Playing Postman – Preschool Role Play

All the children I know are obsessed with posting and sorting things, Monkey is no different. So when I saw this cardboard post box in Hobbycraft for £10, I knew that Monkey and I could make it into something fun. He’s been really interested in the postman recently often looking out for him when he’s at home and loves receiving letters and parcels. Although he does tend to come quite late in the day round our way!

He is also starting to take an interest in writing cards, thank yous and make believe letters to his little friends and family members. I really want to encourage this – although when I say write I mean it in the looses sense of the word! Some of his mark making has got quite small recently and he has started to tell me what he is writing. I’m thinking that the more I can encourage this through play the better.

Making our own postboxSo I set up an invitation to ‘paint’ for when Monkey got home from nursery on Thursday night (note the old shower curtain on the floor!). It surprisingly needed less paint that I imagined, one tube did the job adequately.

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Monkey’s Auntie had a special Birthday coming up so we went and brought some stamps at the local shop and posted the cards. It was a great opportunity to look at the post box in more depth.  We talked about the differences between that and the one we were making at home – size, the real one was ‘cold’, he liked the pattern on the front and the little notice informing people about days and times.

IMG_2835  DIY Postbox notice - preschooler roleplay

He decided we needed something similar on our our little postbox. I cut up a project life photo sheet to make a small plastic envelope to stick on the front. I am hoping that we will be able to use the postbox for other activities centred around different celebrations and festivities, so I wanted to be able to change the notice on the front.

I set about making felt envelopes which could either be filled with letters or left empty if he didn’t feel like writing any notes. While in hobbycraft I brought some of their felt sheets, for each envelope I sewed a blanket stitch along the long edge to make a pocket.

Felt envelopes

To make them more like envelopes Monkey decided we needed to add stamps, just like we had for his Auntie’s cards. I used white felt and pinking shears to cut small rectangles and glue to secure them.

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Working along the same lines as the postbox, I also added small plastic pockets to the front of each envelope to allow us to address them to whoever the game dictates. We used silicone glue to secure both the stamps and the pockets.

Then we set about playing..

Invitation to play postmanI set out the postbox, envelopes and Monkey’s writing box. I have written about the writing box previously you can find it here. He excitedly went about writing letters and drawing pictures for all his little friends. Some of them were a bit rushed as all he really wanted to do was to post them!

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We talked about the importance of addressing the envelopes and what happens to the letters once they have been posted. For one of his little friends he started to draw an egg (not sure what the obsession is with eggs!) and that suddenly led to him wanting to post eggs. He disappeared and came back with his play eggs wanting to wrap them up. I fetched the brown paper and we set about wrapping them up and addressing them. Only slight problem is that they would not fit through the slot in the postbox so we had to take the lid off.

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It sparked a conversation about thick and thin. I never thought about parcels to post, my imagination had only gone as far as letters. I love how Monkey sees things from a different view point and how play ideas evolve in his mind. I wonder what we are going to be posting next… and he’s already requesting a postbag so that he can deliver them. I better get my sewing machine out!

Mudpie x

Mamavsteacher
what katy said
The Free Range Family

24 Comments

  1. July 26, 2015 / 11:28 am

    This is fantastic and great that it stimulated so many discussions with Monkey! Thanks for linking up to #Imaginationmatters and it would be great to see you again next week for our weather theme

  2. laura447
    July 27, 2015 / 8:39 am

    What a brilliant idea! I’m definitely adding this to our craft/play list for when Rowan’s older. I love the fact your little boy wanted to be able to post parcels as well as letters, very cute!

    I can imagine the post box all dressed up for Christmas time to post letters to Father Christmas.

    Thanks for sharing ?

    Laura x

    • July 27, 2015 / 7:11 pm

      It’s amazing how they see this differently I hope you have lots of fun when you get to it 🙂 Cx

  3. July 27, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    What an adorable and meaningful learning activity!! My daughter would love this! Great for so many learning experiences- writing, learning about the mail, fine motor, social lessons, even colors and shapes!

    • July 27, 2015 / 7:08 pm

      Thank you 🙂 he loves it – hopefully it will last until Christmas!! Cx

  4. July 29, 2015 / 9:11 am

    That’s an amazing postbox! You’ll be able to play with it over and over. I might have to make a trip to Hobbycraft myself…

  5. chloelifeunexpected
    July 29, 2015 / 9:39 am

    This is incredible! What a creative idea. You should sell these as a role playing game on somewhere like All By Mama. I’d buy one. I love the envelopes and the little stamps. It’s so adorable! You could use this at Christmas to send Santa letters too! 😀 xx

    • July 30, 2015 / 8:15 pm

      Ooo never heard about this …. Will check it out 🙂 thank you x

  6. July 29, 2015 / 9:25 pm

    Zach would adore this! His favourite thing at the moment is checking for post when we get home and if we have any, reposting it back through the letterbox! Thanks for sharing 🙂 #kidscorner

    • July 30, 2015 / 7:43 pm

      Lol ? don’t you just love that! Ours never comes out in one piece the other side! Xx

  7. Katie Haydock
    July 30, 2015 / 10:45 am

    What an amazing idea!!! I’m so impressed with this – and the level of artistry that went into it.
    This is something we shall be trying out between now and winter for that indoor role play! BRILLIANT!
    #kidscorner

    • July 30, 2015 / 7:32 pm

      Aw thank you 🙂 hope you have as much fun as we did x

  8. August 2, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    ooo I need a trip to hobby craft I love this its a fun project that will get so much use out of after playing too thanks for the inspiration #kidscorner x

  9. Katy (What Katy Said)
    August 3, 2015 / 8:27 pm

    This is so lovely!! You are such a fun mum, your blog is just amazing. Thanks for sharing in #KidsCorner x

    • August 5, 2015 / 7:41 am

      Awww thanks Katy ? and thanks for hosting xx

  10. August 15, 2015 / 2:37 pm

    Love this idea! #busydoinglife

  11. August 15, 2015 / 8:27 pm

    I saw this post a few weeks back and headed off to try and find myself a postbox in hobbycraft but they had sold out! I now have a cardboard box I have to paint with the girls as they want to send each other letters!! Thankyou so much for sharing this with #busydoinglife it’s such a great idea. Have a great week x

    • August 16, 2015 / 3:27 pm

      Oh no – such a shame they sold out but I am sure yours will still work out beautifully 🙂 be great to see, thank you for hosting xx

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