When we were kids, we had no choice but to write handwritten thank-you notes after holidays and birthdays, and the only way to talk to a pen pal was through letters. Kids now are exposed to various digital methods in which they can type their text and click send — it's that simple, and it gets them used to the idea of instant gratification. Is it personal? No. Does it help enhance their fine motor skills the way using a pencil does? Nope. Is it teaching them patience? Doubtful.
Disney Junior is using Princess Sofia to try and change children's views on snail mail and show them the excitement and joy that comes with sending a handwritten note and receiving one in return. Through Dear Sofia, kids can design stationary to print out, then they can write the princess a letter asking her questions or sharing their personal adventures.
Parents can send the letters to the address provided, and Sofia will write back shortly, giving children the opportunity to feel the joy in receiving a personalized note.
Though this program is very niche — your child may not be a fan of Sofia — trying it out could still be fun, or you could encourage them to write to family members and friends in a similar way. The art of writing letters shouldn't die with the birth of digital messaging, and to make sure of that, we need to pass it down to our kids.