Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Pretend Play for Pre-K Classrooms

It is an annual tradition in our classroom to transform the pretend play center into a post office a few weeks before Valentine's Day.  

We add individual mailboxes that were created and given to me by a well-respected mentor and dear friend, Louise Younger.  I believe she got the idea from Mailbox Magazine several years back.  

We add a wooden mailbox made by Melisa and Doug and a small free standing plasticmailbox made by step 2  In the play center, there are a small scale, cash register, a few boxes and small packages, as well as envelopes programmed to work on specific skills.   

The children pretend to be mail carriers and customers getting their mail.  We incorporate academic concepts by having the students place mail in the correct boxes.  Some children work on matching the pictures of friends to the correct mailboxes, while others work on matching the correct address number or reading & matching their friends' names.    

Number Recognition:  Matching envelopes to the correct mailbox number.
Face Recognition: Matching envelopes to it's corresponding photo.
Name Recognition:  Matching envelopes to the correct name.

To make the center even more fun, the students have the opportunity to dress up as mail carriers.  They wear postal hats, button down shirts and a mailbag.

Extra Credit: We have also incorporated a field trip to the post office in recent years.  It allows the children to see what real mail carriers and postal workers do. Rework:  Another option is to plan a trip to the school's office to hand-deliver our parent valentines to our school mail carrier and watch him leave in the mail truck.  The students then see how the process works a few days later when their parents valentines arrive at home.  

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