VALENTINE'S DAY MAIL PLAY
After playing over at their grandparents' house one day, my olders told me how much they really loved that their Grandmother set out paper and envelopes and they could do some letter writing play. I thought it was a great idea and they enjoyed it so much I created a Valentine's Day letter play here at our house. I really love that this activity encourages pre-writing and writing skills, creativity, imagination play and is a perfect opportunity to describe how the mail system works! Plus it was so much fun that the kids were engaged for over an hour!
I wanted to be sure that the olders had all sorts of choices: choices of writing tools, paper, envelopes, decorations. Prior to beginning play, I gathered together a variety of pencils, colored pencils and crayons. (I try to avoid markers, even the washable ones. They still tend to just get on everything in our house.)
I put together all types of paper, different sizes, different colors. I chose a lot of pink and red for the Valentine's Day theme.
I save envelopes from anything I can. If I have extra Christmas cards or thanks you's after a party, I used those saved envelopes for this activity. I even save the return envelopes from junk mail, too. It all works! In this tray I also included return address labels. I get tons sent to me through fundraiser mailings and I save them all. One set of address labels included square decorative stickers. We decided those would be our stamps. :)
I put out a bowl or two of stickers the kids could use to decorate their Valentine's Day mail. Who doesn't love a chance to cover something with stickers!?
The night before I transformed an empty box of baby wipes into a mailbox. I wrapped it in brown packing paper and painted it. I cut a slot in the top and cut a small door in the back so we could empty the mailbox. Not my best work but the kids were happy with it. A shoe box would also work nicely if you wrapped the top and bottom separately and just cut a mail slot in the top.
After all that there is nothing left to do but PLAY!
If you try this activity with your little ones, I hope they enjoy it as much as mine did!