Wednesday, March 05, 2008

WFMW - backwards edition

This week is backwards edition of Works for Me Wednesday over at Rocks in my Dryer - which means that I pose a question to you all about something that I need an answer to -- sounds easy enough! I think I have too many questions to narrow it down to just one LOL

My quandary is what can I do to keep in touch with my (almost) 4 year old niece (she isn't a phone girl) when I live 1000 miles away. I came home to visit last night and when I went to my sisters house, my niece came flying out of the other room squealing with glee and ran right into my arms. It was so wonderful! Just last year she didn't want to have a thing to do with me because she didn't know who I was -- so I started sending her cards more often. I want to continue the cards but would like to add in something more (especially since her momma is having a baby in April) something that is special just for her.

Do you all have any ideas?? I don't want to send gifts, she has plenty of toys & games. More mail ideas -- do we send coloring book pages through the mail? I'm at a loss. I've never had children, so my imagination is lacking.

I want to do something every two weeks - it is a goal of mine to really stay in touch with her and in the coming years also with her sibling. I can't wait to hear your comments!

Thanks so much!



Kim said...

Does your sister have email - you could send your niece an email once a week and have Mommy or Daddy read it to her.

I really like the card idea - kids love to receive mail, maybe start including photos of yourself.

Ask her to draw you pictures and have Mommy mail them to you.

Maybe if it is affordable, buy a web cam for both your sister and yourself and have a weekly online chat.

pinkmommy said...

My Princess is 4 and she LOVES to get mail. I would say keep up the cards. She also loves to draw pictures for people, so I would say if you ever get one to write her a thank you and encourage more! You could even include a picture of it on your fridge! Also, you can always get mine with stickers. She LOVES them.

Emily said...

1)Stickers are always neat....if you have a lot, you can write the letter with a sticker in place of certain words (like those beginner reading books)
2) Write a letter from an animal/pet's point of view
3) Send her a postcard of a place you've visited
4) Start a tic-tac-toe game with her through the mail
5) Can send coloring pages, paper airplanes/folded, streamers for her birthday, a balloon, paper dolls etc
6) Can write on birch bark, wood, leaves, material for an interesting letter :)

Wifey said...

If she likes email, you could send her annimated e-cards. My kids love them.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

ttelroc said...

These are such cool ideas. I'm so glad I asked this question. My niece loves to get mail, so I am so glad we have started that, but the card thing was getting average -- these ideas are really going to add some added fun. I like the idea of a web chat, Kim -- I'll have to ask my sister if they have that set up.

Keep the ideas coming, please.

Thanks so much,

Anonymous said...

Hey Kris
It's your "Aunt" Marg. You need to start a back and forth mailing of SOMETHING, something you make, ask her to add to it and send it back, and keep it going. Also once she's old enough, send her jokes - I always included a joke in my boys' lunchbox; they loved it. Miss you dear and hope to see you soon.

Edi said...

Wow - I wish my kid's aunts (or grandma!) were like you - they too live 1000 miles from us.

My kids love getting mail - email or otherwise. I know you don't want to send gifts - but I think a special treat once in awhile would be a card/letter in the winter with a package of hot chocolate (even just one pkg)... or a funny comic you cut out of the paper - instructions for a simple craft or a cut out craft you can mail her. And photographs - of you and your dh and things around you.

How about a story on tape that you've recorded...

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Good ideas. I would suggest stickers, cards and pictures of you. At that age, it's hard for them to connect without pictures. Even just emailing photos regularly can be fun.

What a great auntie you are!

ttelroc said...

Edi - I am making a conscious decision to stay involved with my niece. In this fast paced, do it all, microwaved life we have - I don't want to miss out on being a part of her life.

If I had my own kids it might be different because I'd be involved with their stuff, but this is certainly something I am wanting to do and I want her to enjoy it as well.


Melonie said...

My daughter has a half-sister that she and I try to keep in touch with. Postcards, a little envelope of stickers, and the like are great. So are e-cards and emails.

My daughter LOVES to get coloring sheets, stickers, and postcards from our family. The stickers go back out again in the form of pictures she she keeps the mail cycle going and I don't have to find a place to put them all!

Little Piddles said...

Coloring sheets would be greta. My girls love getting mail so anything they recieve is great. They get especially excited even when they get a $1 in a card. Maybe since she has lots of toys send her gift cards to places like the movies, pottery place, children's museaum. Maybe ask her parents to take pictures so she can send them to you and tell you about her time there.

Michie said...

I read an idea once that I loved - having special people in a child's life share a favorite book. You could read the book and make your own book on tape/cd and send that to her, or you could videotape yourself reading it to her, and then she can watch it as a bedtime story. I read this in Family Fun magazine, I believe - about a grandmother who would send a package every 6 weeks or so with a video recording of her reading a book, and something special that would go along with the book - maybe a craft or something. I think this was the greatest idea, especially because it is something that the child can keep forever.

The other idea I read in a magazine somewhere for families that live far away is to start maybe a little scrapbook/photo album/journal. You could put a couple of pictures and a note in a book, send it to her, have her put in pictures, draw pictures, etc, and then send it back to you. It could go back and forth. If you look up "circle journals" online, you might get some other ideas.

Your niece is lucky to have such a fun aunt!

PufferfishMommy said...

My mom did something cool for my little cousin (her niece). She basically made a scrapbook/storybook for her, told from the point of view of my mom's dog, Buster. She told about Buster's point of view about all kinds of things, and how he went for a "big adventure" to visit different relatives. At the end she has a picture of Buster getting ready to go see my little cousin. The little girl loved it so much that she has her mom read it over and over to her, and even took it to her preschool to have her teacher read aloud to the class.


Pufferfish Diaries

Kristy said...

I send my 4-year-old nephew animated e-cards - you can find ones with almost any character you can think of (I email them to my sister, and she opens them for my nephew).

Do you have a digital camcorder, or a digital camera that can take short film clips? You could create videos for her and post them on YouTube (or burn them to a DVD and mail them to her).

FrazzMom said...

When my oldest son was 4, my mom (who lives 1,200 miles away) started the 'alphabet postcard' game with him. She sent him a postcard with a picture of something on the front that started with an 'A' (I think maybe it was an antelope?). We then sent her a postcard with a picture of a bear. It went back and forth through the whole alphabet and it took over a year.

Sometimes the postcards came or went weekly. Sometimes we had to hunt a little to find the right letter (I think Q was the hardest- but we found a quilt museum in our town that sold postcards) so it would take longer.

I don't know which was more fun for my son- getting mail from Grandma or the hunt for postcards. We would find ourselves on the lookout for postcards whenever we went anywhere and would 'count ahead' to see what letters would come up later in the year.

ttelroc said...

Wonderful Wonderful ideas!! Thank you all so much! This next year is going to be fun.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.


Denise said...

I cannot think of a thing that has not already been mentioned. Kim just had ALL my ideas! As a non-phone girl myself, the chat idea sounds really, really good, and i know you're equipped for that now! :P

how wonderful that she greeted you so warmly. I haven't met my great niece yet, and i bet she runs screaming in the other direction (even if we don't meet until she's 15!).

Wendy said...

Since you are sending stuff back and fourth all the time you should get her involved in stamp collecting. Then be sure to always use cool stamps. There is a lot of info. on the subject online - ideas for getting kids interested too. good Luck

Mamacita said...

thanks for the suggestions on my blog about the tile/grout cleaner. I will definitely be looking into your suggestions! :)