Forget Whatsapp, emails and text messages youngsters at a Mid Sussex pre-school have gone back to basics as they made a new friend all the way in the French countryside.
Toddlers at Norto5 KIDZ in Lindfield were on cloud nine after receiving a response from their ‘message on a balloon’ after it made a quick trip across the Channel last week.
The balloon was found by a 12-year-old schoolboy in the Champagne region of France who was so excited he sent a postcard back to the pre-school.
Kim John, area manager at Norto5, said: “We opened it up and we were completely gobsmacked, we couldn’t believe it.
“We really did not think we would get a response and that it would be from France.”
The pre-school had recently hosted its annual graduation for leavers and had decorated the building with dozens of balloons.
There were several left over and on Monday, July 17, the children decided to write a short message before tying it to one of the balloons and setting it free.
Kim said: “Two days later we got a postcard from a 12-year-old boy from the Champagne area of France.
“We didn’t think it was going to go very far. The fact that it got as far as it did and that it was a child who wrote back was really lovely.”
The postcard was also accompanied by a letter which had been hand-written in English by French youngster Logann Cussant.
In the letter he explained where he lived, where he had found the balloon and asked to remain friends and if they could continue writing to each other.
“It was really sweet,” Kim said. “From our point of view we were just really overwhelmed that we have gone back to basics and we have we have cut out the emails and text messages and we have got in touch with someone completely by fate.”
The children have now written a response and will be sending it back to Logann - although this letter will be delivered by more conventional means via the postal service.
Kim said: “They are really excited. We are sending over a picture of Lindfield to show where we come from.”
She added the whole experience had not only seen youngsters gain a new friend but had also led them to learn a lot more about where their new penpal lives.
“It has really given us a bit of a teaching tool. We are really shocked and happy and it’s nice for the children.”