While checking out at my local big box store, I spotted some cubby shaped cardboard boxes and I knew I could turn them into an awesome (and free) post office play center for my kids. Here is how I turned those cardboard boxes into a Post Office Dramatic Play Center in about an hour that my kids went nuts over!
As a bonus, I’ve also included the printable PDF graphics I used to create the center so you can create your own center in a flash!
Post Office Dramatic Play develops writing, reading, and social skills
Dramatic play is often called pretend play or imaginative play, and it’s important! It teaches social, language, fine motor, math, and literacy skills.
Post office dramatic play gives kids an opportunity to practice writing letters and notes to one another. My preschoolers are 4 and they are just learning to write words, but they enjoy writing their names and the names of our family members as the “To” and “From” parts of the mail.
Additionally, we usually assign a person as the mail sorter, where they can recognize names on the pieces of mail and on the mailboxes. Sorting mail gives kids an opportunity to learn to identify names.
We also often count the pieces of mail, practicing preschool math skills.
Create Mailboxes from Cardboard Boxes
To create our Post Office Dramatic Play center, first tape cardboard boxes to make individual mailboxes. I used cubby shaped boxes, but think soft drink cardboard boxes, tissue boxes, or shoe boxes would also work.
I used packing tape to hold them together, then lined the boxes with colored construction paper and created name labels on the bottom. If your kids can’t yet recognize their written names, pictures of each person might be a helpful addition.
In addition to individual mailboxes, I created a larger, general mailbox where customers can drop their mail. I used a divided large cardboard box and covered it with colored paper and a Mail image. You can get this Mail image, along with all the other graphics I used, below in the Post Office Dramatic Play printable PDF.
Create Letter Writing Station
Setting up a place where kids can create their own mail is so easy, and my kids really love it!
Post card graphics, which you can download below, give kids a place to address their mail, write or draw a message, and also add a stamp (affiliate link) for postage. I also find that plain paper is a nice addition so kids can have a larger space to create whatever they want to mail.
In addition to the paper, I set a box of crayons nearby and a stamp and stamp pad (affiliate link) for postage. I also think that stickers could serve well as stamps.
Accessories to Take Post Office Dramatic Play to the Next Level
There are a few additional accessories that I have found take Post Office Dramatic Play up a notch.
First, a vehicle that can serve as a mail truck is so fun. One child can then play the role of the mail carrier and pick it up from the large general mailbox and distribute it. We used a toy grocery cart (affiliate link), but I think a small wagon can also work. If you don’t have a vehicle, try a reusable grocery bag.
A cash register (affiliate link) is also a fun accessory. Customers can pay to mail their packages, while one kid plays the role of the postal worker.
In addition to letters, small packages that kids can fill and mail are also fun. I collect a few small toys and make them available to my kids to mail to one another. For the packaging, I reuse bubble mailers that we receive.
Get Post Office Dramatic Play PDFs
The graphics that I used to create my Post Office Dramatic Play center are free and printable to email subscribers. Once you subscribe and confirm your subscription, you’ll receive an additional email with the password to my Printable Resources page.
To get your graphics, subscribe to emails below.
Email subscribers receive access to an entire library of free printable resources. There are lots of free preschool resources there, including Alphabet Coloring Pages, Preschool Math Workbook, Preschool Cutting Workbook, and much more!
Let me know what you think!
I’d love to hear what you think of my Post Office Dramatic Play center. If you create one, please let me know how it goes! I’d also love to answer any questions you have. Please leave a comment below.
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Disclaimer: The information published in this blog is for information and entertainment purposes only. I am not an expert and you should look elsewhere for advice. I am not liable for any damages resulting from using the information on this blog. All activities for children require adult supervision. For further information, see the Disclaimer page.