You Can’t Buy Imagination, or…The Cost of Playing Post Office

My daughter is heavy into pretend play at 2 years of age. She cooks up grub in her toy kitchen and dances around in goofy dress-up clothes.

So I was thinking, toddlers love animals. Why not let your young’un pretend to be someone who works with animals on a daily basis, a postal carrier. Here is what you will need:

A Cardboard Mailbox by Children’s Factory is a free-standing corrugated public mailbox with an envelope slot and side door for postal carrier access. 14"w x 30"h x 13"d. Cost: $18.95.

Marketing photo of two kids using a red and blue cardboard mailbox

The MailMaster Junior Mailbox by Step 2 is a free-standing plastic residential mailbox with working door and red flag signal sold by Toys R Us. Cost: $19.99.

Marketing photo of a child using a red and blue MailMaster Junior Mailbox.

A Mail Carrier Costume includes shirt, shorts, visor and mail bag, available in toddler size 2 to 3. Cost: $44.95.

Marketing photo of a child wearing a light blue mail carrier costume. The costume is labeled as United States Courier Service.

A Plush Pit Bull is necessary for complete realism. Cost: $16.99. Sorry, mace and pepper spray are not sold in toddler-safe containers.

Marketing photo of a cutesy plush brown and white pit bull terrier and a chew bone.

25 Cotton, 24 lb, White Business Envelopes by Mead for your kid to address her own mail. Your child shouldn’t touch synthetic envelopes. Only pure natural fibers for your precious little one! $30.93.

Marketing photo of a Mead envelope box.

Two sheets of self-adhesive official USPS Picture Book Animal stamps.  Two sheets are needed to address all 24 envelopes. Half the stamps will end up on your child’s hands and face anyway. Cost: $12.48.

I know what you’re thinking. If your kid won’t realize the patches on his postal carrier costume are labeled "United States Courier Service," why can’t you pass off kitten and puppy stickers from the Dollar Store as legal postage? Well, he can’t read yet. Kids learn numbers sooner than they spell words. If you can find square or rectangular stickers with space for you to hand write the current value of postage, by all means, be a cheapskate.

Marketing photo of three official 39 cent United States Postal Service stamps with depictions of animals from children's books.

Albert Einstein rollerball pen by Krone. Envelopes don’t address themselves you know. Graduate from Baby Einstein videos to the Einstein pen. Jumbo size for small hands. Cost: $5,060.

Marketing photo of the Albert Einstein pen by Krone. Detailed artwork and Einstein's image are on the pen.

Total cost to you for post office pretend play: $5,204.29, not including shipping charges. Add $499.99 for the optional Naturally Playful Welcome Home Playhouse by Step 2 because it is built to scale with the Step 2 MailMaster Junior Mailbox.

Plan B: Join the United States Postal Service and slowly begin stealing office supplies over a 16 month period before impregnating your wife, so as to not arouse suspicion.

Plan C: Dumpster dive for one or more large boxes, and tell your kid the boxes are whatever they need to be. I gave my daughter a bouquet of nonexistent bamboo shoots yesterday to feed her plush panda bear and she didn’t blink an eye when grabbing them from my hand and stuffing them in the bear’s face. Stop reading product blogs. You can’t buy imagination!

Uh, except my blog. Please keep reading Thingamababy.


One Response to “You Can’t Buy Imagination, or…The Cost of Playing Post Office”

  1. Mama2One says:

    I know you posted this almost a year ago, but I have a great idea. I have a 2 1/2 year old who loves to play post office. To do this I took a box, cut four slots into the width of an envelope and only 1/4 inch or so thick. Underneath each one I glued a different shape in a different color. Then, I took 24 envelopes and glued 6 of each shape onto them, ending up with 24 envelopes in 4 shapes to match the slots. Then I showed him how to find the right slot or mailbox to deliver it to. I had all of the supplies on hand so this was virtually free.

    I am also an endorser of imaginative play. I just started reading your blog and am playing catch-up because I am sorry I didn’t find it sooner. Thanks for your hard work!!!

    June 27th, 2007 at 9:56 pm

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