Yes – e-mail skills are important. But writing traditional snail mail is exciting PLUS, excellent writing skills give children a lifelong advantage. The only way they will know envelope format, is if we teach them.
This activity is great for parents to do with their kids or teachers to set up as a literacy station.
Envelope Format for Kids
In school, children with strong writing skills often outperform their peers in daily work and tests. Outside the classroom, writing skills enable children to collaborate, connect and share their experiences. Most professions require the skill of addressing envelopes, so why not introduce it to children at a young age.
To perfect their writing skills, children need to write often. One of the simplest ways they practice is by writing plenty of letters and addressing the envelopes by themselves. We like to print a TON of blank envelope templates and set them in the literacy center. Place a set of children scissors, sharpened pencils and glue next to the stack and children will make and address their own envelopes.
If you are a parent or know the child’s home address write the child’s name and address on a 3×5 note card and let them copy the information. Then copies this information off the card and onto the envelope. Then the child not only learns about envelope format, but also an important life skill – their own address.
How to write address on envelope
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Materials Needed for Envelope Format Activity
- Envelope template
- Children’s scissors
- Glue Stick
Directions for Envelope Format Activity
1. Cut the outside edge of the envelope template. (Solid black line only)
2. Put the printed side down. Fold inwards along the dotted line.
3.Place glue on the left and right flaps. Bring the bottom upwards to form the envelope.
4. Address the envelope with the recipient’s address and return address. Add a stamp.
5. Place the card or letter inside and seal with tape or glue on the top flap.
CLICK TO PRINT THE ENVELOPE TEMPLATE on TPT for $1.00
CLICK TO PRINT THE ENVELOPE TEMPLATE on TPT
Recipient’s address: This is the name and address of the person to whom the letter is being sent to. The recipient’s full name, street name as well as city, state and zip code should be written on separate lines. Postal abbreviations of the state name can be used, but only in capital letters. This section of the writing is placed in the middle of the envelope. It is traditionally written bigger.
Return address: Also known as the return label, this address outlines the information of the sender. It is included so that the postal service will know where to send it in case delivery to recipient fails for one reason or the other. On separate lines write your full name, your street address as well as your city, state and zip code. Again, postal abbreviation codes of the state can be used, but only in capital letters. The return address should be written on the top left corner of the envelope. This section is traditionally written smaller.
Stamp: This should be placed at the top right corner of the envelope. The stamp is how the delivery of letters is paid for. You should know that stamps are canceled before delivery to ensure that they can’t be used twice. Let kids check the mail that has been through the post office.
How can you tell the stamps were canceled?
hint – the postal service inks over the stamp.
How to Fill Out an Envelope
If children are making and addressing the envelopes for classmates. Have them sort and deliver the envelopes just as a mail carrier would. This would make a great pretend play center in an early learning classroom.
Learning how mail gets sorted is also an important lesson for children. For starters, the mail sorting process depends a lot on the country and the postal service used. Many postal services use an automated system to address mail. All the mail is first checked for a stamp to ensure that the delivery fee is paid. Afterward, it is sorted based on the cities and zip codes. To get to the right destination, a single letter can be sorted a few times based on the zip code criteria.
With the increased popularity of emails and advancement of technology, the necessity to teach children how to address envelopes correctly becomes more important every day.
Cerys Parker says
This is fantastic – and you know what it could be revisited time and time again. As a high school form teacher I taught letter writing skills how to address an envelope and even the correct format for letters to help students with applications to university and jobs
no comma between state and zip
Growing Book by Book says
What a super helpful resource!
Theresa A says
Learning the envelope format is so important. We are going to try this soon. Thank you!
Natasha Johnson says
We need to work on how to address an envelope. We do a couple of different formats but I think it's time they learn the traditional way as they will be sending lots of letters to family.
Danielle Buckley says
This is great! Pinning this so I can come back to it when my preschoolers is ready for it. 🙂
Lisa Lewis, MD says
Ahhhhh yes. A lost art. Thank you for this post. I plan to try this with my seven year old.
Kerry Yeakey says
As a letter carrier, I want kids to know how to address a letter in the digital age with the post office’s highs speed optical readers that sort the letters. The correct way: Letters should be addressed in ALL CAPS, with no commas and no periods at all.