Princess Sparkley has been writing letters to people since she could form the shapes of letters and try to sound out words. Mainly, it was me making her practice by writing my mom (a former kindergarten teacher) or other family members. Somehow it evolved into her writing friends and famous people... a lot. Some of her "friends" were her "best friends" from 1st grade that she only knew for that school year, and only for the 1 1/2 hours of the day that she was there as a part homeschooled, part regular schooled, student. It's been more than 8 months since she's seen or talked to some of these girls. So when she writes a letter and seals it up in an envelope, I tend to not mail them. I'm not misleading her, I don't think that she thinks I mail them. I think that she thinks that someday I'll mail them and doesn't yet know that the answer is that I won't. Her friends that are her actual best friends ... I mail those letters, and I let her send emails to their mom's email addresses.
But this famous person letter obsession... I just thought it would be fruitless. I blame her interest in it on Jed who, apparently, has mailed quite a few letters to different authors over the years, not to mention newspapers, and who also insisted that we mail a wedding announcement to George W. (who was President when we were getting married). Jed saw a letter she'd written to President Obama* one day and looked up his mailing address with PS and we mailed it. She got a letter back. It was just a form letter (Dear Student, etc.) but all nice and official looking. Very fun.
After that Presidential reply, I figured why not let her mail letters to other famous people and so a letter was sent off to Lauren Child (who writes the Charlie and Lola books, along with PS's new favorites, Clarice Bean books). She got a letter back from Lauren Child's publisher, or agent, or someone, written on fun stationary with an accompanying blank postcard for PS to use (probably for more letter writing to famous people).
This prompted Buddy to want to write a letter to someone famous. PS had him about to write a letter to Lauren Child as well when I suggested maybe he should write Jeff, the little kid (whose probably now in high school or college) from the I Love Toy Trains videos that Buddy LOVES and has for most of his life. PS wrote the letter, I edited it, and Buddy drew a picture of a GG1, his favorite train. Yesterday in the mail he got a big, padded envelope from them with a note from "Jeff" in suspiciously girly handwriting (but with lots of personal references to Buddy's letter) along with an I Love Toy Trains coloring book. He is thrilled!
So, the moral of this story, if your kids want to write letters to famous people, let them.
*Basically, she told him that she'd read in a book we have about the Presidents that President Truman met his wife in Sunday School when he was 6, just like her mom and dad.