1st Rule of Sticker Club: Smile & Just Do It!

Written by: Sarah Cobb

What is your 1st thought as a busy parent when you see an email come through with the title: "Come play - Sticker Club” and inside are all the makings of a chain letter - send it to 6 people and you get 36 letters with stickers in return?

At first, I admit, I was Debbie Downer about it.  Can I convince 6 other parents to participate given my reaction?  Do I have the time to deal with this?  After ignoring the email for a few days, I finally decided to take the  plunge!

I told Avery about our new club.  She gave me the same look she gets when Dad suggests a bike ride to Dairy Queen.  She screamed, “What?!?! I get stickers in the mail?!?!”  And so, I got off my bum, picked up a $0.99 sheet of stickers, helped her color a picture on a card, and together, we took a little stroll to the mailbox.  Along the way, we talked about the mail, stamps, addresses, letters, numbers, and even the differences between green and blue mailboxes (very confusing for a 4 year old). We picked 6 little friends and off the emails invitations went.

Less than a week later – her 1st letter arrived from Nolan at our house.  Inside was a well decorated card and a sheet of stickers.  It came from someone we didn’t know, and it had traveled all the way to Chicago from California.  Avery and I talked about where California is while she quickly covered me with stickers.  Such a great afternoon treat!  In theory, 35 more mailbox surprises are on their way.  


When I decided to post about this, I googled “Sticker Club Chain Letter.”  There is not a lot of love out there for these.  Posts range from moms struggling to find 6 parents to participate to chain-mail haters that just lump Sticker Club in with Ponzi schemes. But, I beg to differ. At least for us, it just started and it's already all good.  As I said, when you get the Sticker Club email - just smile and do it.

So, if you have a preschooler and are looking for an easy, fun project that costs just over a $1 and provides bits of fun and excitement for weeks to come – give it a try!

Here’s a sample Sticker Club Chain Letter to get you started:

Dear (your child’s friend’s name),

Welcome to the STICKER CLUB!!!!!  Please send 1 packet of stickers to the person listed in Spot 1.  Next, move my name to Spot 1 and place your name in Spot 2.  Then, send this letter to 6 of your friends.

If you cannot do this within 6 days, please let my Mommy know because it would not be fair to those who have participated.  Within 2 weeks, you should get 36 packets of stickers.  It is lots of fun and very exciting to see where your stickers come from.  It's also fun to get mail!!  Thank you for joining the STICKER CLUB!!!  It will be fun!

Your friend,


Spot 1


Spot 2


Posted on June 23, 2011 at 12:17 PM


24 Replies

  • Totally Agree!

    Sarah, Thank you for your words, I'm at work on a Saturday and I googled "words to sticker club letter" and 95% of what I found was moms complaining about it. I wish these parents would have just taken your approach - to smile, do it, and get off their bum. I'm a busy working single mom - but knowing my child (4yrs) I know this will not only be fun for her, but a great learning opportunity to learn about mail, postage, other cities, etc. We live in a city w/ a population of 300,000 - and so it can be hard at times to find something fun and inexpensive to do with my daughter. I'm so glad someone thought of us. I'm also taking this opportunity to catch up with a few old friends and bring a smile to their kids faces. I guess it is worth mentioning that I also sent a preliminary text to my hopeful participating moms that said "Amelia want to invite (your child) to join her sticker club (it's like a fun chain letter) what's your address?"

    by Adriana in Texas on 08/20 at 10:45AM

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  • How Pyramid Schemes Work

    Dear Sarah, My son received one of these letters a while ago. We ignored it. I don't think you have quite understand how pyramid schemes work. First, the critics are correct; this 'Sticker Club' is of the same nature as a Ponzi scheme. It is different to some pyramid schemes, though, in that the profit (stickers), or a portion of it, won't propagate all the way back to the originator at the top of the pyramid (except in the first couple of iterations). That is, even the originator will not received more than 36 sticker sets. The flaw is easier to understand when you think of the basic arithmetic involved. Since some children will receive up to 36 letters (less if the pyramid peters out) but each individual letter recipient is required to purchase and send *only one* set of stickers, then is is necessarily the case that many (generally most) of the children who take part will never receive *any* stickers. The only way for this not to happen is for the pyramid to expand, at an exponentially increasing rate, forever. That isn't possible in a finite world - so the 'club' eventual collapses, and most children will be disappointed. The end result is just lots of free stickers for people near the top of the pyramid, a few getting a smaller number further down, and none for the people at the base of the pyramid. You'ddo better getting together with a small circle of other mums and dads, with children who like stickers, and sending each other a set once a month (or however often) sending to the next child down the list each time. Then, every month, every child will get a set of stickers. Such a club - and it would be reasonable to call it a club, unlike this scheme - won't grow of course. But it would be fair and will make all of the children happy (assuming everyone sticks with it). Regards, Paul

    by Paul on 02/02 at 04:31PM

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  • It's fun for the kids, even if no stickers arrive

