Sort The Mail – Math Activity For Kids

mail sorting number recognitionPretend play is one of my favorite ways to teach. Kids love to pretend and test their limits within boundaries of make believe. Combining pretend play with math is a great way to challenge your kids without making them feel like it’s a test. Pretending to be a postal worker gives the task of sorting meaning and with that meaning their learning is deeper and better retained. It’s also really fun. I left this set up for a few weeks and my kids, especially my daughter played with it over and over.

Gather your materials. You will need some baskets ( 3 for a buck at the dollar store), envelopes, labels, a tray or big basket, and markers. Math Mail - kindergarten math activity

Start by writing out numbers on the labels. mail math for preschool and kindergarten

Next put them on the baskets. These will be used to match the numbers on the envelopes or the equations on the envelopes depending on your child’s level of understanding. mail math

Write out the equations / numbers to match with the baskets. I did both, writing equations for my son and single numbers for my daughter. I had a few numbers I thought might be tricky for her and some equations that my son would have to stop and really think about. mail math for kids

Set it all up!  mail math for grade 1My son needed no guidance at all he sat down , read the little sign I added for fun , and got to sorting. Those few tricky ones slowed him down a bit but not enough to frustrate him or stall the fun. mail sorting math lesson

My daughter loved this . I switched out the envelopes with the equations with the envelopes with single numbers and she started sorting. mail math activity sortingUnlike her brother she was totally vocal saying each number as she recognized it and sorted it into the correct spot. For little ones like her ( she is just 3) this is really important so we can step in if they need help. If they aren’t don’t push it , keep playing and modeling. mail math idea

To take this further you can write letters with the numbers on them as well and add another layer of learning to the play. If you like this you will love our other post office play ideas like Alphabet Mail, Letter Sorting and of course our DIY Mailbox.

 

 

Alphabet Activity – Pretend Play With Letters

alphabet mail activity for kidsThis was a rainy Sunday activity thrown together with a old favorite pretend play prop. It’s a great alphabet activity with a focus on pretend play and part of our Alphabet For Starters series.  My son and I made this mail box years ago and it had been a while since I’d dug it out of my son’s closet to play.  We added in some envelopes and letters and got down to the serious business of play!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a super cool mailbox like this one we made from a box, some envelopes, small squares of paper, markers, plain labels, and a bag or purse to use as a mail bag.alphabet mail
  2. Start by having your child write some letters.alphabet mail 2
  3. While they do that write out the envelopes with upper and lowercase letters.alphabet mail 3
  4. Fill them with the letters your child writes. I filled a few with other letters as well . alphabet mail 5
  5. Next add stamps. Ours were added haphazardly after my daughter demanded we find some. I just wrote STAMP on some plain labels.alphabet mail 6
  6. Pop them on the envelopes.alphabet mail 7
  7. Time to play.alphabet mail 9 We put each letter in the mailbox stopping to read each envelope as we did. alphabet mail 10
  8. When we were done she lifted the box and the play turned into receiving mail. alphabet mail 11
  9. She loved opening them. alphabet mail 13Some were filled with the letters she wrote and some had more letters of the alphabet on them. Label what they open as they do. As we played some of the letters were pretend invites to parties, others were letters from grandparents and one was a bill which cracked me up. alphabet mail 12

Alphabet Books

50 alphabet books

Find our 50 favorite alphabet books for kids in this big round up of books. Do you have a favorite?

Post Office Letter Sorting

post office ideas for preschool

I get asked all the time if I throw my son’s creations away. Most do get recycled but one we have used over and over again is our mail box. The other day my son was playing with it when I decided to capitalize on his desire to sort everything and make a letter sorting activity for him. Our letters were sorted by the name on the envelope but you could use numbers and sort it with the zip code , or for even younger kids use different color letters and sort it by color. My son loved this and it even sparked writing a fan letter to his favorite baseball player.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some boxes, paper, scissors, envelopes, pen, plain sticky labels and crayons. 
  2. Start by writing addresses on the letters. If your child is able have them help or write the addresses themselves.
  3. Write 44 cents ( or whatever appropriate stamp amount) on your blank labels.
  4. Time to decorate. My son loved coloring these envelopes. He insisted on doing it all himself. 
  5. While they do that depending on how many boxes you have write out the letters that will go in each box on paper.
  6. Attach them to the boxes.
  7. Next add on the stamps.  My proudest moment of the day came next when my son said we should purposely leave off the stamp and make a do not deliver basket for those letters.
  8. So I made one quickly.
  9. Time to play- I made a simple sign for our post office and our mail box came to play too.
  10. Pop your mail in.
  11. Dump it out.
  12. Sort it.
  13. Deliver it – we delivered it to various rooms of our house.

Book

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Delivering Your Mail: A Book About Mail Carriers by Ann Owen is a simple book about being a mail carrier. The text is to the point and perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers learning about mail carriers for the first time. It focuses on not just what the mail carriers do but how it impacts the reader, which is paramount for young children who see the world through their perspective only. Cute beginner book!