Fun letters/packages to nieces?
May 6, 2020 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Because of Covid-19, I don't get to see my nieces that often (girls, 5 and 7). I would like to send them fun letters and small packages to keep them entertained and in touch. Any suggestions about what I can send them?

I prefer sending stuff that fits into a ordinary door mail slot.
posted by Foci for Analysis to Human Relations (19 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Anything origami that you can fold flat. Maybe with paper and instructions to fold their own?
posted by Night_owl at 7:09 PM on May 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Leaf cutter designs is home of the littlest post office and sends out itty bitty fairy/mouse sized packages that are incredibly fun to receive and send (they have kits so that you can send your own)...a series of these might be really fun.
posted by AnneShirley at 7:19 PM on May 6, 2020 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Sorry, I forgot to mention that we all live in Sweden. Love the World’s Smallest Post Service, though!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:30 PM on May 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: stickers. sparkly things. unicorns, horses, fairies, mermaids; bugs, birds, flowers. pressed flowers; pressed leaves. little books: coloring, games, activities, readers. bought some beginning readers for my child that come in a (child's entertainment character branded) box and consist of several maybe 20-page booklets each about the size of a greeting card and dedicated to one particular vowel sound, plus a couple workbooks: you might buy the set and send the booklets one at a time. probably other types of children's literature come in a similar form factor. paper dolls, paper models. little travel games (ball in maze, ball in little depression, magnet and iron-filing beard -- do those still exist?), puzzles. of course my child prefers tv.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:07 PM on May 6, 2020

Best answer: CANDY!
posted by eelgrassman at 8:16 PM on May 6, 2020

Best answer: I send stationary - Daiso type things - and small paper models, colouring pages that are chosen to their interests. I keep my stuff in a file folder, labelled one tab per child/person, and I note what I sent each time so I don't accidentally duplicate. Usually, it's postcards, erasers, random pictures and a note, washi tape, another tiny note with jokes in it, and random photographs. That way I can hit up a shop for a bunch of affordable little cute things and then split them among the recipients without having to purposefully shop per child. Stickers, i agree, are the PERFECT ingredient.

They're siblings so you can split parts of a game among them. I did send a themed "mystery" series to one of my favourite small people, but she lost one of them and couldn't solve it so hastily switched tactics. I would make each parcel sent complete in itself as children do not keep things carefully.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:21 PM on May 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seeds for planting. You could send blotting paper for cress and other sprouting seeds. Sunflowers.

Pukaca on etsy does paper models on postcards which the older child might like.
posted by paduasoy at 11:56 PM on May 6, 2020

Best answer: You could also write to the older one in rebus format (the picture letter thing where you replace "that" with a T and a drawing of a hat, etc).
posted by paduasoy at 12:06 AM on May 7, 2020

Best answer: My niece is 9 now. Bookmarks. Books, direct postage. Stickers yes yes yes. Laser-cut models (dinosaurs etc) are flat and post cheaply. Crystal tree kits. Fancy stationery like tiny scented Japanese pens and erasers in cute food shapes - if possible send a spare she can gift to a friend. Anything personalised. Stickers with her name. Lockable journals. Wreck This Journal.
Bigger presents that have gone down well include a pasta machine and lots of fimo type polymer clay and a (not kid sized) glycerin soap making kit that she used with adult supervision at a birthday party so all the kids could go home with a soap they made. This past Xmas I was considering a make your own ukulele kit as she's learning guitar.
posted by quercus23 at 2:39 AM on May 7, 2020

Best answer: My daughter is 6 and her favorite thing to receive this pandemic has been stationary and stamps! She’s written to EVERYONE and she loves it. She even leaves notes for the postman.
posted by lydhre at 3:05 AM on May 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Have you sent them letters before? I've been pleasantly surprised how well letters have gone down with our friends' kids, just writing to them directly ("p.s. say hi to your parents!") and telling them a story that's vaguely appropriate to their age and interests, about where we live or about our cat. I did use some cute stationery because that's what I had, but I just wouldn't underestimate the novelty of getting a letter talking about walks you've been taking/something sweet and current that they don't already know.

If you're planning a series, you could e.g. make envelopes or postcards each containing 1/4 of an image or map too, so that they can enjoy keeping a set.
posted by carbide at 5:33 AM on May 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I asked about this a few years back!

Some things I've recently sent to or received from my nephews:
- just jokes, like one a day for a week, each one in a separate envelope
- friendship bracelets
- pop-up cards - these were a huge hit, I think one of the boy takes his to bed each night
- a tracing of their head, shoulders, and arms so I can have a hug whenever I want one (because my nephew made it, I treasure this beyond all things, but it is actually terrifying; it is bright orange and it has too. many. teeth.)
- I cut out letters spelling "AUNT PUNCH LOVES NEPHEW" from thin cardboard, painted them, and mailed them to them all scrambled up.
- codes in general
- homemade mad libs
- treasure hunts, where I ask them to go look for things in their neighborhood and draw a picture or take a picture of it for me
posted by punchtothehead at 6:08 AM on May 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: This just came up in my feed--Toy Like Me is an organization that works for disability representation in toys. They've come out with a paper doll/house set, and you can either print it out yourself or pay to have it mailed.
posted by brook horse at 7:58 AM on May 7, 2020

Best answer: Paint by stickers books are keeping us alive right now.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:58 AM on May 7, 2020

Response by poster: So many great ideas, guys!

dorothyisunderwood, ok I will probably just copy your setup to keep stuff organized.

paduasoy, I'm looking at seeds right now. They have their own plants that they take care of so I'm sure they will love getting these.

carbide, I typically send them post cards during major holidays (but missed Easter this year :o ) so no letters YET.

punchtothehead, I've been thinking about pop up cards for years. I mean, I want them for myself... I have an idea for a tresure hunt that involves google maps and a buried treasure, let's see how that goes. Thanks for the link to your askme.

St. Peepsburg, hell yeah, I found the kids series and they seem awesome.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:45 AM on May 7, 2020

Best answer: Sunprint kit, paper dolls, Cat's Cradle (any smaller/flatter Klutz products, probably), sparkly gel pens.
posted by naoko at 10:55 AM on May 7, 2020

Best answer: A kid safe tape measure with regular requests for them find find an item of a certain length or to find and report the measurements of different things.
posted by InkaLomax at 1:25 PM on May 7, 2020

Response by poster: I've ordered books about origami, paper fortune-tellers and one with a shit ton of stickers.

I really like to do a treasure hunt for the girls. I'm thinking of hiding a treasure chest in their neighborhood and mailing them a map and key. Not sure about how practical it will be - what if someone else finds the treasure 🤔 - so maybe I will hide the chest moments before putting the map and key in their mail slot.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:15 AM on May 8, 2020

what if someone else finds the treasure

Coordinate with your sibling to find someone they know in the neighborhood and put it in their yard behind a landscape feature, by the compost or something. I've had good luck doing that - putting it somewhere safe where people who lived there knew that it was there and to expect people to come looking for it.
posted by gemmy at 7:44 AM on May 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

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