Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Guest Post: The Art of the Written Note

I've been talking to Abbe Mazer Lunger, the mompreneur who founded PrintArtKids, and she sent me a sample of the products they can create using your child's artwork. I was impressed with the both the quality of stationary created and the concept of using children's art to engage them in the etiquette of hosting a party. I asked her to share more about how to engage children in gratitude and how her shop works.
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In the current age of email and texting, it’s only a matter of time before the hand written note is all but forgotten. As parents, we must challenge technology by continuing to teach our children the art and importance of personalized correspondence. Involving children in the planning of their birthday parties is the ideal time to introduce them to this necessary life skill. Creating their own unique invitations, thank you notes and birthday cards using their own art is a fun activity, and will enhance both fine motor skills and creative minds. Your children will feel so proud to see their “masterpieces” celebrated and cherished by family and friends. What a great way to build their self-esteem and confidence!

A one-of-a-kind invitation, birthday card or thank-you note created by your child will become a treasured keepsake, a perfect way to document and save their clip_image002childhood creations. To create invitations for the party, have your child draw a birthday themed picture or phrase, then scan or take a photo of the art. Upload the image onto a PrintArtKids invitation template, type in the party details, and voila, your one-of-a-kind invitation is complete! Use the same birthday art or another of your child’s masterpieces to create thank-you notes and matching return address labels.
One of the most important lessons to teach a child is the importance of saying “thank you”. No child is too young to show appreciation for a gift or kind gesture. There are many creative ways for children to show appreciation. Even those who are too young to write a note can create a message of appreciation.

clip_image006One of my favorite thank-you notes came from a friend’s daughter expressing her appreciation for a first birthday gift. Laura was obviously too young to write a note or even to sign her name, but her mother, Sharon, was quite clever with how to express their appreciation. She dressed Laura in an oh-so-cute outfit and hand wrote THANK YOU in big, colorful letters on a large piece of paper. She then took a photo of Laura with the sign and created the most precious thank-you note! Thirteen years later, that thank-you note has a special place in my scrapbook.

clip_image004Postcards are another great option for invitations and thank-you notes. For invitations, use the child’s art or a favorite photo on the front, with party details on the back. For thank-you notes, a preprinted thank-you message on the back of a postcard is the perfect solution for the child who is too young to write a message, but can write their name. A fun idea is to have the child “sign” their name with a handprint! PrintArtKids also offers the option to insert two art or photos from the event to the backs of the postcards, adding another creative twist.

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A great way to involve your child in celebrating other’s special moments is to have him or her create their own unique set of custom birthday cards to send to family and friends. A birthday greeting with a child’s unique “masterpiece” is so much more creative than a generic store-bought card! Preprint a birthday message, or have your child hand write their own special wishes for their special friend or relative. What a special way to say “Happy Birthday!”

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By teaching our children the social grace and art of hand written correspondence, we are providing them with a necessary life skill that will stay with them through adulthood, a tremendous asset to possess in their future personal, social and business relationships. A simple hand-written note sent as thanks for a special gift or a good deed, or simply to say hello, is an easy, yet much appreciated gesture. It’s just the right thing to do.

Abbe Lunger, mompreneur, is the creator of PrintArtKids, an award winning web-based business. PrintArtKids transforms your kids’ art and favorite family photos into useful, one-of-a-kind treasures. www.printartkids.com

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