There are so many things about Christmas that I love, but nothing’s better right now than curling up with my 3 year old son, Onetime, and sharing some tales of Santa, his reindeer and the magic of Christmas Eve.
In today’s post, I will tell you all about one of my favourite kids’ Christmas books, The Jolly Christmas Postman that has all those elements and more! We also have a fun (and educational!) activity that your child can do after you read this book together.
Lastly, we have also joined up with a bunch of other kid bloggers who are sharing their favourite Christmas books and activities too – welcome to the Christmas Read and Play Blog Hop!
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The Christmas Inspiration…
The Jolly Christmas Postman is written by my all-time favourite kids’ authors – Janet and Allan Ahlberg (they also wrote Peepo and Each Peach, Pear, Plum).
I can’t say enough about how COOL this book is! It follows the adventures of a postman (who’s jolly of course!) as he delivers mail in a kingdom where characters like the Big Bad Wolf, the Gingerbread Boy, and Humpty Dumpty all live together. Each time he delivers a letter, YOU the reader get to open and read it!
And these deliveries are not just ordinary letters. There’s a puzzle, a game board, a story within a story, and more! The verse is rhyming and funny and the pictures are amazing and tell their own tale. This book is fun for 3 year olds and kids of any age – it touches on so many different levels of understanding and I love reading it!
Where does Santa come in? Near the end of the story, our postman gets caught in a bad snow storm and Santa gives him a special sleigh ride back home on Christmas Eve – after getting a tour of Santa’s toy shop and having tea with him and Mrs. Claus of course!
Jolly Postman Inspired Play
After enjoying this wonderful book together, Onetime decided he wanted to be a mailman too!
After gathering a bunch of supplies (and a tiny bit of prep), we easily made a pretend mailbox and then Onetime got busy creating some Christmas mail.
To make letters, we used a stack of winter/Christmas coloured fun foam sheets cut into letter size (approximately 4″ x 6″). I also got out some markers and Christmas stickers.
After showing my son how a letter needs a stamp on it in the top right corner, and reminded him how the front of a piece of mail should have the recipients’ name and address on it (we learned this in the story), I told him he could decorate the mail any way he liked after that.
Here’s the variety of letters he created for his friends and family! Onetime wrote some of the “names” himself, and some he asked me to write with him. He asked me how to spell certain names, and even wrote my name (it was spelled “OLO” but that’s okay! LOL. I guess it’s my new nickname!)
Onetime really enjoyed peeling off the stickers and placing them on the letters as stamps (and what great fine-motor practise!). And decorating and drawing pictures for the recipients he had chosen kept him busy for over an hour! No lie.
Finally, the best part, according to my son, was getting to mail the letters.
Our mailbox was simply a large brown box that I cut a slot into. We didn’t get fancy and try to make it look real – it was real enough in my son’s imagination. As you can see, he added a little decoration himself!
An Unexpected Toy
This mailbox has been a favourite “toy” over the last week. Since the day we made the fun foam letters, it has also received spoons, small books, and lots of cut up pieces of fun foam that are “little mail” according to my son.
After placing all the mail in the cardboard box, Onetime had great fun opening it up as “the jolly postman” and delivering it to various “mailboxes” all over the house and to friends over the course of the week.
Just a note about the fun foam. If you want to try this activity at home, you can certainly just use coloured paper or cardstock, but there’s something about fun foam that my son really enjoys.
He has had a lot of success cutting it with scissors and he really likes to write and colour on it. I think it has to do with the heaviness of the foam – it’s easier to hold onto when cutting, and when you’re writing on it, there’s an extra sensory component of pressing the marker or pen into the foam that seems to give good fine-motor feedback to little fingers.
That’s it for Jolly Postman Christmas Pretend Play! I hope you give this a try and your child enjoys it!
As I mentioned above, this post is a part of a Christmas Read and Play blog hop! To find all the other posts – click on the picture below.