While mail delivery is just an everyday part of life for grownups, it's probably a fascinating activity for your youngster. If he loves to deliver special packages to Dad and is always excited about your visits to the post office, let him indulge in his interest with some simple postal crafts. Don't worry -- he'll still want to tag along on post office errands even after he has an imaginary postal route of his own.
1. Felt Mail
Make postcards and envelopes from felt that you and your child can use over and over again in imaginative play. To make the customized felt mail, sandwich a piece of card stock into between two pieces of felt; the card stock makes the felt mail sturdy. Create a variety of different felt and craft foam decals for the postcards, such as address labels and pictures of palm trees, flowers and animals to adorn the mail. Let your child decorate each one with markers, fabric paint and other adornments. Sew two pieces of hook and loop fastener to each envelope; one in the center for the label and one on the back to attach a felt picture. Attach corresponding pieces of fastener to the back of your decals and your felt mail is ready for delivery.
Your youngster's mail needs a place to be delivered, so help her make a mailbox for all her special deliveries. You can make a simple mailbox to hang on the wall from an empty cereal box; just seal the ends and cut a slot in the front. Let your child paint the mailbox and decorate it with ribbons, bows, foam shapes and felt. You can also make a more elaborate mailbox from cardboard; start with a flat cardboard base, add a domed cardboard top and fill in one end with a fitted piece of cardboard. Use two hinges to attach the final piece of the craft -- the front door of the mailbox that raises and lowers to get to the mail. Dig deep in the craft box and come up with as many creative decorations for your child to complete the project.
3. Stamp Stickers
He'll want to add one of his own custom stamps to every letter you mail when he's done making these! Just pick up a blank sheet of stickers and let your child take over the task. You can turn this into an art craft and let your child color each of the stamps, or have him decorate the sticker stamps with smaller stickers and sticky foam shapes -- if your child still puts everything in his mouth, be careful with little stickers or he may not be hungry at snack time! If he's not familiar with stamps, pull out a few ahead of time and talk about the different pictures and values of the stamps. When he's finished making the stamps, write a price on each one if your child is learning numbers.
4. Carrier Bag
Save an old tote bag from the trash and upcycle it into a brand new carrier bag for your little postal worker. You can be as elaborate or as simple as you'd like. Help your child embellish the tote with foam shapes, puffy paint, glitter and glue, and even a ribbon border, or simply help her practice her developing printing skills by writing her name across the tote with a fabric marker. If you don't have an old tote around the house, you can cut up an old bed sheet and show off your sewing skills by transforming it into a tote -- even if your skills are limited to sewing a straight line.
- Happy Stitch: 30 Felt and Fabric Projects for Everyday; Jodie Rackley
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