I made this mailbox for my son when he was about a 18 months old (so almost 3 years ago). He played with it for a long time as a toddler, then ignored it for awhile, then started playing with it again about a year ago when he wanted to play a more elaborate preschool version of “post office”. Now I toss junk mail in it for my toddler daughter to open at her leisure. I save business reply envelopes for my preschooler’s fantasy play. We write or draw letters to each other, put them in a spare business reply envelope, put on a sticker for a stamp, write the recipients name on the outside, and stick them in the mailbox. My son stamps them using an inkpad to “cancel” them and delivers them to the correct person.
Recommended Age Range: Baby/Toddler, Preschool
Time Required: ~1 hour
Difficulty: Easy (hardest part will be cutting box with x-acto knife)
Cost: Hardly anything
- cardboard box (as big as you want your mailbox)
- blue construction paper
- white paper (to make “Collection Times” sign)
- small piece of Velcro to hold the bottom closed
Supplies & Tools:
- x-acto knife
- duct tape (or other strong tape)
- black marker
- Find an old cardboard box of about the right size. I used an Amazon delivery box.
- Cut on the red lines shown in the diagram above. Exact dimensions are not important, but make sure you make the gap at the bottom small enough that the flap covering it will overlap enough that you can use Velcro to hold it closed.
- Fold the top flap in and tape it to the inside top of the box. You could probably just cut the whole flap off, but this way the flap that you pull down to stick the mail in will stay closed if you push it into the box.
- Tape the two sides together.
- Cover the whole box in blue construction paper. I used both glue and tape.
- Make a sign on the white paper and glue it to the box. Mine says: Collection Times: Before My Nap and After My Bath
- Write U.S. Mail (or whatever you want) on the box.
- Attach a little piece of Velcro to hold the bottom flap closed.
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What a great idea! I once sewed a mailman bag and envelopes out of felt for a friend’s boy and he loved it. Kids are fascinated by mail and my oldest always asks his dad if there is anything in the mail for him. (meaning a magazine as he received a magazine subscription for his birthday)
Thanks! I’ve been saving business reply envelopes for years and now that my kindergartener is old enough to “write” he uses 2 or 3 of them every day to write letters to everyone he knows. I should totally make him a mailman bag. Thanks for the suggestion!
I didn’t cross my mind the envelopes could make such a great toy for kids. Thanks for the idea. I’ll start saving them, too. :)