Lexington Park Library’s newest active learning center is a Post Office complete with envelopes, paper, pencils (yes, pencils!), Mail Carrier costume, and mail boxes.
We selected eight book characters to have mail boxes at our library and made up addresses for them. For example,
Next, we made three plastic envelopes for each character with their address and picture on it.
Then, we bought mailboxes from Lowes and labeled them each with a book characters address and picture. A volunteer mounted them on small stands that he made.
They are placed around the Children’s section for kids to find as they deliver the mail.
We set up a table in the corner of the Children’s section of the library to be our Post Office. It has the Mail Carrier Costume, a place to sort mail, a big blue mail box, a letter chart and is stocked with lined paper and chunky pencils.
Children and parents are encouraged to use the Post Office with a sign.
Staff members empty the mail boxes periodically throughout the day. We read the mail (saving some of the cute letters) and put the empty envelopes back at the Post Office to be used again.
This center is filled with language and learning! There is something for everyone at all ability levels!
Reading- Children are reading books with the characters on the envelopes and then writing to the characters about things that happen to them in the stories. They often retell parts of the stories in the letters.
Writing- Even those young children who just scribble on the paper and put it in an envelope are learning to hold a writing utensil and developing small muscle control for writing.
Playing- The Mail Carrier costume add an element of play. Children pretend to be the mail carrier and imagine and roll play with each other to deliver the mail. Children can read the address to deliver the mail or just sort using the pictures.
Talking- Children and their caregivers talk about the book characters, what they are going to write in their letters and even the mail process. They are learning new vocabulary through these interactions.
Since we added this center, children and parents alike are excited to come and deliver the mail!