Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

– – –
The Bug got her first email yesterday.

It was from Southwest Airlines. Reminding her about her upcoming trip.

When I saw the email pop up in my inbox (no, the Bug doesn’t have her own email address), I couldn’t help but smile. Then I called her over and said “Look! It’s an email for you!”

“An email for me?” she grinned back in pure delight.

Thank you, Rapid Rewards. Not only is my toddler racking up miles for a free trip, but you made her feel like a million bucks because she “got mail.”

It’s a simple pleasure really. Email. Keeps us connected — and gives us all that giddy, gooey “you’ve got mail” feeling. No matter how old you are, EVERYONE loves to get mail.

So teaching our kids how to correspond through email — and laying a basic foundation for writing in general — is important. We’re starting with video email thank yous in our house. With just a little bit of coaching, your kiddo can compose a thank you note that you capture with your smart phone or computer webcam. Effortlessly.

Here are five tips for making a spectacular thank you video email — with your toddler:

  • Capture some ‘real time’ video of your kiddo playing with the toy, or wearing the article of clothing that they received as a gift. It’s really tough to capture the enthusiasm and sheer joy of a toddler playing with a toy in words. Grandma and Grandpa will love seeing their toy being used!
  • Start the video by coaching your child through a greeting. Who is the video going to? Ask them to “say hi” to Grandma and Grandpa.
  • Coach your toddler to identify the object they received on video. Ask questions like “what are you playing with?” “Can you show the camera what you’re playing with?”
  • Be sure to say thank you! Ask your child to repeat after you: “Tell Grandma and Grandpa thank you for the baby doll!”
  • Use inflection. Your toddler has explosive language development at this point in his or her life. Model appropriate tone and ask him or her to repeat. A flat “tell Grandma and Grandpa thank you” will get a lifeless “thank you” from your tot on camera. Eventually you want your child to write with emotion — so start them out by composing video thank you notes with emotion.

The best part about video email thank yous is that the production or lighting doesn’t have to be perfect. You just have to capture your kid. And let’s face it, they’re already pretty darn fabulous.

Plus you’re teaching your child how important is to say thank you. That’s one of those last-a-lifetime-kindergarten-skills you can get a jumpstart on.

Give it a try. I guarantee Grandma and Grandpa will love it.

Staying connected — no matter how far apart you are — is what email is really all about it. Which is why I love this little video from Yahoo that shows how a little boy is staying in touch with his mom, who’s on a business trip.