    Dear Sarah- Just putting in my vote of agreement - it makes my kiddo smile, it's an educational opportunity about our efficient postal system (yes, admit it, it IS efficient for the most part), it helps them see the fun of potentially making another kid smile, we won't worry about how many stickers we get or how soon, and I refuse to worry about spreading my kid's address around. No one should beat themselves up for not wanting to participate, just as no one should be beat up for participating. Thanks for your post!

    by Lavendel on 02/10 at 01:36PM

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  • Really Paul?

    Dear Sarah, My 12 year old has just received a "sticker club" letter in the mail. And I know she is a little old but it is no skin off my nose to take her to CVS to choose some stickers to send to her friend and then send 6 other letters off. I too looked up people's comments about the "sticker club chain letter" and you are right; a majority of them are negativity. But, the request is for stickers (very inexpensive as you said) not money and if parents can't take 30 mins. to hang with their child and address envelopes and such that that is pretty sad. And the fact that you turned it into a learning experience for you daughter is brilliant. So Paul, yes it is a "chain letter" but is it really such a hassle to participate? If your child is not old enough to understand, say that they are helping you to send letters out to friends (he or she can't read so what is the difference) and if your child receives some stickers back in the mail great! And if they are old enough to understand, as mine is, then explain the ways of the world. Stickers are great but we would never send money or such to anyone requesting in the mail. My daughters' response when I explain the whole chain letter thing and that the "sticker club" is in good fun but that their are some that are just rubbish was "duh mom I am not stupid. I would send someone money, information etc just because they sent me a letter requesting it". But understand where things "fall apart" is when parents cannot see the difference and don't participate.

    by Jerseygirl75 on 02/11 at 07:55AM

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    I received a letter and DO NOT AGREE with sharing OUR CHILD information with strangers...in this day , our children information should be safe guarded (my letter had a child name and address).......yes, a child does get excited over stickers, but we have the resources to purchase them ourselves and /or share in the school system. PLEASE THINK TWICE BEFORE YOU SHARE .......TODAY WE MUST BE PROTECT OUR CHILD(CHILDREN)...THANK U

    by PROTECT YOUR CHILD'S PRIVACY on 02/14 at 08:01AM

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  • Agree with Paul, just a pyramid scheme

    I got one of those letters for my 3-year old and googled it to see how common it is. I absolutely agree with Paul, this letter goes in the trash. I have lots of ideas how to spend those 30 min with my kid, I do not need some chain letter to provide entertainment. And I am "off my bum" without the letter, we have plenty of other activities to occupy ourselves. As for learning about the mail system, my kid does this when she helps me with thank-you cards and birthday cards, there really are plenty of opportunities already. I know that stickers are not money and they are not expensive. But I think it will be easier to explain to my kid that pyramid schemes are wrong, period, and not "some are wrong, some are OK". For a 12 year old, it may be easy to grasp the difference, but not necessary for a younger kid. *

    by Beata on 02/28 at 10:41AM

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  • It's not a big deal.

    *It's not rocket science. Paticipate if you want to. If you don't, well then don't. I personally thought it was a cute way for my daughter to interact with some of her friends that live too far away to see all the time. It's not hurting anybody, so we chose to participate. My daughter is too young to know about pyramid schemes, but I am sure that she will lean of them, as we all did, and she will be smart enough to manuever through all the crap the world has to sling, like we all do. I think it is too easy to make something so small look like a big deal, all the while, the chaos of the world continues around us. Perhaps we can take this oppertunity to allow this innocent chain letter to remain innocent, rather than demonizing it with harsh criticism.

    by Jess on 03/19 at 01:40PM

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  • Also, I thought I'd add....

    *As for sharing my childs information, our address is posted on the front of our house. Any stranger can see it. Now if they were asking for ss number/ age/ race/ mothers maiden name, well, obviously I ould have been tipped off to malice.

    by Jess on 03/19 at 01:46PM

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  • I total agree with you

    Thanks for your post , I totally agree with you. It is a lovely positive thing and why not just smile and just do it! I also noticed lots of whinning comments on the internet about it. Perhaps parents that think it is silly are just plain lazy and dont want to bother but I say, its not much of an expense or effort to give it a go, so why complain? Who cares if it doesnt work out, at least you gave it a go and you can teach your kids to try new things. People can critise everything if they really want to! We have done this exercise twice and have received a few stickers back. My daughter is so delighted to receive mail in the letterbox and even to get one letter and stickers back makes it worth it.

