Our theme for one month was Where I Live and we made our Dramatic Play area a Post Office. I decided to make some P.O. Boxes for the children to put envelopes inside of (and anything else they could find). I used contact paper boxes (we go through contact paper like water at my center) and cut them in half. Each side has a flap, so it worked perfectly to open and close each box. I took one full one and placed it along the bottom since they open width wise too. I hot-glued all of the boxes together and then hot-glued a piece of cardboard to the back so that everything didn't just fall out of the back. Then I covered the whole thing in contact paper and cut out some numbers to add a little more educational value to it. The kids loved counting the boxes. Then I cut out rectangular pieces of cardboard, covered with construction paper in different colors and folded the back to make it look like an envelope. Then I wrote the color on them and covered them with clear contact paper. The cardboard inside is not necessary, but my little ones always crinkle things as much as possible. Cardboard or posterboard helps keep stuff sturdy so that it lasts longer.
My co-teacher made this awesome computer for the Post Office as well. She printed a picture of the Post Office symbol, and contacted that onto a box. Then, she drew out a keyboard on construction paper, put that on cardboard, and contacted it. I told you we use contact paper like water. I love it because it makes things more durable against little ripping, picking, and dripping hands. It makes it really easy to sanitize hand-made toys, posters, and projects. The kids can peel it up if they get a little piece off, but normally it stays down pretty well. Plus, you can always round the corners to make it even harder for little hands to pick at.
Above our Post Office was our stamp collection. I drew stamps on construction paper, let them color them in, and hung them up. They love having their artwork displayed so they can see it everyday and their Mommies and Daddies can too.
On our dramatic play table, we set up a scale. Once again it was cardboard and contact paper. It was so easy to make. We also made some packages by using green contact paper and different sized boxes for them to "weigh." We labeled them Big, Medium, and Small and added velcro labels and stamps for them to match up. The kids really caught on quick that the biggest shipping label and stamp fit on the biggest box.
One of my co-workers helped us out and made this awesome Mailbox for our Post Office. She covered a large box with blue contact paper and used a contacted piece of posterboard for the rounded top. She cut two flaps out so that the children could place things in the mail and take them back out through the bottom. They love this mailbox and spent endless hours dropping everything they could find inside of it.
My co-teacher also made this awesome poster for our Post Office with various pictures of things you see in a post office.