I purchased a cardboard mailbox like this one from a teacher supply store for $20 about 15 years ago and I have certainly gotten my money's worth out of it. The cute Mail Person dress up costume came from Lakeshore Learning.
Each morning the kids come in & write a letter or postcard to a classmate. They have to pick a name from a bucket for the first letter of the day to ensure every student gets mail. After all names have been picked, they can write to anyone they choose. When they are finished writing they bring their letter/postcard to me and I have them read it back to me before giving them a "stamp" (flag stickers) to mail it. This helps emphasis legible writing, spaces between words, making complete sentences, punctuation, spelling simple words and sight word fluency. During center time, my postal workers sort the mail by boy/girl and then deliver the mail to individual students' mailboxes. For mailboxes, I have used everything from cereal boxes, empty soda can cartons, and students' cubbies.
Near the end of the day, we have Mail Call when I set aside time for the kids to check their mailboxes & read their mail. Again, this encourages children to read their own mail by looking for sight words they know and sounding out most of the words. I also make sure to send them each a small piece of mail every day, which they love!
My favorite part of this unit is when they ask me to read their mail for them & I remind them that it is their mail to read and I have them read as many of the words as they can with very little help from me....it always amazes them at how much they truly can read!
If you are interested in setting up a Post Office in your classroom, you may want to check out my Mail & Post Office Unit by clicking on the pictures below.
Unit also comes with 3 literacy centers that have students reading CVC words (real & nonsense).
There are also 2 Write the Room Activities included!