Learning About The Post Office

We love playing outside with chalk in the driveway, especially on a beautiful fall day like this.

While we were out there, Rachel saw the mail truck approaching our house and she watched it as it stopped at each house.

We have a wonderful mail man who waves at us all the time. The kids love it!

Nicholas has always enjoyed checking the mail box.

When he brought the mail to me, Rachel started asking questions about the mail man and why he brought those envelopes and catalogs to us. So I spent some time talking with her about it. Shortly afterward, I stumbled upon the perfect book at a used book sale. It is by one of my favorite children's authors, Gail Gibbons, and it's called "The Post Office Book: Mail and How It Moves".

We read the book and then we set up a little post office in our front yard so the kids could pretend to be mailmen!

Each of them brought out a couple of stuffed animals and chairs and we set them up in their "home" complete with mail boxes.

Can't forget "Big Dog". I love this dog. Nicholas' Aunt Marinee and Uncle John sent him to Nicholas before he was ever born. I'm so glad that Nicholas treasures him as much as I do.

I grabbed some empty cereal boxes and other boxes that were about to head out to our recycle bin and wrapped them in shipping paper complete with "to" and "from" addresses filled in. I let the kids have a blast delivering mail, then pretending that they were picking up outgoing mail so they could bring it all back to the post office to re-sort.

Rachel loved it! We helped her read the names on the packages and she was off!

Nicholas has actually done this post office game in a playgroup when he was about Rachel's age. He loved it then but still had fun with it now.

Rachel discovered a rose bud and decided to go visit the whale family as she studied the bud and took it apart.

Love her curiosity about the world around her.

Nicholas was excited to sit with her and watch what she was doing and even talked to her some about buds and flowers. He is a good teacher!

As we were collecting the packages up for the last time, Rachel sneaked over to the front door and hunkered over as she unwrapped one of the packages. I guess she was thinking this whole time that they were real packages and there might be something in there for her. Poor thing. You know she was disappointed to find it was just a box of Rice-A-Roni...and empty at that!

Nicholas put one of the packages in the mailbox just so we could let her get it from the mailbox.

With Nicholas, I talked about every new experience to make sure that he understood what he saw and experienced each day. I want to do the same for Rachel so I was surprised that she didn't understand the mail service yet. Unfortunately I find that I miss these opportunities for teachable moments with her during the day. I think this is mostly because I'm so much busier and more distracted than when Nicholas was this age or else we're running late for something (probably some activity of Nicholas) and don't have time to just sit and talk about things. I'm so glad I was able to catch Rachel's moment of interest in the mail man and take that to another level to help her to learn more about the postal service.

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