You might remember that when I'm not blogging for Boing Boing, I can usually be found at my other gig — Children's Fairyland. Of course, the Oakland, California kiddie theme park is closed now and will be until it's safe to reopen. But, we do have a skeleton crew of essential "elves" who are on site to care for the donkeys, miniature horses, and other animals. While there, they also water our plants and check our mail. That's when we got the idea to offer the children in our community a chance to became pen pals with these "elves." We already have stacks of super-fun, kid-sized stationery, so launching it was just a matter of announcing it on social media.
Play with us! Have your child draw us a picture or write us a note, and then snail mail it to us. Our "elves" promise to write back (on special Fairyland stationery designed by Oakland artist Michael Wertz, no less).
Send to: 699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610
Well, in just a week, the response has already been incredible. Local children, plus some as as far away as Texas and Utah, have been sending us snail mail like crazy. Here's a small taste of some of the letters and drawings that have come in:
"I'm sorry I can't go to Fairyland because of the virus. From Pablo."
Lulu is referencing the park's Magic Keys. They "unlock the excitement" by turning on audio Storybook boxes found throughout the park.
This is a hand-drawn map by someone who really knows Fairyland. Its creator, six-year-old Lola of Berkeley, also sent in this joke: "What do you call a bird that is cold?...................A Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd!"
If you have young children in your life, esp. ones who are familiar with Children's Fairyland, the offer is still good. Our "elves," and "fairies," have been responding as quickly as possible, so the kiddos won't have to wait too long. And, if you're wondering, we've been wiping down the envelopes and letters with disinfecting wipes to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Mail art is still fun!