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Easy Post Office Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

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Play and learn with these fun Post Office activities for toddlers and preschoolers. February is the perfect month to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to the Post Office, mail service, and all things letter writing. However, these activities can be adjusted and implemented at any age.

6 Picture collage of post office activities for toddlers including building a fort from a pink Nugget, watercolors and white paper for personalized postcards, writing center with crayons and construction paper and crafted cardboard mailbox from scrap paper

Playing is Learning.

Our Personal Experience of implementing these post office activities for toddlers

At this time, my girls are both in toddlerhood, one just entering and my other daughter on the brim of being considered a preschooler. Each day we prioritize 10-20 minutes for structured learning. So, for a whole week we set our intentions on learning about the Post Office in tiny bites. I hesitate to use the word unit study because our current learning style is like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

I’ll explain. In the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, one thing always leads to another. For example, we discussed envelope formatting which led to why are stickers sticky, what other ways can we close an envelope, what is paper made from, and somehow we ended up drawing a map of how to get to the post office. And, that is just on day one.

two cardboard rectangles with white painted outline of an envelope standing on a pink and white triangle floor with a white background

Five Post Office Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

  1. Role Play the Post Office and Postal Service
  2. Design postcards and personalized stationery
  3. Format an envelope
  4. Build a mailbox
  5. Visit and experience the post office

Role Play the Post Office and Postal Service

Post office build from a pink play couch (Nugget) with cardboard signage, and a writing center on a white table with a toddler sitting and holding two cardboard envelopes over her face

I would highly encourage the incorporation of pretend play in your Post Office activities for toddlers and preschoolers. Dramatic play is a great way for kids to learn about all the people involved in the postal service such as the Post Office clerk, postal inspector, mailing specialist, and mail carrier. I understand this is not a comprehensive list; but, it’s a great start at understanding the Postal Service system and community helpers. We collected items around the house to build our post office and used an oversized blue shirt for a uniform.

writing center on a white and wooden side table including a box of crayons, red and orange construction paper, watercolor postcards, hand stamps, and long envelopes and a sticker book for stamps

Roles and tasks for kids to play:

Post Office Clerk

  • Greet Customers: an opportunity to teach kids the importance of greeting others with kindness
  • Weigh Packages: a great introduction to weighing objects and using comparison words like heavy and light. We used a food scale.
  • Perform Transaction: a great way to learn about how money works and how stamps are used to pay for the mailing service
  • Postmarking Stamps: excellent practice to further develop fine motor skills and hitting visual targets such as stamping the designated spot on the envelope. We used a simple ink pad and stamp.

Mail Carrier

  • Collect/Deliver Packages: a great opportunity to work on letter, number or/and or shape recognition. Don’t overthink this. You could simply cut out shapes from construction paper and randomly place them around your backyard. Have the kids pair and deliver the corresponding envelopes to each designated address.
  • Carrying the Mail Bag: a great time to implement heavy work. Appropriately load a tote with objects such as books and have them carry the “mail bag” along a route. You could even draw a map of your backyard and highlight each stop the mail carrier is suppose to make, maybe drop off a book at each location.
  • Transporting the Mail: a great time to talk about the different methods and history of mail transportation such as by horse, foot, truck, train, ship, or airplane. Or, tricycle, electric jeep, or stick pony.

Design Postcards and Personalized Stationery

We crafted two different types of postcards. I love how they turned out.

Let me remind you, I am a pediatric physical therapist and my focus is almost always on the process rather than the product. Thus, you will see a lot of process art here.

Party Streamer/Tissue Paper Postcard

two postcards decorated with torn tissue paper. One with random pieces of purple, blue green, pink and lime green tissue pieces glued to the front and one with a pink tissue pieces glued into the shape of a heart. Lime green, purple, pink and blue green party streamers and a glue stick in the background on a white table. Post cards for toddlers to deliver at the Post office

All you need to make a tissue paper postcard is tissue paper, a glue stick, and construction paper. I used some party streamers that I saved from a birthday party. They worked perfectly. We wrote a brief message to our pen pals on the opposite side of our tissue paper design.

Secret Message Watercolor Postcard

2 watercolor palette sets, one blue paintbrush and two watercolor postcards with a secret love message written in white crayon lying on a white table

This was a hit and so much fun. We ended up making one for each of our pen pals and it was simple enough for my 18-month-old to do with minimal assistance with painting rather than taste testing.

