Monday, August 31, 2009

Preschool Co-Op: Post Office Theme

I taught our preschool co-op this morning and our lesson's theme was mail. I'll share more about our preschool co-op in another post later,but first here's my lesson from today...

Most of the good mail related children's books had been checked out at our library, so I ended up reading one of the few left.

The Giant Hug, by Sandra Horning is a cute story about a little pig that sends a hug to his Granny through the mail. It takes you on a hug-filled journey through the postal service all the way to his Granny. It's a little long and wordy for younger toddlers but my son loved it and stayed focused the whole time. I saw a suggestion on Bright Hub for another book, The Jolly Postman, that also looks good.

Post Office Role Play
This was the favorite activity of the day hands down! The kids are just getting to the age where pretend play and role playing is fun for them and they loved taking turns sending mail, receiving mail and being the mailman. It's such an easy and inexpensive setup, I wish I would have made it sooner! For the mailbox, I used a giant cereal box from Sam's Club.
I cut out a slot in the front and spray painted it blue with some leftover paint I had in the garage. I cut out the M-A-I-L letters from index cards and used double-sided tape to attach them to the front.
I made letters out of foam sheets. I think foam sheets are my new favorite craft supply. I love that they're indestructable, easy to cut into shapes and can be written on.

I made stamps out of the foam sheets too and used sticky velcro to attach them - that way the kids can practice putting on the stamps too.

I found a foam visor to be our mailman's "hat". I drew the USPS symbol on some white foam with a washable blue marker. Washable markers and foam sheets don't go well together, unless you're trying to make a stamp. The blue was coming off all over my hands so I laminated it with some clear packing tape. That did the trick. I used a clothespin to attach it to the visor so we could use our visor for other roles later.

I set up our post office station with some extra mail supplies {boxes, padded envelopes, etc.} and whoever was playing mailman got to use my wooden dough tamper as a pretend stamp on each envelope.The kids had so much fun taking the mail to the post office, stamping it, putting it in the big blue mailbox, loading it into the mail truck {the cozy coupe}, driving it to the recipient's "house", and placing it in the chalkboard mailbox.
After preschool was over, Boo played post office until naptime. The Noodle {our nearly one year old} had fun helping put the foam letters in the mailbox and driving around too. Such fun!

Mailing Letters
We talked about who we send letters to {friends and family} and why we send letters {to say hi or say "I love you"}. The kids made letters for each other using crayons, stamps and stickers. They each licked and sealed the envelopes and put the stamps on. We marched out to the mailbox, took turns putting them in the mail, and put the flag up for the mailman. They're excited to check their mailboxes at home in the next few days as they wait for their letters.

Letter Name Game
We also played a name game. I wrote each child's name on an envelope. I put the letters from their names on post-its stuck to an easel. They had to search for each of the letters in their name and put them in their envelope.Bible Craft
We talked about how God's word, the bible, is his love letter to us. Instead of putting his letter in a mailbox, He puts it in our heart.
I printed out several verses about God's love for us. The kids cut along the dotted lines between each verse to make their "letters" from God. They stuffed them into a construction paper heart envelope. At home, they can read through the verses with their mommy about how much God loves them. I got inspiration for this craft here.

Mailbox Sorting Activity
I used our chalkboard mailboxes for a letter and number sorting activity. I wrote "ABC" on one mailbox to designate it as the Letter Mailbox and "123" on the other for the Number Mailbox. I made index cards with each letter of the alphabet and numbers 1 through 10. We scattered all of the cards face up on the floor and the kids took turns picking a card, calling out the letter/number on the card, and placing it in the correct mailbox. This was a great activity for letter and number recognition and the kids stayed interested the entire time.

What a fun day at preschool learning about the mail!

Because of a change in our preschool schedule, we'll be posting about Muffin Tin Monday on Tuesday from now on. When I told my son it was Monday today he shouted, "Yay! Muffin Tin Monday!" I said, "Yay! We're going to do it tomorrow instead. Hooray for Muffin Tin TUESday!" He was bummed and I'm sure it's going to take at least a month to re-program him to expect our muffin tin meal on Tuesday instead of Monday.


Jenna said...

Wow! This sounds like so much fun even I would have enjoyed the activities! Thanks for sharing your ideas... They are inspiring. :)

krummama said...

Great job Em!! What app do you use to blurr out stuff you dont want people to be able to read?

Meredith said...

Wow! I don't know how you come up with all of this but I might just have to steal your ideas and start my own preschool here when the time comes!

The Popes said...

I have been searching for a preschool blog for ideas exactly like yours!

Praise God for somehow leading my to yours!

Your ideas are so great!

Nicole Olson said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I was looking for ideas for the exact same reason (pre-school co-op) and loved every one that you had!


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