I'm trying to be more consistent this year in writing to the kids we sponsor through Compassion International. I often send stickers, and I made them paper pocket books once, but I want to get a little more creative. You can find the guidelines for items you can send to your kiddos here. Every time I look at the list, I'm actually surprised at all the stuff you can send. Here's a few things we're sending right now:
Math Decoder: Secret Message
Both of our sponsored kids have expressed to us that they are struggling in school. I'm always trying to encourage them in their studies, and telling them how proud I am that they continue to work hard and get better. I thought it would be fun to sneak in a little extra math practice, by way of a secret message. Everyone loves decoding a secret message right? I got the math worksheet from education.com, which I love for free worksheets for my own kids (find this one here). For the message below, I just made up a little phrase and translated it into Spanish (our kids are in Guatemala). Since it will take them a while to work out the math, I wanted the message to be in Spanish so they could read it right away, not have to wait until someone could translate it for them. An easy way to do this (especially if you don't speak Spanish, or whatever language your sponsored kids speak), is to use a Bible verse you like, and then look it up in the other language. Bible Gateway has lots of translations of the Bible. Here's a link to the side by side for Proverbs 17:22 (just the first part), "A cheerful heart is good medicine," which I think is the perfect length message.
Paint with Water Pages
You can not send paint brushes, so I'll have to hope they can get their hands on one, or some q-tips, but paper with the paint included, is a good start. I've tried some of these kinds of pages with my kids before, some don't really work well (especially the really cheap ones). This is from a pack by Melissa and Doug, and I was really impressed with how far the paint went and how well the paper held up.
Seek and Find
My boys love seek and find, and you really don't need to be able to read the words to get the concept. I think I will still put a note (in Spanish) about looking for the pictures from the box. This was originally a little party favor booklet, but since it says no booklets allowed, I carefully removed the pages from the cover, so now they just look like some magazine pages, which the list says are ok.
I hope that sending these pieces of paper help our sponsored kids feel special and loved. It seems like an awfully easy way to brighten someone's day. I hope that yours is bright as well! If you are interested in sponsoring a child through Compassion International, visit their website here. It's such a privilege to be able to speak to these sweet kiddos, a world away.
Thanks for reading!