Family or Classroom Postal Service

I am SO excited to share this idea with you because it’s such a fun way to develop writing skills while strengthening relationships and encouraging kindness at the same time!

One of the fun parts of having four (soon to be five!) children is that we have enough people around to invent some fun games. Last week, I introduced the boys to a new idea – a family postal service.  This idea would also work really well in a classroom.

Mailbox Unit

My husband and I built a “mailbox unit” out of small mailing boxes that I purchased at Target.  We taped the boxes closed with mailing tape and then cut a large opening in one end of each box.  To make the unit, we simply taped the boxes together with white duct tape.  Then I labeled each person’s box with a mailing label sticker.

Family or Classroom Postal Service

Box for Mailing Letters

The boys can mail letters by putting them in this box, which also came from Target.  I found it in the Valentine’s section for $2.50, I think.  I added the word “mail” with sticker letters and some duct tape decoration.  If you can’t find this type of box, you can easily make one out of a shoe box or other cardboard box.

Family or Classroom Postal Service

Letter Writing Supplies

I set up a tray of mailing supplies complete with envelopes, paper, and stamps.  I cut sheets of paper in half to cut down on paper consumption!  They don’t write much in their letters, so it has worked out well.

Family or Classroom Mail Service

For the stamps, I cut blank mailing labels into small rectangles.  The boys spent a LONG time drawing tiny pictures on their stamps!

Family or Classroom Mail Service

They made stamps with flags, eagles, ninja swords, Buzz Lightyear, and more.  I made the heart one – and they rolled their eyes.  BOYS!

The middle two boys really had no idea why we put stamps on letters, so I explained that we pay for stamps and that is how the postal service gets the money to run the post office and pay their mail carriers.  It would be so much fun to visit a real post office while we’re doing this project!  I will be looking into that.

Family or Classroom Mail Service

The Mailman

Each day, one of the boys gets a turn being the mailman.  The mailman opens the box and sorts all of the mail into each person’s individual mailbox.

Family or Classroom Mail Service

When the mailman is finished delivering the mail, he turns the sign around from the “mail is not up” side to the “mail is up” side.  This fun addition reminds me of my college mail room. 🙂

Family or Classroom Mail Service

I chose to do this family postal service at the same time as our Kindness in Action family devotions.  It has been a great way for the boys to practice being kind to each other.  (I posted the Kindness in Action devotions as an idea for the month of February, but there is nothing time-specific about them.  You can start them anytime if you are interested!)

My favorite letter so far was Aidan sending Owen a note with 25 cents attached.  He had hired him to help sort his Rainbow Loom bands and mailed his payment.  Cracked me up!

Family or Classroom Postal Service

Jonathan is too young to read, but I have mailed him coloring pages that I printed online.  And he loves having letters read to him that the boys send!

This idea is definitely something that the boys will lose interest in over time.  I plan to let them use up the box of envelopes I purchased, and then we’ll put it away for a while.  I think that it will be fun to get out the postal service again in the summer as a way to fight summer time boredom!

7 Comments

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  1. Phyllis at All Things Beautiful Feb 7, 2014

    I love your mail system. My boys love that sort (no pun intended) of thing, too.

    Reply
    1. Marie Mutton Feb 11, 2014

      My daughter did this at kinder; the only thing that needs to be watched is the amount of mail that each child receives: in other words, that one person doesn't miss out & another get all the mail. Otherwise it is great fun & a good learning experience!

      Reply
      1. Sarah Feb 13, 2014

        YES, definitely! Even for our family, I've had to encourage equal sending of mail, and in a classroom that would be very important. One thing that helps even things out is for the parent or teacher to send something to everyone - even if it's just a coloring page or sticker and not a letter (because of time constraints).

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      2. Angelia Feb 15, 2014

        This is very meaningful! My boys had just started asking me for envelopes and started 'writing' letters to me and putting into envelopes. This mailing system will definitely get them going! However, they're still unable to spell. (aged 5 and 6) Any ideas how to help them 'write'? The stamps will be a hit i deem! Thanks for this post on post! ; P
        Will be sharing in my blog when i get this going!
        Angelia

        Reply
        1. Carly @ Africa to America Feb 17, 2014

          What a FANTASTIC and fun writing idea! My 5-year-old hates to practice writing unless we're writing letters to someone. Thanks for sharing on the After School Linky!

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          1. Holly Mar 8, 2014

            This is a great idea! My twins are driving me crazy today with the icky weather outside, I have been scouring your website for things to keep them busy. They love mail, and im totally going to set this up for future use. Thanks!

            Reply
            1. Carol May 6, 2014

              Envelopes can be made out of magazine pages, old wrapping paper, etc. Cereal, Bisquick boxes can be used for the post office boxes. Your idea is so fantastic! Thank you. A scrapbook for the letters may be a great idea also.

              Reply
              1. Ann Jun 3, 2014

                The US Postal Service has some wonderful Education Kits, one of which involves creating an in-school or in-class postal facility. It would certainly work in the home as well. Called Mail Matters, it includes really cute downloadable signs and "employee" badges, as well as a fun poster that illustrates the mail at work. There are also some great activity sheets for elementary level kids. Check it out at http://www.uspsconnection.com/cc_site/2012/02/29/mail-matters/ - as well as other awesome offerings for grade-school students, teachers and families: at USPSconnection.com.

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