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Grandconnect Letter Writing Kit Review by Melonie K. Murray

Pam Lohman
P.O. Box 193
Excelsior, MN 55331

The Grandconnect letter writing kit is a two-notebook packet that will encourage kids to share their ideas, thoughts, and questions with their grandparents (or other loved ones). Grandparents can pass down family history, news, and ask their own questions as well. Each notebook includes twelve months worth of stationery (two pages for each month), envelopes, and suggestions for those who are feeling a bit of writer's block set in. The notebooks are sturdy and have a pocket built in to hold envelopes and the letters each person receives from the other. These aren't traditional school-supply binders or folders; they are keepsakes!

The purchaser of the kit fills out a card pledging to write to the recipient at least once a month and sends it, along with the second notebook, in the included envelope. The recipient returns the other pledge card, and both can tuck their cards into the front cover of the notebook. Each month the letter writers have colorful new pages to write their letter on, along with a sidebar with ideas and a sidebar to jot down what they themselves wrote about. The back cover even has space to write important addresses so they aren't forgotten. The stationery is covered with fun seasonal illustrations that may inspire more doodling on the unlined back of the page. Those who enjoy writing have space to overflow onto the back of the pages, but people with larger handwriting or less inclination to write a lot won't feel intimidated.

What a fun way to get to know more about each other! I used our kit to transcribe letters from my preschooler to her great-grandparents. They live right down the block, but both parties sure love to get mail. I'd like to exchange some of these letter writing kits with pen-pals and see what neat things we each learn. The Grandconnect kit would also be good for blended families who don't get to see a child every day. If the child is able to send and receive such letters, it would be a good way to make everyone feel acknowledged and involved. I plan to purchase another kit for my own stepdaughter to accomplish just that.

--Product Review by: Melonie K. Murray, Market Development Manager, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine