There is an art to writing a Christmas list to Santa and, if done properly, it can be a fun learning experience for them as well.

Even though we don’t write and send letters through snail mail very often, we still communicate through the written word more often than ever. Writing a letter to Santa is a way to help your young child experience building a foundation of communication.Here are a few ways to turn this exercise into a valuable learning tool and a chance to build some unforgettable holiday memories.

1. Help Them Practice Spelling and Grammar

All kids need help with spelling and grammar. Writing a letter to Santa Claus will give your child a chance to build on the skills they are learning in school, and the best part is that your child probably won’t resist doing it! Hopefully your son or daughter will be eager to pick up a pencil and write to Santa. And with you by their side, you can assist them with proper spelling and use of grammar to reinforce the lessons they’re learning.

2. They Can Work on Letter-Writing Rules

Writing a letter follows a formula. There are universal conventions that we follow whether we’re writing to a trusted friend or the head of a company. This is a chance to put those stylistic things into practice for your child. For instance, the letter should have a proper heading, the first sentence of a paragraph should be indented, and there should be a proper farewell and signature. This isn’t a huge deal, but employing these conventions gives your child a chance to understand how a letter is supposed to look.

3. They Will Learn How to Make a List

This step of the process forces your child to narrow down their choices of gifts. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is for two reasons. First, it causes your child to weigh the benefits of one gift over another. They have to make some difficult choices and this is a way to challenge their thinking skills. Second, it helps you determine what they truly want for Christmas, making your shopping journey much easier.

4. Show Them How to State Their Case

If your son or daughter writes this letter, ask them to provide Santa with a few of the reasons why they believe they deserve to be rewarded by the jolly North Pole resident. Prompt your child to think of the good deeds they’ve done throughout the year. This will help them to understand cause and effect, and maybe it will be a way for you encourage good behavior in the months to come.

5. They Learn Gratitude

A big part of writing to Santa is to express thanks for being included on the nice list. This is a perfect opportunity to help your child show gratitude for the anticipated gifts and to understand why we need to be thankful for our many blessings.