- medium cardboard box
- red, white, and blue paper
- craft knife
- index cards
- children's photos
- pens, pencils, crayons, and markers
- stickers for play stamps
- paper scraps, magazines, catalogs, and junk mail
- Before doing the activity, decorate a medium cardboard box to look like a mailbox. Cover the box with red, white, and blue paper. Write "MAIL" in large capital letters on the box. Cut out a mail slot for letters to fall into the box.
- Make address cards by printing each child's name clearly on a large index card. Glue a photo of the child underneath her name. The children can use these cards when addressing mail on envelopes.
- To introduce the activity, tell the children they will be exploring letter writing with paper, envelopes, stamps, and a mailbox. Explain that all of the children will have a name card with a corresponding photo so others can address mail to them. Mail is delivered to individual cubbies or mailboxes each day.
- Encourage the children to come to the postal center and write letters to their family, someone in the class, or anyone they choose. Any method of sharing information on paper is fun, including drawings, actual writing, cutting out pictures and gluing on paper, and artwork.
- Help the children address the envelopes using the address cards. If the child is very young, she can let an adult know whom the letter is for. Provide stickers for stamps and let the children "mail" the letters using the cardboard mailbox.
- Choose a class helper to distribute the mail each day to individual cubbies or mailboxes in the room. Other mail can go to the child to take home for Mom, Dad, or Fido.
- Encourage the children to read their mail at school or at home.