Every day is an opportunity for new encounters and discoveries for your curious toddler. Even a visit from the mail carrier, in his blue uniform and hat or visor, can fascinate him. Build upon this interest by teaching him about the postal service through exciting activities and imaginative play.
Reading an age-appropriate, illustrated book to your toddler about mail carriers and the postal service will help him better comprehend the concept of mail delivery. Books to consider include "Mr. Griggs Works," by Cynthia Rylant, about a postal worker who loves his job; "Delivering Your Mail," by Ann Owen, which teaches about the importance of mail carriers and "Seven Little Postmen," by Margaret Wise Brown, which is a story poem about how a little boy's letter gets to grandma's house.
Pretend Post Office Dress-up and Play
Encourage your toddler's imagination by creating a mail carrier costume and setting up a little play post office. For the costume, all you need is a light blue dress shirt, navy blue slacks or shorts and a navy blue baseball hat. Use a dark, solid color canvas bag as the mail carrier bag. You can also print out a postal service logo and pin it to the hat. Give him a bunch of empty envelopes and allow him to color them if he would like. Fill his bag with the envelopes and have him deliver "mail" to people or to different rooms in the house.
Mail Carrier Learning Games
For a simple matching game, paint four to six shoe boxes different colors. Once dry, cut a slit into the bottom of each, big enough that a letter can get through. Stack and glue the boxes to each other. Give your toddler colored envelopes and have her put these "letters," in the matching mailbox. Another variation of this activity is to use boxes and parcels of various sizes. Mark a group of four or five boxes each with a specific color, then spread them out in a room. For instance, ask your little postal worker to gather all the "yellow mail" to bring to the post office.
Postage Stamp Arts
Help your toddler create her own giant stamp, which you can laminate and use as a place mat. Give him child-safe craft scissors that have a decorative edge to trip a sheet of construction paper for that postage stamp look. Have your toddler decorate the stamp with paint or even glue and glitter. Write the stamp amount in the upper right corner in black marker. Another project your toddler can do is make a paper mail carrier visor. Cut a paper plate into a half-moon shape. Let your toddler paint the visor blue. Paint USPS on the hat as well. Punch holes on the ends the paper plate and attach and elastic to fit your child's head.