Jump to Secret Message Postcard Instructions

Format Envelopes

Post office writing center: Collection of items for envelope formatting with toddlers includes blue ink pad, colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple crayons, 5 white long envelopes, orange and red construction paper with notebook paper glued on the first, baby chick stamp, and flower and butterfly stickers all laying on a white tabletop

Materials for Formatting Envelopes: An Invitation to Play

  • envelopes
  • stickers for stamps
  • construction paper and notebook paper to make personalized stationery
  • crayons
  • ink stamp pad with a stamp for postmarking

In my search for these items, I found a scrap page of labels and I wrote each child’s name (sender) on a separate label and I also wrote the receiver’s name on a separate label. If your child can write, this is the perfect opportunity for him/her to practice.

First, I demonstrated how to format an envelope, write a brief message, and how to fold a letter to make it fit inside the envelope. Then, I allowed them to use the tools and materials as their imagination deemed fit.

Build a Mailbox

play mailbox made from cracker cardboard box and decorated with black and white striped and pink and white triangle scraps from recycled gift bags

Pinterest is loaded with beautifully crafted mailboxes. This is not that. But, if you need inspiration and want to craft a beautiful mailbox for your toddlers or preschoolers, absolutely go for it! Here are some cute ideas on transforming a cereal box into a mailbox.

We used an old cardboard box to build our mailbox. While we crafted, we discussed the components of a mailbox.

  • Box for securing the mail
  • Flag for signaling to the mail carrier
  • House Number for identification
  • Post to hold the mailbox at just the right height

Visit and Experience the Post Office

This step sounds so simple and maybe unnecessary. But, don’t forget the excitement you had with field trips and special events as a child. Take the time to visit a post office. Buy some stamps. Let your kiddos pick out the stamp design. Send a care package or send letters to your pen pals. If you don’t have a pen pal, find one. It’s easier than you think. Call the local nursing home and ask if there is anyone you can deliver mail too. The best way to get mail is to send mail.

Skills to practice at the Post Office:

  • Reading a map or following directions to get to the Post Office
  • Checking envelope formatting prior to dropping off the mail at the proper location
  • Purchasing a stamp to practice transactions
  • Practicing social skills by greeting the clerk and other people at the Post Office
  • Navigating new surroundings such as following signage, opening doors, standing in line etc.

Two Good Picture Books About Mail

pink outline of an opened book
  1. Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
  2. The Paperboy by Dave Pilkey

Thanks for stopping by!

Finally, I want to thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed these Post Office activities for toddlers and preschoolers! Please say Hi in the comment section. What fun and simple ways have you introduced the post office and writing letters to your kids?

– With Great Joy, Katie

DIY: How to make a Secret Message Watercolor Postcard

A process shot of four steps to craft a secret message on a postcard. Hearts drew with a white crayon on a white piece of paper taped down with painter's tape and blue and purple watercolor painted over the crayon marks
Secret Message Watercolor Postcard Process Art with Toddlers

Materials:

  • white paper (watercolor paper works best)
  • watercolors and brush
  • a cup of water (or spray bottle) to wet your watercolor paints
  • white crayon to draw the secret message

Optional: Painter’s tape or craft tape to help hold the paper in place while painting. This really helps with kids because writing and coloring requires bilateral coordination which means they have to use both hands, one to stabilize the canvas and one to manipulate their drawing tool.

Step by Step Instructions for a Secret Message Watercolor Postcard

  1. First, tape down the white paper to the surface. Use a white crayon to draw your secret message.
  2. Next, wet your watercolors either with a spray bottle or dip your brush into water.
  3. Then, paint a colorful design on your paper.
  4. Now, you have a handmade painted postcard with a fun secret message.

Pin it for Later!

4 Picture collage of post office activities for toddlers including building a fort from a pink Nugget, watercolors and white paper for personalized postcards, writing center with crayons and construction paper and crafted cardboard mailbox from scrap paper
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5 from 1 vote

How to Craft a Secret Message Watercolor Postcard

This simple postcard craft is so fun and easy to make. It is the perfect addition to your post office activities for toddlers and preschoolers. It also gives the perfect opportunity to mail letters and improve your child's language skills.

Materials

  • 1 piece white paper (watercolor paper works best)
  • watercolors and brush
  • spray bottle filled with water to wet watercolors (or cup of water for dipping the paintbrush)
  • white crayon

Instructions

  • First, tape down the white paper to the surface. Use a white crayon to draw your secret message.
  • Next, wet your watercolors either with a spray bottle or dip your brush into water.
  • Then, paint a colorful design on your paper.
  • Now, you have a hand painted postcard with a fun secret message.

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