Hands-on post office activities help the kids learn about the postal system. The activities teach how letters and packages get from the sender to the recipient. The post office activities work well in a classroom for a community helper theme. It is ideal for both preschool and early elementary students. Adapt the activities based on the available resources and ages of the children.
A field trip to a local post office gives the kids a first-hand look at how the mail delivery process works. Contact the postmaster at the local post office well in advance. Determine what the tour of the building will include, making sure it is appropriate for the ages of the students. Take lots of photos on the field trip for a class scrapbook. Follow up the field trip by having the students write letters of thanks to the staff. Help the kids mail the letters to work it into the post office teaching theme.
If you can't take the entire class to the post office, bring the employees to the classroom. Contact the local post office to determine who is available as a guest speaker. This might include the postmaster, a mail carrier, a sorter or a window clerk. The guest speaker talks about her job duties so the students get a better understanding of the process. Encourage the kids to ask questions of the postal employee.
Dramatic play activities let the kids take on the role of other people. In this case, the kids become postmen and other postal employees. Set up a post office play area for the kids. A large appliance box can serve as a post office counter where the kids can buy stamps and mail packages. Create a mailbox out of a smaller cardboard box. Cut a flap that the kids can open and drop mail through. Bring in old junk mail and stickers that resemble stamps to enhance the dramatic play.
Letter Writing Project
Once the kids get a basic understanding of the mail process, let them send their own letters. Help the kids draft letters to a relative or friend in another city. This gives the kids a chance to practice their letter-writing skills. If you're working with younger students, let them draw pictures instead of writing a letter. Help the kids address the envelopes and place the stamps. Walk as a group to a nearby mailbox and drop in the letters. If the kids receive a return letter, encourage them to bring the letters to the classroom to share.