Writing a note to say "thank you" to your child's teachers is a special way to show them you appreciate their hard work. If your kids participate in the creation of the letter, it is a good exercise for improving literacy. There are no hard-and-fast rules on what you should say in a thank-you note, but some ideas may be more appropriate than others.

Buy stationery. Formal paper and envelopes help the note look smart. However, this does not mean that you should use only white paper. Tinted or colored paper may make messages seem warmer and more personal. This is also useful for a letter coming from both parent and child or one that you are helping your children write: Bright hues make letter writing more fun for kids.

An alternative to stationery is a greeting card. This could be purchased or could be made by parent and child by folding a piece of heavier paper (card stock) in half and decorating with hand-drawn pictures or a meaningful, fun collage.

Find a pen that writes neatly. Dr. Robyn Silverman, child development specialist, explains on her website that handwritten thank-you notes to teachers, rather than ones printed from a computer program, have a more personalized feel. Additionally, if you are writing a letter to a teacher who has been instrumental in helping your child's literacy skills, encouraging a child to put pen to paper and write part of the letter him or herself would allow the teacher to see how the hard work has paid off.

Introduce yourself in the first paragraph. Tell the teacher your name and your child's name. The teacher will be able to instantly tell who the message is from without reading to the end. If the teacher knows the child's name at the start, the note's content may become more meaningful.

Write specifically about your child's development. The bulk of the note should be used to show gratitude to the teacher for the work he or she has put in to help your little one learn. Dr. Silverman suggests in her parenting blog that referring to some particular classes your kid enjoys will further personalize the letter and be more meaningful than vague phrases that could apply to any of your child's teachers. Parents may also consider writing about specific areas in which their youngster has developed. Telling a teacher that your child's writing or reading skills have significantly improved, for example, can give a sense of achievement.

Encourage your child to write a few words. If your child is quite young, the message does not need to be long, but the teacher seeing that a student appreciates his or her hard work may be even more meaningful than hearing than being thanked by a parent. Kids' notes do not have to be complicated. Writing "thank you" and a simple sentence describing what they have enjoyed about their classes or what they have learned will suffice. For very young children, a happy drawing will speak volumes. Having your child deliver the note is a possibility, but mailing it to the school is a nicety. Plus, your child may feel awkward handing a card to the teacher, especially in front of other children.