idea that all these postcrossers are helping put Audrey to sleep every night! :)

What about you? Did you ever share your postcards with your children or grandchildren? Leave a comment below – we’d love to hear about it!

on

Tags: ,

I have a confession to make: I get a little teary-eyed when I see a child writing (or receiving) a postcard for the first time. You can almost see the switch going off in their heads when they realize that some sort of magic is going on behind the scenes… they have so many questions! How is this postcard getting across the world? What is the stamp for? How did it land on our mailbox? And when is the next one coming?! :)

So when I saw the pictures that Arlene (aka whodalalee) submitted to our Facebook page… well, you can image the smile on my face! Arlene tells the story of how she and and her friend Evelyn (aka eskae) organized a Postcrossing event in Okanagan Regional Library, as part of the local summer reading program:

My Postcrossing friend Evelyn Skae and I were talking one day about how nice it would be to spread the word about Postcrossing. We had seen schools and teachers doing Postcrossing, so we thought it would be a great idea to see if the local library would be interested in doing something. I went to the library and they were very happy to incorporate Postcrossing into the summer reading program…so Evelyn who works at a print shop made a huge poster, and brochures for the library: Postcrossing event at Okanagan Regional Library

She put a post into the forums asking Postcrossing fans to send postcards to the library. I donated 60 blank postcards to the library so children could answer the postcards. The library set up a wonderful display for one month to let people know about it.

Postcrossing event at Okanagan Regional Library

At last, the day for our Postcrossing-summer reading program project came… we arrived half an hour before and waited for the kids to come. It was so wonderful for the children to be able to pick the postcards they wanted, then write the sender a card in return. We had one sender who sent 8 postcards to the library! The children were very enthusiastic and had a wonderful time, there was even a parent who wanted to write a card too. Overall, our project was very successful and so much fun.

Postcrossing event at Okanagan Regional Library Postcrossing event at Okanagan Regional Library

I also took many of my favorite postcards to show the variety of postcards we receive and the wonderful stamps on them. It is so exciting to share our passion with others!

Postcrossing event at Okanagan Regional Library

We have a few extra postcards that were not answered, so I will be going to another library to see if they would like to continue the project!

Well done Arlene and Evelyn, what an inspiring event! :)

What about you? Have you ever introduced a child to the wonders of mail? Do share!

on

Tags: , ,