Wyatt’s been home sick with a fever and a sore throat all week, so we’ve been hanging out around the house a lot. I let him watch a bunch of movies the first few days, but after awhile it got to be too much. The same old toys only hold his attention so long before he starts to get whiny so I’ve been trying to come up with some fun activities that can keep him occupied and give me a few minutes here and there to get some stuff done. Yesterday I was cruising around the kiddie blogs and I saw a suggestion to play make-believe post office. Brilliant!
This game was a fun, three-part activity: making the mailboxes, writing letters, and then pretending to be a mail carrier and delivering the letters.
To make the mailboxes, we pulled a couple of medium sized boxes out of the recycling. You don’t need to make more than one mailbox for this game, but we had two boxes, so we just doubled the fun. I used a box cutter to cut slots in them, then taped a couple of pieces of regular old printer paper over a few sides of the boxes so that Wyatt could decorate them.
He used foam letters to spell out the word “mailbox” on one. I told him which letters he needed and he dug them out of the box and stuck them on. He also wrote the word “YES” because he knows how to spell that by himself and likes to write it. Then he copied the letters from the first box to write “mailbox” on the second box. Extra stickers and doodles were added for decoration and then the boxes were placed in two separate locations in the living room “for convenience.” Hee!
Next we made some mail. I cut a small stack of letter-sized paper in half length-wise and then we folded them over. I showed Wyatt the basics of addressing an envelope, with the name of who it’s for, the “return address” or who it’s from, and a stamp. We talked a little bit about how stamps work, too.
We had a great time writing messages to each other and to Zach and Augie. We drew pictures and unbeknownst to Wyatt, he practiced his writing, spelling and reading. I’m all sneaky with the educational activities like that!
As we finished each letter, we put it in the post office boxes. Then when we’d gathered enough, Wyatt got his mailbag (one of my old purses), collected the mail and took it to the post office (the middle of the living room floor) to sort it. And again, we practiced sneaky reading lessons, looking at the letters and sounding out the names he doesn’t know on site.
Once the letters were sorted, he put them back in the bag and then delivered them to each person. We spent several hours working on this project and Wyatt has revisited it a few times over the last two days. You should try it too!