If your toddler is like mine, he or she loves putting things in and taking them out again. What better place to do this than a mailbox?
We go outside to get the mail together most days, and “J” seems to like it a lot, so I made him his own play mailbox. It was intended to go on the door to his playroom closet, as though that were his “house,” but when it was attached to the wall, he could pull it apart too easily, so I took it down and just use it unattached. If your child is a bit older and/or you make sure to tape it more securely, you could probably adhere to a door or wall without a problem.
Used (or new) U.S. Postal Service mailing box
Scrapbook or other nice-looking paper
Paste or other type of glue
Stickers for decorating (optional)
Additional pieces of cardboard for making “postcards” (optional)
1. Deconstruct your cardboard box and cut off unnecessary sides.
2. Cover the outside with paper as desired, making sure to include enough of an extra amount on the inside so that you will see a continuation of the nice-looking paper when you glance inside (rather than unfinished cardboard). You could meticulously cover every inch of the box with paper, but neither you nor your child will really see into the deep inside, so it’s perfectly fine to be a little lazy in your covering.
3. Put the box together using paste and/or clear tape. I used paste, but it was not very strong, so although tape would ruin the line a little, I think it might be a good idea to use some clear packing tape.
4. If desired, add stickers or other details to the box. I had some extra scrapbook stickers, so I used them to write “Mailbox” and “123 Main St” on the one I made.
5. Optional: Use cardboard and extra paper to make postcards or “letters” that can be put in and taken out. Alternatively (or additionally), you can let your little one put other little things into the box, or you can use real envelopes or junk mail.