Make a fun and engaging Christmas literacy activity with this post office writing table learning area! Early writing skills and imaginative role play combined into a fun invitation to play.
When I was teaching, one of my most favourite areas to set up and rotate in my classroom was the writing and mark-making area. Children absolutely adore having access to real tools and materials, and often combine imaginative play with meaningful literacy when they see it as being presented for a purpose.
I set up a little table top in our living room to create a Christmas post office area, all ready for writing cards and letters and posting them straight away in their own little post box.
Onto the table went:
envelopes in different sizes
paper and card in different sizes
alphabet stamps and ink
glue, scissors, pens and pencils
gold parcel ribbon
red parcel bows
Christmas themed sight word cards e.g. merry, happy, thank you, from, Christmas, Santa etc
At the back of the table I put a little DIY Santa post box that I made from a shallow Amazon packaging box, covered in red paper with a slot at the front and opening flap at the back to collect the mail from. Around the slot I stuck cotton wool balls to represent Santa’s beard and added a belt and button details around the front too. The post box was extremely popular!
Then I simply left them to discover it and start playing and using the resources in their own way. While they played we talked a bit about how post offices work and what the postal workers have to do each day, both in collecting and delivering the mail, as well as checking the envelopes are stamped and addressed properly.
They enjoyed writing cards for family and friends and each use the materials at their own stages of literacy development. Miss 2 experimented with lots of scribbles and mark making, Miss 4 did lots of letter strings and initial sounds in her words, whereas Miss 6 was able to write and address hers using mostly accurate writing or good phonetic attempts. They are planning to distribute them to their friends over the next week or so in time for Christmas!
What they are learning while they play:
literacy: that print carries meaning, writing for a purpose, writing letters and cards, mark making, using phonics to make good attempts at unknown words, reading and writing sight words
knowledge and understanding: the role of postal workers, how mail boxes work, how addresses and stamps work