story + art = Great Start – The Jolly Postman & Simple Postcards


This is story + Art rolled into a geography lesson rolled into learning about “Mr Postman” rolled into having a little fun rolled into excited Red Ted rolled into an excuse to explore mainy new books…. What am I talking about? Playing By The Book’s international Postcard exchange!!! The exchange did take place a few weeks ago. I am very late with this post! This is going to be a long post… so just skip to the bits you like!

  1. The world
  2. The crafty bit
  3. The learning about the post office bit
  4. The post related booksThe exciting bit
  5. The world

1. The world. I started off this “ongoing” activity with Red with looking at a map of the world with Red Ted. Red Ted didn’t have a clue what I was trying to show him. Well he is only two.


2. The crafty bit. So we started with making our postcards. As this is an international exchange we thought it would be nice not just to make them, but also to make them “London”. I first drew a london scene, hoping Red Ted would “colour it in” (as per Thank You cards). Not interested. Oh.So, new approach: the old cotton wool & peg approach (see Clouds& Pigs and Chicks). He LOVED that. I gave him 2 colours: Red (for buses) and Green (for trees). Some blobs were duly created. I then gave him more paper for a “free for all” – which I decided look rather like a Rex!Once dried I drew outlines of London buses and trees (London apparently a city with rather a lot of trees in it!).Then I wrote the cards.

This a great way in general to “recycle” a toddlers paintings. I recently took a whole bunch of “water colours” and found “shapes” in Red Ted’s drawings, making new Greeting Cards with little bird designs on them… Brilliant for father’s day or grandparent’s thank you notes.

Greeting Cards from Watercoloursrd

3. The learning about the post office bit. I talked to Red Ted about what we were going to do with the cards (he has posted stuff before, but more by the by). So we went together. I showed him how we weighed the cards. Then gave him the stamps to stick on (with some help). Then he got to stick them in the post box.

The Jolly Postman

4. The post related books. I then got hold of 4 vaguely “post” related books (see review earlier in week). Our favourite was The Jolly Postman, by Ahlberg. It is the simple story of the postman delivering letters and postcards to lots of very familiar fairytale people! What Red Ted LOVED about this book, as that every other page contained an “actual envelope” that he could take a letter out from. He wasn’t that interested in the content of the letter yet. Still a little young, but that is fine, as it means we will still be enjoying this book in 2-3 years time!

5. The exciting bit. Our postcards started arriving, both the ones sent to us and the ones abroad! Red Ted loved his cards – I showed him his name and read them out to him and we “discussed” the picture on the front. Bless. We got one from Shropshire, one from New Zealand, one from Spain and a letter and photos from the US! Lovely. And finally 5th card arrived from San Franscico!


6. The world. Now, I know I said that Red Ted, aged 2 and 1/4 didn’t get “the world” bit, I still decided to revisit it! Afterall, learning through repetition and familiarity and all that. This time I pointed to the countries that we sent cards to and that we received cards from. As well as countries were our relatives and friends live (Canada, France, Austria, Germany). He still just stared at “the pretty colours”. But it is a start!

We enjoyed our Postcard Exchange, a big THANK YOU to Zoe for all her hard work in organising this exchange (with over 250 families!!!!).

More Kids Crafts here or here.

or take a look at these Kids Activities for Autumn.