The craziest package that’s ever arrived on my front porch did not come from Amazon, but from my great-grandmother that had just passed. You see, she sewed a quilt or crocheted a blanket for every single grandchild, great-grandchild, and great-great-grandchild in the family. And during her last weeks here on Earth, she made sure she completed one for my sweet Aria. It’s one of those instant tearjerking moments that reminds you how precious time is. Mail can be such a powerful gift (excluding all that dang junk mail), and it’s so important for our toddlers to know how to send mail, to feel that connection with another person (even from afar). And so, we learned how to send mail and packages in our Post Office Dramatic Play center this week.
Valentine's Day Lesson Plans
Post Office Dramatic Play
Ideas for Set-Up
Start collecting those boxes! Or if you would prefer boxes that open and close easier (so your little ones can stuff those care packages), head over to your local craft store and look for brown photo boxes or jewelry boxes.
Then, you’ll want to set up 5 different areas in the post office dramatic play center.
The first area includes all of the supplies needed at the post office. On the white cube shelf, we set out shipping labels, envelopes, postcards, double-sided letters that fold up to show the envelope (so dope), and small, medium, and large boxes. I just taped shipping labels on top of the packages beforehand so they could easily stuff them and address them.
On top of the shelf is our stamp collection (read more below), a poster showing how to send mail, and that adorable postage stamp bunting.
The next area we set up was the check-out counter with my husband’s dinosaur computer and a food scale as props. (See more below.)
And onto the mailbox area. So, live and learn: The mailboxes we made were too small for most of our mail. But perhaps you could build mailboxes using some of the free boxes from the post office. Just stack and tape them together, and you will have a way better system for delivering mail.
Finally, if you’re setting up this post office center during February, sprinkle in some of that lovey-dovey feeling with a Valentine-making station.
Post Office Customers
Things are about to go postal!
This dramatic play center is packed with tons of writing opportunities. From name-writing to writing letters and postcards, there are so many ways to work on letter formation through play!
(This is also why I suggest setting up this center later on in the year when most of your kiddos are able to easily write their name.)
Included in this post office dramatic play pack are letters designed for holidays, seasons, and more. Each letter includes space to write who the letter is for, who it’s from, and there’s even space to draw a little picture. The best part: the letters fold up to show the envelope on the outside, and there’s a perfect spot to glue on those stamps.
You’ve also got some postcards for the kiddos to color and deliver to their friends saying, “Wish you were here.” There’s a mountain or beach scene depending on the vacation vibe you’re going for.
Finally, they can shoot their finished mail into the postal box for the mail carriers to snatch up for delivery.
And now to the fun part: sending personalized packages.
Not only is it important for us to feel that connection in real life, but it’s also important to add those personal touches to the Post Office Dramatic Play center.
And how could we send little gifts to each other? Well, we made them, of course!
In one of our Valentine math centers, we used pattern cards to make bracelets from pipe cleaners and pony beads – perfect to send to one another.
As some of our Valentine’s Day art activities, we made heart ornaments and heart suncatchers, also an adorable creation to send in the mail.
And then, of course, you can send those Valentines!
These vibrant stamps bring a rainbow of joy!
The stamps come in black and white with different pictures on each one, so that you can just print them on different colored paper, cut them, and sort them into a serving tray by color.
Not only is it a colorful addition to your dramatic play center, but it also gives your kiddos plenty of student choice. Choose the perfect color and design to glue onto your letters and postcards, and then send them off to your friends.
What’s the key to a good mailman joke? It’s all in the delivery.
And the delivery is what the mail carriers are all about in the post office dramatic play center. Gotta have that mailbag and that mail truck!
Just tape on the printables, and you are set to go. We used a kiddie shopping cart for our mail truck, but you could also use a small wheelie cart or ride-along toy (as long as there’s space for all those packages).
The mail carriers also get to work at the check-out counter, helping to weigh packages, check for stamps, stamp parcels, and calculate all of those important thingamabobs on the computer (cue the fake typing).
Design a Valentine
If you end up incorporating your Post Office with Valentine’s Day, you’ve got to include a Valentine-making station. It just adds one more special thing the kiddos can send to one another.
Just set out a tray full of craft supplies (hole punches, hearts, doilies, and stickers), and the kids can go to town!
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MORE Valentine's Day Activities
Are you ready for a blissful night instead of running around trying to come up with your Valentine’s Day lesson plans? Don’t search for days and spend hours creating highly engaging Valentine centers that your students will love. This bundle is ready for you to crush through February! Trust me, you’ll cherish the day when these Valentine’s activities are done, so you can enjoy time with your loved ones.
This post office dramatic play is included in this discounted bundle! Plus, you get your Valentine’s lesson plans done for you with the complete set of Valentine’s Day centers!
If there is anything you need to get this Valentine’s Day theme ready for your preschoolers, just let me know, and I would be happy to help with whatever you need!