Thursday, December 2, 2010
What’s in the Mail Today?
I enlisted B’s help for some of the card design (which you’ll see more of next week). But after his artistic input I needed a little work time to make it come together, so I got out some supplies for him to create some cards of his own. To keep him motivated, I made the recipient list totally up to him. It included some neighbors, some family, and some friends from preschool. He’s more freestyle than fill-in-the-blanks, so with some colored paper, markers, and glitter glue, he was ready to go. What was important to him was authenticity, which meant he needed envelopes, stamps, and addresses. I save the reply envelopes from various junk mail solicitations and bills I pay online along with blank or nearly blank envelopes from greeting cards or thank you note sets. He recycles them in his correspondence play. I also made up some stamp glue from a recipe at DLTK. I printed out a page of thumbnail size holiday clip-art, painted on the glue, and did the cutting for B so he wouldn’t end up with sticky fingers. He was happily productive (and so was I, thanks to a nap from T)! Then he remembered he needed addresses…
Who gets What?
B has expressed a lot of curiosity lately about addresses, phone numbers, and why our keys don’t open just any door. It’s the kind of curiosity I love to capitalize on for teaching rather than drilling out of context. He’s almost mastered our address, but phone numbers are still a little tricky. Children who learn their home address and phone number not only achieve an important safety skill, but it is also an marker of a preschooler’s social development when he can understand that he is a part of his city or town with a distinct place, or address, within that group. To capitalize on that curiosity and reinforce his understanding of the postal process, we read The Silly Christmas Card Mix-Up, by Suzy-jane Tanner. Reindeer sends cards to all his friends, but forgets the addresses, and they get all mixed up! His animal friends use clues in the cards to sort-out the delivery and get each greeting to the correct recipient. Flaps on each page allow children to participate in the story and help the animals “open” the cards. Once we read the book, we talked about the kind of information necessary for B’s envelopes. For some, simply writing the name of the person we would hand it to was sufficient. For others, that were going to the post office, we talked about why an address is important.
Appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers.
Are you preparing for holidays or family traditions? Are books a part of the plan? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments or read about them in your links!
[photo courtesy "sidehike" on flickr]
Also wanted to mention I'm being featured this Friday at ABC and 123! If you're not already a follower, you'll love all the great learning ideas shared at this cooperative! Stop by if you have a chance and leave a little comment love for me there!
Due to some computer/internet issues, my post is waiting happily on a computer where I can't get to it, I'll update with my book for the week as soon as I can, but in the meantime I wanted to get the linky up for those who are participating this week. FINALLY FIXED!!!