Toddler Activity: You’ve got mail!

Ages 2-5

What kid doesn’t love pretending he’s delivering or receiving mail, putting letters into a “mailbox” and then finding interesting colored pieces for consumption? This is a super easy-at home activity which is really a two-for-one.

What You’ll Need:

  • Shoebox with lid
  • Pencil
  • Scotch tape
  • Decorations (i.e. stickers, crayons, etc.)
  • Colored construction paper
  • Rubber stamp/ink pad (optional)

Creating the Mail and Mailbox

  1. Cut up a bunch of colored paper and fold them into simple envelopes. Tape down the sides with scotch tape and fold over the top for the envelope flap.
  2. Cut out some small pieces of paper for the “stamp” and attach to the proper location.
  3. Get a blank piece of paper and have your child create the inside correspondence. Have your child decorate the outer envelope and inside letter with stickers, colored pencils, etc.
  4. Find an old shoe box, tape the cover down and cut off one of the ends so that there is an opening similar to an actual mailbox.
  5. Tape a piece of red paper to the top of a pencil to create the mailbox flag. Poke a hole in the top of the box so that the pencil stands up straight and signify when mail is ready to be picked up.
  6. Heck, have them decorate the box, too!

Delivering and Receiving

  1. When the mail has been put in the mailbox for delivery and the flag is up, tell your mail carrier that it’s time for a pick up!
  2. If you are so inclined (and daring) allow your child to stamp each piece with a rubber stamp and ink pads. If not, dampen a sponge and use a regular rubber stamp. This will still show up (on colored paper) and once it dries, it’s all ready to stamp again!
  3. Drag out one of your old purses and use this as a mailbag.
  4. Have your child deliver the mail to you and take turns pretending the read the correspondence inside.

I’ve found this activity will occupy kids for quite a while, especially if there is a sibling or friend around to continue this pretend play. Put up two or more mailboxes and create a mail route for them to follow. Sometimes one of my kids even pretends he’s that pesky neighborhood dog that continually chases the mail carrier from his duties. It’s amazing what kids come up with, isn’t it? Have fun!

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