    by Mel on 03/25 at 06:56PM

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  • Equal effort, unequal reward

    As stated earlier this is a pyramid scheme, only the currency is stickers not money. But putting it more simply, why would I want to encourage my children to participate in a system whereby everyone involved puts in the same nominal effort (buying some stickers, sending letters) but - by its very nature - a small minority get the majority of the benefit (and most get nothing)? Of course, it is 'only stickers'. But the principle is more important than the detail. I want my children to realise they should be opposed to *intrinsically* unfair systems; not participants in them.

    by Paul on 05/15 at 04:35PM

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  • To supportive parents only: please join my dollar club

    Hi, I totally agree with all the parents who support the sticker club. Ignore the haters and just do it! I would also like to invite you all to my dollar club. It is just like the sticker club but with a dollar. Send me a dollar, along with your address. I will forward to 36 of my friends with your's as the first name on the mailer, so you will get $36 back. Involve your kids as well, it's a great way to teach them about financial markets and earning money. My address is: 243 Nitwit Road Dumbsville, NM Just kidding you fools. If you wouldn't do this, why would you do the sticker club?

    by paul on 05/23 at 07:10PM

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  • hi. Question

    what if i don't get anything back. * *

    by anna on 06/09 at 02:10PM

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  • Agree with Jess

    If you want to do the chain letter then do it.If you dont toss it out.My 7 year old loves mail and her name and address is in the school directory so no big secret anyway.I thought it was cute and havent even seen a chain letter in the actual mailbox for many years.People think way to hard into things these days.

    by nhmomof3 on 06/29 at 06:52PM

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  • Sticker Pyramid Scheme

    Those things are illegal!

    by Law abiding mom on 08/14 at 08:49AM

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  • Give stickers not chain letters!

    I received one of these for my daughter (4) last week. After thinking about it and realizing I would get more than just one letter from her class mates. There are 12 in her class and everyone is sending them to everyone else. Will I get 12 letters with this request, therefore resulting in my stuffing and sending 72 letters? When does it end? I'd rather "the sticker club" not be a chain letter but an act of kindness for my child. Sending a pack of stickers to each child in her class and asking for nothing in return, just maybe a sense of pay it forward if you want to. Teaching selflessness and sharing...isn't that a more important lesson anyway? This chain letter gives the feeling that if you don't participate you're hurting other children's feelings....seems forced. We all want the best for our kids and we all want them to be happy. Why should we as parents feel guilty about a chain letter and then pass on the guilt to other parents? I'm having my daughter send ALL her classmates a cute handmade card and some cheep stickers. I'll give her a pack too for doing a good dead.

    by Lessons of Love on 02/04 at 02:24PM

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  • Awful Lesson

    Change "sticker" for "dollar" and maybe you'll see why these things are terrible. They are made for gullible people at the bottom of the pyramid who get nothing in return. If you still don't get it, welcome to the DOLLAR CLUB!!!!! Please send 1 dollar to the person listed in Spot 1. Next, move my name to Spot 1 and place your name in Spot 2. Then, send this letter to 6 of your friends. #1 Bernie Madoff #2 JiM

    by JiM on 07/05 at 09:51AM

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  • Better option

    A better idea was offered by Lessons of Love on 02/04 at 02:24PM above. Or, send ONE sticker set to ONE friend and ask that ONE friend to send ONE set back and ONE set forward to some ONE new. Then the chain can actually sustain itself because you get what you give.

    by JiM on 07/05 at 09:54AM

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  • Let's change this letter (and take out the guilt trip)!

    Sticker Club Dear, _____________ Welcome to the Sticker Club! Here’s how it works. Please send one (1) pack of stickers to the person listed in the #1 spot below. Next, use the blank form and write my name in the #1 spot and your name in the #2 spot. Then, send this letter to six friends. If you do this you could receive many stickers back over the next few weeks. It is exciting to see where your stickers come from and really fun to get mail. Thanks for joining! Your friend P.S. To the parents – you might wonder if a postal service or some multi-national sticker company started this thing. I know I did! In the end though, I decided to help my child follow through because the goal is fun, it’s easy and entirely voluntary, and also because, especially these days, getting even one letter and a gift in the mail is a special treat. If the idea isn’t fun to you, please just make sure this page gets recycled. To make it easier, I’ve enclosed a blank letter for you to copy. Before you write on it, make 12 copies. One (1) for each of the six friends you are sending it to and six (6) blanks to make it as easy for them as it was for you. You only need one (1) pack of stickers and seven (7) envelopes. Stamps are optional if you hand-deliver! Your kids might enjoy decorating the envelope and designing their own stamp in place of a real one! #1 #2

    by Trio on 07/07 at 05:07PM

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  • These stickers have

    These stickers have been a great eneacrogument for my daughter to use the potty. Previously we were just using a reward sticker chart, however my daughter was expecting one every time she sat down on her potty. The My Wee Friend sticker is placed at the bottom of the potty and is black until it is contact with warm liquid (i.e. Wee! ) and then a cute little face looks up at you rewarding you with a smile!. Now my daughter comes smiling to me and declaring “Mummy! Wee! Face!” and then she’ll now get a reward sticker on her chart. GD Star Ratingloading...

