Postcard Penpals: Understanding our place in the world

Postcard Penpals - Understanding our place in the world - An Everyday Story‘Mummy! Look! We got another postcard! Let’s read it.’

For the past few weeks Jack has been eagerly checking the  mailbox every day (sometimes several times a day) to see if another postcard has arrived.

A couple months ago, my friend Rebecca from Thirteen Red Shoes asked whether we would be interested in a postcard swap (postcard penpals) with other families around the world. YES! She called it Love Postcard | Postcard Love.

I had a penpal when I was about eight. Her name was Deppy and she lived in Greece. We wrote regularly and stayed in contact right through high school and into university. She went off to start a nursing career and I moved to Japan which is when we sadly lost contact. I often think about her and wonder. Deppy was an important part of my life. We shared a lot.

So maybe it was nostalgia which saw me jump with great enthusiasm into Love Postcard | Postcard Love, but what fun Jack and I have had choosing postcards and sending them off.

There is so much I love about having a penpal. I love that Jack is meeting other little children from around Australia and around the world. I love that he anticipates the arrival of each new postcard; that he can’t wait to read it, insisting we read it then and there at the mailbox. I love that he answers the children’s questions out loud, like somehow they can hear him and exclaiming with such delight when one of the children have a similar interest, ‘Mummy I like blocks too! And I’m four too!’

Using an atlas - An Everyday Story
‘I live here in Canberra. And Rupert lives down here. It’s far away.’
Early geography for preschoolers - An Everyday Story
Geography for preschoolers - An Everyday Story Making learning visible: writing the names of his new penpals on the map
Drawing maps - An Everyday Story
Learning to write through purposeful activity

But this humble little postcard is helping Jack to learn so much. With each new postcard we look in the atlas to see where it is from. We look the town up on the internet. We see how far the postcard has travelled.

Jack is also enthusiastic about writing now, wanting to write back straight away. I scribe for him and he signs his name. But it won’t be long before he is writing more words.

Even the trip to the postoffice is a learning opportunity. Jack buys a stamp and hands over the money. Then pops his postcard into the box, sending it on its way.

Oh this little postcard swap is so much fun.


If you want to get involved in Love Postcard | Postcard Love just pop me an email and I’ll send you back Rebecca’s contact details. Maybe our little ones will be sending postcards to each other soon.

Thank you everyone for your interest. I’ve forwarded all your details to Rebecca. She has collated the list and emailed it to everyone.

If you would still like to be a part of this project please email Rebecca directly:

16 Replies to “Postcard Penpals: Understanding our place in the world”

  1. I loved having a penpal when I was a child! Would love to send Jack a postcard from Singapore!

  2. We love getting postcards from other countries, usually it”s from family and friends though. It is a great way to learn about the world. Is the postcard swap still open for new members? We recently moved back to Belgium from New York. If you want, I can let my Jack send your Jack a postcard 🙂

  3. I was dying for a pen pal when I was a kid. Why don’t you look Deppy up on facebook?

    1. That is a GREAT idea! Why didn’t I think of that?!? She’ll be there for sure. I’m off to find her. I wonder how many Deppy’s there are…..

      1. let us know if you find her

  4. What a lovely idea! My eldest was joined in on a Christmas card swap over at kidscraftweekly about 5 years ago and she loved it! We got cards from all over the world. I had a penpal from malaysia when i was in high school. we sadly lost touch.

  5. Kate I love the post! Can i link back to you on my blog in a couple of weeks?

    1. Of course 🙂 Really looking forward to making some new OS pen pals now 🙂

  6. We’re from Romania (and we’re reading your blog passionately for some time now). My daughter is almost 6 now and became very interested in writing lately. We’d love to send you a postcard too!

    1. That would be wonderful Andru 🙂 I will pass on your email to Rebecca at Thirteen Red Shoes.

  7. I just showed my girls your first photo with everyones postcards and they are jumping up and down with excitment to see them there. It’s such a wonderful project.
    Love Hannah (A and P) xxx
    P.S. I love you blog!!!!

  8. I love this. I had penpals growing up too. Now, living on such a small island penpals will be great for my children. Im lucky enough to have friends around the world with young children too so hopefully we can have our kids write to each other as they grow older!

  9. This is such a wonderful blog. I was nostalgic when I was reading this. When I was in grade school, I used to have a pen pal in the US. I am from the Philippines. We wrote regularly with each other but when we moved, we lost contact. I am happy your son enjoy receiving the “old fashioned” way of corresponding. I can just imagine how eager he is to open his letters.

    This makes me want to have someone whom I can exchange postcards with too! Thank you for the very positive write-up!

    1. Thank you 🙂 He loves getting postcards in the mail. It is such a nice experience for little children.

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