DIY Cardboard Box Post Office

Minnie enjoys getting mail! Whenever the postman arrives she runs to the front door ready to ‘catch’ the mail as it flies through the letterbox! With her current interest in letters, writing, & wrapping items in boxes, it seemed the perfect time to explore the following activity.

I found a large cardboard box & cut it into the shape below. We had run out of red paint, so Minnie decorated our Post Office with red chalk instead, not quite the same as red, but I don’t think it bothered Minnie. We added a Post Office sign above the ‘window’, attached two garden canes to the back & secured them to an old coffee table with some masking tape. We left a gap at the bottom of the window so our mail could be posted through. Our Post Office was taking shape.

We added a long table behind the coffee table & set out a selection of items including;
Cash till, calculator & coins
Filing drawers
Weighing scales (from the kitchen)
Ink stamp & hole punch
A variety of used & new envelopes & boxes in different sizes
Some home-made self-adhesive stamps (made from small printer labels)
Pens & a selection of paper
An old telephone
Greeting Cards, blank postcards & junk mail
Bus & train timetables
An Open/Closed sign

Minnie has spent hours playing with the Post Office, writing, drawing, sticking, counting, stamping, posting, measuring, ordering, weighing, sorting, cutting, selecting coins, balancing objects, & serving customers. (I should add that the face paint is optional!) 

Every time items were bought from the Post Office, Minnie gave the customer a receipt from her cash till. (These were just a collection of old receipts I’d found in my purse, but Minnie enjoyed handling them & giving them out to her customers.) I soon discovered everything at the Post Office was £2... I’m guessing that’s due to inflation!

I loved watching her sort parcels into sizes & shapes, & listening to her comment ‘too big, too small’ when placing objects inside them. She’s enjoyed writing letters & collecting other mail from the post box to sort. She’s delivered mail & parcels around the house, & excitedly collected any other items of mail she can find, even bills! Junk mail, which is normally recycled, has been great for Minnie to play with, & she’s really enjoyed finding numbers, letters & words that she recognises on the leaflets.

She's also loved weighing, sorting, & posting all the mail.

There are so many learning opportunities linked with this activity including; language & literacy, early maths (number recognition, weighing, sorting), knowledge & understanding of the world, creative skills (designing stamps, cards & envelopes), fine motor & gross motor skills, imaginative ideas & more. And it's so much fun too!

I've just introduced Minnie to the 'Jolly Postman' by Janet & Allan Ahlberg. She loves it! Such a fantastic interactive book with letters to & from familiar characters (The 3 Bears, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood & The 3 Pigs). Minnie loves opening the envelopes & discovering the letters, & I love watching her gain so much enjoyment from this lovely book.