Whether for cards or a special gift, this GRAND mailbox will add to the festivity of this year’s Valentine Day. Last year, my son helped his then almost 7 year old daughter create this Valentine Special Delivery Mailbox for her school’s Valentine Day party. My granddaughter loved it…and so did I.
Simple supplies and easy directions make this a fun project for grandparents to make for grandchildren! Or, help them make one for their own parents.
This is a great way to express love for your grands or share the fun experience of creating a special present for them to give. Refer to the photos and follow my son’s easy directions for making your own GRAND Valentine holiday fun!
Corrugated Cardboard (If you use part of a heavy cardboard box, the top of the mailbox shape will be square rather than half-circle or oval as this cardboard won’t bend as well.)
Colored paper (construction or scrapbook paper)
Duct tape and liquid glue (e.g. Elmer’s Glue)
Brads and screws
Small piece of wood or wooden knob
Decorations: Crayons, colored pencils, markers
Optional items for decorations: stickers, designer stamps and ink pads, paint
Note: The duct tape helps secure the construction and will be hidden, once you have covered it with construction or scrapbooking paper. Or, you can use colored duct tape or duct tape with a colorful design as part of your decorations.
- Cut a rectangle or square shape from the cardboard for the main part of the mailbox. Use liquid glue to adhere colored paper to the cardboard. Liquid glue helps soften the cardboard, so that it is flexible and can be shaped into the semi-round part of the mailbox. Use rubber bands to hold the shape until the glue dries. Carefully remove rubber bands before proceeding.
- For the bottom, cut a smaller rectangle or square that fits the top you have made. Attach with duct tape inside and outside. Glue colored paper to the bottom and part way up the sides to cover the duct tape, if needed.
- For the back end, cut a semi-circle to fit the body of the mailbox and secure with duct tape both inside and outside of the mailbox on the sides and bottom.
- To make the front/opening flap, cut a shape like the back end, but secure only the bottom with duct tape inside and out to make a ‘hinge’ that allows for opening and closing.
- Use a small wooden knob or smoothed piece of wood to serve as the handle, secured with 1 or 2 small screws. The piece of wood can be painted or covered with colored paper. Secure the screws from the inside into the knob or piece of wood. (See photo.)
- Glue a small magnet to the inside top of the flap and inside top of the body of the mailbox as shown in the photo to help keep the door of the mailbox closed. (View photo of the inside of the mailbox.)
- Cut an ‘L’ shape out of the cardboard and cover with colored paper for the ‘flag’ of the mailbox. Add a heart shape at the top of the flag, if desired. Use a brad to secure the flag, so that the flag can move up and down to indicate there is mail inside.
- Personalize your mailbox creation by printing your grand’s name or their name of their parent(s) on the top of the mailbox or on the front flap.
Ok, while my son is much better at this than I am, I did complete a Valentine Special Delivery Mailbox with some help from one of my grandsons. Using a heavy cardboard box for the top, the shape became a square rather than an oval. And, using colorful duct tape made it easy to secure the front and back of the mailbox as well as the bottom. Ready-made, stick on hearts complete the decorations and we even used one for the ‘flag’. I used a free paint stick from a hardware store for the flag handle and screwed in the magnets, rather than glue them. So the screws would hold, I added a small, extra piece of cardboard behind the magnets and flag handle. Here’s the final result! My grandson was so excited, he wanted this mailbox to be put outside for US mail delivery.
If you choose to help your grands construct the Valentine Special Delivery Mailbox, they will use or improve these school readiness/life skills:
Math – measuring the paper size, identifying shapes, counting number of hearts for decorations
Eye/Hand Coordination and Small Motor Skills – cutting paper, gluing, coloring, drawing
Planning and Sequencing Steps – what needs to be done first, then next, etc.
Self-Esteem – completion of the project
Healthy mental, emotional, physical and social development provides the foundation needed to be ready for school and to be successful in school and later life. Hands-on activities such as making this mailbox project with adult guidance and/or assistance is a valuable experience for your grandchild, whether he or she is a preschooler or already in school.