Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cardboard Post Office

So I'm pretty certain my Mom made me something like this when I was a kid as I have fragments of memories of playing Post Office in a large, cardboard box. I've always loved box play, even as I grew into an adult, and I've loved some of the ways Big Brother and I have used them so far. But with my fond memories in mind I couldn't wait to create a Post Office for him.

Our timing was perfect this week as Big Brother's been interested in the mail and regularly checking our mail box. And while we were cleaning our basement he found this unusual cookie tin and incorporated it into his daily play.

We also have our Big Niece visiting three days this week. At age 6 I knew she would be able to add another level of pretend play to the Post Office theme and make the experience more fun for both of them. 

We've been holding onto the box since December when we got a new oven, so it was already a little used and colored on. But I cut a new special window and slits for mail. I used colorful duck tape to create the signs and added in a few props. This included a small table, blank envelopes, markers & pencils, scissors, white paper, mailing labels, stickers, stamps & ink pad, and tape. I also put in a few containers and bags. 

The kids were pretty excited when they discovered the set up and played in the Post Office for big chunks of the day. They made mail, bought mail, gave mail, delivered mail, stamped mail, and sorted mail. 

They extended the play to involve more areas of the house and varied the scenarios for who, how, and why they were delivering mail. 

When they had to come eat lunch they "closed" the Post Office for a while. Check out my niece's great inventive spelling! 
The sign is meant to say, "Staff Only. No People. Out of Order." 
One great thing about box play is the theme can change with the inspiration of the child. My niece's plan for tomorrow is to bring her pretend cash register from home and turn it into a grocery store. The other great thing about box play, is that the play continues until the box is well loved and ready to go to recycling. I have a feeling ours will be well loved this week. 


  1. Box play was always a great way to help little minds come up with amazing ideas, they start with one idea and it continues and becomes such an amazing, inventive piece that they always are SO proud of. The hard part for me was the day when these inventions were ready for recycle��. What a great post office.

    1. BB was a little sad to see it go, but loved helping Daddy to toss it in the bin. We're already looking forward to the next big box that comes our way.