    by Veronica on 11/25 at 11:15AM

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  • Lots of jaded people in the world

    My kids love stuff in the mail so seriously what's the harm. For four dollars (stickers + stamps) I got a pretty well ready-made project that my 4 year old thought was awesome and took all of like 30 min. Seriously $4, people spend that much on CRAP they can't remember everyday. While I rolled my eyes and grumbled under my breath when I got the letter I sucked it up because upon reflection I KNEW my kid would find it fun. Yeah it's a pyramid scheme so what, worst case I sent some kid some stickers for no worldly reason and made his day. So yeah I'm one of 'those' moms, I hope I chose well in my little guys friends/cousins and at least a couple participate. If not, well I'm sorry so many people are so jaded in life but I didn't participate to 'get stuff' but rather because my kid enjoyed it.

    by So many haters, so little love on 09/14 at 08:34PM

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  • join the free sticker club

    I need free stickers for a wall project ,please send to Raymond joseph carpenter jr p o box 13251 los angeles ca 90013

    by bubby on 09/26 at 02:33PM

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  • Social Pyramid Scheme for Kids

    As a teacher I absolutely do not approve of these in my class. This activity, although seemingly harmless, seems to instill, normalize, and/or reinforce negative peer pressure influences that often aim to change individual actions or behaviors - especially for young children who are expanding their social interaction skills. I have seen children ostracized when their parents decide not to play. Some parents need to just get a life and let their kids go out and play. So now I suppose I'll hear from a bunch of people who hate me and think I'm an idiot for not conforming to the group think mentality. Chain/pyramid schemes (of any sort) do not encourage individuality, personal decision making, or personal courage.

    by Ken on 02/03 at 04:31PM

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  • sticker club

    My daughter is in a class of 23 and has already rec'd several of these letters over the last month. While I find the entire concept a stupid waste of time and effort, since the letters were addressed to my 5 year old (already inappropriate), she opened and read them (the 1st 2; the rest I intercepted). She wanted to participate (shocking - she's 5 and has just been offered membership in a club and lots of mail and stickers! What's not to love!) So I reluctantly made the copies, mailed the letters and the requisite stickers, obediently following all the guilt-inducing, patronizing rules someone with too-much time and/or a white-collar criminal background decided to compose in a thinly-veiled attempt at sticker extortion. Does someone's kid need friends so badly some parent had to twist arms to create the impression of them? Anyway, she never rec'd a sticker in return, while I caught a lot of &@#! from the parents of kids who rec'd letters from us. And I'm writing this comment as my daughter is upstairs crying in her room because she saw her name on yet another of these vicious letters which I confiscated before she could open it. She's mad because she was sure that this time there would be stickers enclosed. Of course there weren't. It was just another chain letter invitation. And I told her we weren't participating anymore. It turns out, all the kindergartners in her class (as well as the 24 kids in the other kindergarten classroom) have all been talking about the sticker club and about those kids who "didn't want to join". Nice. My guess is that the kids accusing the other kids of not wanting you join are most likely parroting stuff their own small-minded mom's have said. Thanks a lot to all of you moms who inhabit the fantasy land where all of this is harmless fun and a cute lesson on the postal system. Seriously?! Then why not achieve the same result by having your child develop a pen-pal relationship with a relative who lives far away. You know, an actual relationship involving real sharing, letters actually written (not photocopied), and no arm twisting guilt or false expectations or schoolyard gossip. Or does that sound like too much real work? For the silly sticker-loving moms I mean. I'd like to see schools prohibiting chain letters among students, especially since most of them probably get the student addresses from the school directory.

    by Sophia's mom on 03/30 at 03:42PM

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  • Sticker Club

    So, I thought doing this for my son, who is 5 would be a lot of fun I do agree that we want to do this with people we know will participate, and we want to keep our kids safe. So I asked people I knew with children my sons age if they wanted to do it. I also asked them to do the same, and so on and so forth. That way there is accountability, to the best degree possible with this.

    by RanaeAilene on 05/20 at 12:58PM

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