Inside: Having a post office dramatic play area in your classroom offers a variety of opportunities for working together, writing and sending notes, and learning how mail is delivered. While toddlers and preschoolers are sorting, transporting, and sending packages, they are building language skills while working and playing together.
Our toddlers and preschoolers love it when we include post office dramatic play in our lesson plans!
There’s something about pushing the envelopes through the slots, packing bags with letters, and stacking boxes to send in the mail. If they’ve had any real life experience going to the post office with their family, it’s even more meaningful!
What you include in your dramatic play area can vary. In fact, ours changes a bit from year to year depending on what we have on hand.
Note: Scroll down to get your FREE post office printable signs and labels!
How to Set Up a Post Office Dramatic Play Area for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Make sure to start planning this dramatic play activity in advance. This way you can make sure to collect:
- Post Cards
- Junk Mail
In the past, we’ve asked our preschool families to donate any of the above that they might already have in their homes. It’s always fun to see what everyone brings in!
We made our own mail visors by using blue foam visors and writing “U.S. MAIL” with a permanent marker.
Donated stickers were placed on boxes and envelopes.
Boxes were carefully sorted and stacked.
Each of the children had a slip of paper with their names on them that were placed in envelopes for some extra literacy fun.
Mail bags are a must for the post office, too. Young children love to fill them to be carried around while making deliveries!
At one time someone had donated a nice big leather handbag that was perfect, but it went missing.
We decided to make our own bags using white canvas tote bags (you can see a similar product here) and a strip of wide red, white, and blue ribbon attached to the edge of the bag with no-sew fabric glue. We’ve had these bags for 5 years now, used between 4 different classrooms, and they are holding up well!
While having a post office dramatic play area, you can talk about how special it feels when someone gives you a card. If you are doing this around Valentine’s Day, the children can make their own bags or boxes that their Valentine’s cards will go in.
You can extend this into your writing area, with small notecards, envelopes, and writing tools.
Books to go with the post office theme:
New! Post office printable labels:
More dramatic play ideas: