We’ll be the first to admit it—we love thank you notes! Whether for birthdays, holidays, or surprise kindness throughout the year, teaching kids to say thank you is actually a lesson they can learn well before they can write. And “thanks” to technology and creativity, it’s never been easier to express gratitude. Scroll through the slideshow for ten clever ideas for thank you messages (And you’re most welcome!).
1. Take One!
With a smartphone always at someone’s fingertips, it’s easy to record a personal and instant video to make a gift giver’s day. Capture the moment your little elves open up that present from the grandparents or when they first strut their stuff in those cute hand-me-downs thoughtfully sent. Want to make your e-note even better? The new app thankr can make your video even more special with fun templates for all different occasions.
2. Say It in Greek! Or Thai! Or Hawaiian!
While “thank you,” does typically suffice, teach your child and their recipient how to express gratitude in another language! We recently rounded up 20 translations to get you started. It'll be a unique twist on a classic gesture.
3. Artistic Merit
Nothing says “one of a kind” quite like a child’s artwork. For family members and close friends, giving an original drawing, painting, or hand-printed treasure is a personal thank you and creative childhood time capsule all rolled into one.
4. Traceable Thanks
When busy mom Ellen Richard grew tired of writing thank you notes on behalf of her four kids, she had a brilliant idea. “I created a line of stationary that allows even the youngest kids to send out their own thank you notes,” she shares. Indeed, her Letter Learning designs have traceable messages that can also be customized. “No tears, no misspelled words, no stress.” Thank you, Ellen!
5. Home-Baked Goodness
If it works for Santa, it will likely work for that neighbor, aunt, or family friend—a classic plate of cookies! So why not bake your thanks right into the recipe? If you’re in need of one that’s delicious and good for you, check out our selection here.
6. Living Gratitude
Pick up a small potted rosebud or succulent the next time you take the kids to the market. Then stick the card right into the soil! Or go the extra mile and help your little one make a hand-painted pot, like in this tutorial for Rainbow Pour Pots over at KC Edventures. Regardless, giving something living as a thank-you means the thoughtfulness will last long after the thank-you note itself is read.
7. Original Gift Cards
When it’s that time of year to say thank you to teachers, coaches, Veterans, and the service people who make our days, a gift card for something simple and small like coffee or donuts is usually a crowd-pleasing go-to. If you want to put a personal spin on the generic gift card, try one of these ways to make your own holder by Gift Card Girlfriend at GiftCards.com.
8. Calendars, Notepads, and Puzzles, Oh My!
Thanks to memory-capturing companies like Shutterfly, Minted, and Artifact Uprising (and their frequent discounts or free gift promotions), there are opportunities throughout the year to make a little notepad, calendar, or other personalized tokens of appreciation—like a puzzle, ornament, placemat, tote bag, magnet, just about anything! You can stow these away for when a little more than saying “thank you” is needed.
9. Send It via App
For those who want a more polished, tech-savvy approach, use Red Stamp App. It works great for families who need to write multiple thank you cards during the holiday season. With over 2,000 designs, this award-winning app makes it easy to create digital cards and letters that you can email or share online. Check it out here.
10. Write That Note
As fun as it is to get creative, at the end of the day, a handwritten note does go far—both in terms of its appreciated recipient and instilling in our kids the practice and patience of expressing gratitude. A sentence or two from the heart speaks volumes. As one Red Tricycle Spoke Contributor recently wrote, “For me, receiving a thank you note really feels just like I am being given a gift; wrapped in paper and tied with a zip code and a stamp on top!” Fellow Spoke Contributor Vlasta Hillger also has some great tips for helping little ones tackle more than one note at a time.
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How do you encourage your little one to say a big thank you? Share in the comments!
—Jennifer Massoni Pardini & Christal Yuen