Your child will read a letter that they received in the “mail.”
Learning Area(s): Reading and Writing
- cardboard box (a shoebox works well)
- scissors (or an adult can use an utility knife)
- stickers to use as stamps
- pencils, markers, crayons
Before the activity, have your child help you make a pretend mailbox. If you can, take your child to see your mailbox for some inspiration! While you work, talk about the process of sending items in the mail: first you write a letter, next you fold it and put it in an envelope, then you write the address in the center and put a stamp in the top right, and finally you put it in an outgoing mailbox.
On the same day or another day, write a letter to your child, put it in an envelope, address it as if you were really sending it in the mail (including your child’s name and address, your name and return address, and a sticker stamp), and put it in the mailbox your child has made. Let your child know that they have mail, and when they take it out of the mailbox, point out some of the features on the envelope that you talked about. Then encourage them to open the envelope and read the letter to you!
You might have them write a letter back or write a letter to another family member. Don’t forget to put those letters into the mailbox!
- If your child is still learning how to read independently, try these strategies:
- Echo reading: You read a short phrase, and your child repeats what you said and how you said it. Encourage your child to follow along.
- Choral reading: You and your child read the letter together at the same time.
- Help your child sound out any words or names they don’t know, and any high frequency/sight words that they had difficulty recognizing.
- Try to use gender-neutral language such as “mail carrier” rather than “mailman” so that children know that anyone can do this job.
- Remember that with so much electronic communication these days, children may not be very familiar with printed mail. This is a great opportunity to encourage your child to participate in mail-related activities, such as putting a stamp on an envelope and inserting envelopes into a mailbox. Your child might enjoy reading some “junk mail” or any greeting cards that you get in the mail.
- The pretend mailbox can change to suit your child’s interests. For example, your child might enjoy receiving a compliment each week, learning fun facts about sharks or dinosaurs, or solving daily riddles or jokes.