Mail, Always a Surprise Inside

Mail! A trip to the mailbox is exciting when you find a handwritten letter, and let’s face it – that hardly happens anymore unless it’s a thank-you note — almost a lost art that our kids don’t experience often enough.

I have sweet memories of my grandfather delivering mail to me in the lemon tree in his back yard. (Yep, the lemon this website was named after). As I sat high in the tree, my grandfather’s hand reached through the branches handing me a sealed envelope. Pretending to be my mailman, he delivered letters that my grandma had just written to me from inside the house. I am very sure I exhausted both of them with my continual requests for “more mail!”

Before a recent camping trip, my friend sent me this link about “tree mail” from a blog called Capital B – http://www.creativecapitalb.com/2011/08/camping-frosting-tree-mail.html. The idea alone brought back the memories of just how fun mail can be when you are a child, even if it isn’t delivered from the official post office.

The idea is simple but brilliant:

  • Hang bags on a line between two trees;
  • The bags serve as mailboxes (and can be decorated);
  • Then “mail” is delivered throughout the camping trip. The mail can be letters, stationery and pens to write letters to one another, crafts, treats, and fun things from the dollar store;

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Since several families were going, each family brought “mail” to place in the bags throughout the weekend, making this very easy entertainment to set up for the weekend.

To put a little writing/bookmaking into the mix, I packaged up the materials for the kids to make accordion necklaces to use as a field guide. The kids wore the book as a necklace and, when exploring, they could stop and draw, label and write about what they saw (animals, tracks, leaves, rocks, creek, etc.)

See the link for needed materials and directions for the Accordion Necklace and a video on how to make an Accordion Necklace.

In one form or another I hope you get to create some mail with your kiddos.  With mail, there is always an element of fun and delight!

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