31 days of unplugged play: post office pretend play

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Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

Today’s unplugged play idea is to create a pretend play post office.

This is a chance to learn about people in our neighborhood, practice some letter writing, order of events, and perhaps even work on memorizing our home address.  But, don’t guide this activity too heavily:  set the scene and see where your children take it.

Supplies and materials

  • paper
  • envelopes (I save junk mail envelopes for my kids)
  • cardboard or small boxes to act as packages
  • pencils
  • stickers to use as stamps, or draw your own
  • a shoe box to act as a mailbox
  • perhaps a bag or basket for delivering the mail

Today we’re playing by creating a pretend play post office.

Set up a scene for some letter writing, practice addressing envelopes (a good way to sneak in some address lessons – does your child know your address?) and giving them a stamp, delivering the mail, and maybe even decorating a mail box, depending upon how elaborate you and your child are feeling today.

There is a great post from the Simple Kids archives on pretend play with some more ideas for props to include.

This would make a fun long-term play project:  write notes back and forth with your child, leaving them in the shoebox mailbox.  I’d love to hear your take on this play idea and how you and your kids expand the theme!

Some fun books about mail for your library list:

Looking ahead

Gather up some junk mail or other bits of colorful paper from the recycling (magazines would work well), some construction or other heavy paper, and glue sticks.   We’ll need a basket, some felt apples (or red socks, bits of cloth, etc).  Later this week you’ll need a few pieces of unfinished wood or a decent sized tree branch and a small saw and some minor woodworking skills (minor, I promise). Stay tuned!

Just joining us? Find 31 Days of Unplugged Play here.

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About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace

Comments

  1. This is a perfect activity for my son, who is just learning to write (well) and loves it. Thank you!
    Courtney´s latest post: 31 Days of Quality Time :: Day 15, Zach Bonner

  2. My daughter absolutely LOVES to play post office! I inherited a huge pile of greeting cards from my great-aunt. Most of them were not really to my taste, so I handed them off to the kids to use for “mail”. I can’t tell you what fun they’ve had “delivering mail”!

  3. I am really enjoying your series! This is such a great idea, my daughter loves to write. This would be a wonderful way for her to practice her letters and spelling! I can’t wait to see who she chooses to write letters to!
    Daniele´s latest post: Mini Triple-Treat Cupcakes

  4. This is such a great idea! So simple, but can provide hours of fun. Maybe I’ll create a post office window with a tri-fold table display board. So fun. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Laura Bray´s latest post: DIY Halloween Table Decorations

  5. I LOVE post office play, and plan to do this around Valentines Day with my Co-op preschool group. I have printed out the USPS logo and glued/taped it to a big “mailbox” and also like to purchase real 1 cent stamps to use on the letters. Thanks for the great book list!
    Debbye´s latest post: 7 Tips to Survive a Disney World Vacation with Babies and Toddlers

  6. I love this idea. My daughter, a toddler, currently loves playing with junk mail. We pretend it’s her mail and she can spend 10 to 20 mintes just playing with the catalogs and envelopes. But I can see this trick may stop working once she realizes the mail isn’t for her. Then, we’ll move on to play post office with the junk mail like you suggest above. I covered this topic on my new site of daily hints to help make parenting easier and cheaper. Here’s a link to the post, which links to your helpful post above and also includes some other fun junk mail play ideas: http://hintmama.com/2013/10/18/todays-hint-pretend-junk-mail-is-your-kids-mail/
    Jennifer Saranow Schultz´s latest post: Today’s Hint: Pretend Junk Mail is Your Kid’s Mail

  7. Please use this one (a typo fixed). Thanks! And love your blog!!
    I love this idea and your blog. My daughter, a toddler, currently loves playing with junk mail. We pretend it’s her mail and she can spend 10 to 20 minutes just playing with the catalogs and envelopes. But I can see this trick may stop working once she realizes the mail isn’t for her. Then, we’ll move on to play post office with the junk mail like you suggest above. I covered this topic on my new site of daily hints to help make parenting easier and cheaper. Here’s a link to the post, which links to your helpful post above and also includes some other fun junk mail play ideas: http://hintmama.com/2013/10/18/todays-hint-pretend-junk-mail-is-your-kids-mail/
    Jennifer Saranow Schultz´s latest post: Today’s Hint: Pretend Junk Mail is Your Kid’s Mail

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Day 14 – Post Office Pretend Play [...]

  2. [...] Write it, lick it, address it, stamp it, post it! From Simplekids.net. [...]

  3. [...] news is that once your kid is older, you can use junk mail as a prop when playing post office, as Kara Fleck over at Simple Kids recommends (and there are variations of this game that you can play with younger kids as well). Finally, junk [...]

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