I recently came across a really fun site that I thought would be the perfect family project. This site, Postcrossing, is designed to connect the people of the world together. In a time when more people send e-mails than snail mail, and more often than not only bills arrive in the mailbox, it's a treat to find something a little more personal in the mail. I've always enjoyed getting letters and postcards, and this site helps us all get a surprise in our mailbox once in a while.
It starts with the simple registration. After you're registered, you create your profile. You tell a little about yourself, choose whether you want to receive postcards only from other countries or if you'd also like to receive them from your own, and then you choose to send a postcard. The site will randomly select the name and address of each person you are to send a postcard to. When you first start, you can send up to 5 postcards at a time (the number you can send at a time goes up as you become more active). Each card has a special tracking code that you put on it; and when your card is received, the person who received it goes back to the site to register the card. Once the first card is registered, you are then put into the system to receive your first postcard. For each card that you send, you will get one in return.
This site will really be a fun project for our family. Not only will the kids get to help in choosing the postcards we send (I may even let them make some homemade postcards to send to some of the people), but they get the added benefit of seeing images from around the world. For each card we receive, we are planning to look up information about the area online. It will give the kids a lesson in geography while also teaching them an act of kindness.
We've just started with the site. So far, we've mailed a total of 9 cards (4 have been received, 5 are still traveling at this time). We haven't received our first postcard yet, but I'm sure it is coming. I can't wait to find out where and from whom it might come from!