Once our new and improved Play and Learn area had been up for about a week, I knew there was more we could be offering our patrons. While they absolutely loved the mailboxes and delivering letters, I realized they would also love WRITING letters to their favorite characters.
Our amazing aide made our bulletin board directing kids to ask for supplies at the desk. Since I'm a huge failure I unfortunately didn't take a picture of it. The kids just had to come to the desk and we'd give them a small piece of cardstock to write/draw their letter on. The project went well with a few people doing it the first few days. Kids would write their letters and "mail them" in our play mailbox. However, it wasn't the smash hit I was expecting.
Luckily, I work with a bunch of geniuses. Our teen librarian, Linda, suggested having the character write back to the letter writer. This quickly became one of the greatest and coolest things we've ever done.
We started posting the letters on our bulletin board with the attached responses. We had over 40 letters within 3 weeks. We had a core group of about 6 kids that came back at least once a week to see what their character had said back and to write another one. We also had adults checking the board each week because they thought the letters were hilarious. One mom told me that her kids had talked all week about who they were going to write their letter to. Another mom came up after we had taken the board down to request that we write a letter for her daughter who was very upset that Elsa hadn't written back to her. I wrote one really fast and her face lit up like I had given her a bowl of candy.
Seriously, if you have a bulletin board or wall space in your library then you should do this project. It's simple and fun, plus writing the letters back is an amazing job. Here are some of my favorites...