Wednesday, August 3, 2022

DIY Post Office Play Fun for Preschoolers!


Boy has this summer been busy!  Time for crafting has been pretty short, but one area I'm trying to make time for is stuff that keeps my smalls learning & having fun.  I put together a Post Office Preschool Theme week recently that was too fun not to share!

My 2 1/2 & 4yr olds favorite time of day is when our mailman comes to bring the mail and pick up my bin of outgoing shop packages.  They hear the truck coming and immediately shout his name and come running to peek out the window and wave to him.  They even make a point of getting out a cold bottle of water to put out for him on hot days.  He is a complete superstar in their eyes (and in mine too since he's the best mail carrier we've ever had).  So naturally doing some activities all about the post office & mail carriers seemed like the ideal topic.

 I got some blank blue hats and tote bags at the craft store and used my Cricut & some heat transfer vinyl to make some simple DIY uniforms:


I got some fantastic little books about mail carriers & the post office (here & here) to start.  I set up a little post office station with them and some empty mail packaging and some fantastic themed pretend play printables from Pre-K Printable Fun here.  It saved me SO much time printing those and laminating them instead of trying to spend ages drafting up my own:


I did two sensory bin themes to go with it.  The first was a packaging station.  I lined it with big bubble wrap (which they love to pop), a few air pockets, and some small empty package boxes.  I also added some packing peanuts, scoops and pretend stamps.  My youngest is past the "put stuff in your mouth and on your face" phase, but just to be safe they only used it supervised.


I glued the oversized stamps page from the printable set to some thick craft foam and cut them apart so they'd have something more durable and tactile than just laminated paper in the bin:


To make the bin more colorful and fun I used these non-toxic, corn-based craft puffs that are the same thing as recyclable packing peanuts, but more interesting looking.  I bought a bag a while back and these things are great!  They go by a lot of names, but the Magic Nuudle ones seem to be the best (& the cheapest!).  I got mine here.  If you moisten them, they stick together for crafty kid's projects with next to no mess, but we just used them dry.


My little ones had a ball packing things up with them and then delivering their packages and letters:


The second bin was a little town where they could do some mini mail delivery.  I used a sheet of green felt and added some town themed blocks we had for the buildings, plus a doll house mailbox from Hobby Lobby (here) and a die cast mail truck:


The mail truck is an exact replica I found on Amazon here.  I like that the doors and back gate really opened.  It was perfectly sized for the set of doll house letters & packages found at Hobby Lobby (here).  The only downside was I didn't think to buy TWO trucks and the usual sibling tug-of-war over it ensued.  Lesson learned!


I also couldn't resist getting them a plastic mailbox.  I'd seen some toy mailboxes for kids online, but a lot of reviews mentioned how tiny & flimsy they were.  My smalls are also incredible rough on stuff, so DIY-ing one with cardboard or fabric didn't seem like a good idea.  I wanted them to be able to put real envelopes and packages in it, not just some dinky play ones, so we got this one from ACE Hardware.  With their big brother's employee discount it was literally the same price as the toy ones, but this one's more durable, holds lots and can be used for actual mail if we ever need it:


As you can see my little mail guy enjoyed it and took his deliveries seriously.  Our at-home post office was a hit and seeing our mailman's face when they stood in the window in their "uniforms", waving their deliveries was priceless.  Looks like these little mail carriers will get a lot of use out of everything!   



2 comments:

  1. Cheryl, I love this! Thank you for sharing it on Traffic Jam Weekend. It is my fave feature pick for this week's party going live on Thursday at 5:00 pm CST.

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