My dad is a mail carrier. A happy one. He’s the guy who brightens your mood by his presence even when it’s a summons to jury duty that he’s putting in your hand. In honor of a somewhat recent visit from him I decided to create a cardboard mailbox for his pleasure. Well really I suppose it was for my daughter’s pleasure but I knew my dad would be happy to oblige. I began saving all of the more interesting mail we were receiving- cards, pictures, colorful envelopes with stamps and addresses. We pulled a box out of the recycling and covered it with blue tissue paper as it seemed like the fastest method of creation at the time. I used a little gold glitter glue to write out US MAIL on the front, used the box cutter to make a slot, left one part of the back open so we could take everything out again and ta-da! Instant entertainment.
The trouble came when we tried to store it for a while. That tissue paper faded pretty quick and the whole thing began to look drab. We revamped it this week by ripping all of the paper and tape off and taking the time to paint it a nice blue. I cut a flag out of a Fig Newtons box and attached it with a small brad. Much better!
We live pretty close to a post office so this morning my daughter and I walked over to drop off our bills. It was her first experience with one of the big blue collection boxes, she seemed a bit daunted. As she gets older we’ll be able to build a unit out of this simple project by making cards for relatives and friends and reading books about what happens to the mail after it gets to the post office. Of course we’ll interview Grandad via Skype. I’d also like to introduce my daughter to our own mail carrier next time she comes down the driveway with a package- we live in a rural area and there aren’t too many chances to meet traditional community figures.
For now though, it’s enough just to have the mailbox to play with.