When I was in high school I started playing a little game called Mail Tag. I was inspired by a great little Canadian TV show called
- Kale and her friend Gordon would send postcards to each other and request something of each other - usually it was pretty abstract.
I played Mail Tag with several friends in the mid 2000s and we would send each other letters with requests to respond to creatively. My friend Doug and I got a bit obsessed and would be sending something back and forth to each other every day or so. It was great fun.
In 2009 I wrote up some rules for it that people could print out.
I wrote a lot of letters and played a lot of Mail Tag. It is a really nice getting-to-know-you kind of game and can often be quite exciting and challenging filling people's requests.
Though letter writing and Mail Tag have taken a backseat for me these days, other people keep it going (the #mailtag hashtag on Instagram has over 2000 posts) and it is so lovely to see that it has caught on and makes people happy and helps to keep the mail flowing.
I thought it was time that I redid those rules and made a nice new printable for them. I started making a new printable and then I thought, why not just make
! It was really fun to make and I am still thinking of things I might add to it.
The website has info about how to play Mail Tag, links and printables and my favourite part is this 'Random Mail Tag Request Generator' button. Clicking on it will provide you with a whole bunch of ideas for what to ask penpals.
Here are the printables I made. Feel free to download, print and share them. If you click on the images it will take you to a bigger version of them to download and print.
I also thought it would be fun to make a 'Penpal Survey'.
sent me one of hers once and I really liked the format. Sometimes it is nice to let that kind of information flow naturally through letters, but knowing some of the essential details can be good too and a great starting point for future conversations through letters.