Children love to get mail. Of course, they don’t have to worry about bills! But how does the mail get from the person who sent it to their door? The Post Office dramatic play center helps students learn the steps that it takes to send and receive mail.
Many preschool students have never stepped inside a post office, so this center has to be introduced a little differently than most dramatic play centers. Most children just simply don’t have any real-world experience to draw from, unlike grocery store and restaurant variations. Be prepared to have a high level of teacher interaction for the first couple of days so that students know what the expectations are in the center.
Setting Up the Post Office Dramatic Play Center
This adorable Post Office dramatic play area starts with a writing station. Provide plenty of paper, envelopes, pens, pencils and crayons, and a word bank with some common words for the students to copy if they want to. Posted steps to writing a letter help remind students what comes next.
Next, the letter needs a stamp at the post office. Thankfully, there are plenty for sale!
Behind the counter at the Post Office Dramatic Play center, there are packages, stamps, more envelopes, and a few other supplies. Teachers can make stamps by printing out cute graphics on mailing labels and cutting them to fit. The “packages” are wrapped in brown paper from grocery bags and pre-labeled. Using what you have available is a great way to extend your budget!
After “buying” stamps for the envelopes, the customer and postmaster hand cancel their own stamps and weigh their own packages. A digital kitchen scale is a good substitute if you have one already.
The Post Master delivers local mail right away into each student’s mailbox. Out of town mail gets a little help from the teacher at the end of the day.
Dress up clothes help add a touch of realism for the delivery/postal workers. No need to be too fancy…a couple of blue button-down shirts from the thrift store and some laminated badges work just as well, if not better. Books on the topic help students who haven’t been to a post office before seeing what one looks like.
How to Introduce the Post Office
This center can be difficult for students to operate independently, however, as many have never been inside a real post office, and if they have, they might only remember standing in a long line. When introducing the center, be sure to go over each part of the post office.
At Play to Learn, Betsy our beloved blackbird received a letter that she shared with the class. She then wrote a letter back to her cousin, Ollie. The class then all worked together on writing letters to someone they knew. The teachers gathered the addresses and helped the students stamp and address them…then it was mini field trip time! The students all came to the REAL mailbox where they took turns putting their letter in and putting the flag up. Real world experience is always a great idea when possible.
More About the Post Office Dramatic Play Center
Watch a LIVE VIDEO TOUR of this center HERE!
Print all of the labels, signs, and letter templates HERE!