Letter to Santa: A Lesson in Learning to Write

Besides writing a few words here and there, Big Brother has never written an actual letter. He came to me one day last week and asked if he could write a letter to Santa. We got a piece of paper and got to work! (You can read my thoughts on how we incorporate Santa into our celebration of Jesus’ birth here.)

Phonetic spelling is what we call it when children use their knowledge of letters and sounds to create words. Phonetic spelling is an excellent way to reinforce reading and writing concepts. I would strongly encourage you NOT to tell your child how to spell a word. Instead, ask him what individual sounds he hears in the word and then encourage him to write the letter that makes that sound. And definitely don’t correct him afterwards! Children need practice in applying phonics principles to the words they read and write before they learn the exceptions to those rules.



 Using finger spaces!! After the end of each word, have your child put his/her pointer finger at the very end of the word. This will ensure that there is a space between each word.

 Big Brother got a tad irritated with me when I wouldn’t just tell him how to spell the word.



In case you can’t read the phonetic spelling, here is what the letter says:  “Dear Santa, I Want Star War Angry Birds and an Abacus please.”  The bottom of the letter was signed with his name (and Little Brother’s name as well), which I blurred out. :)  As ironic as it is, he knew exactly how to spell “angry” from seeing it on the game.

About the abacus…we saw one last weekend while at an out-of-town antique store and he was fascinated with it!

 Has your child written a letter to Santa (or someone else) recently???


  1. I just typed up a traceable letter to Santa. He is 3 almost 4 and still learning the sounds to letters and is just learning to write. I thought this would be a good way for him to practice and gain strength in his writing hand.
    I love your ideas, I am sure we will do the same next year.

  2. I just had to comment…. I could read his letter perfectly… “Abacus” was the only part I questioned, but only because I could not imagine a child wanting one! Smile.

    Yeah for asking for an abacus.

    Great job kiddo….. and mama. Wink.

    Love reading your posts, have used many of your ideas.

    Thank you for sharing.

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