I am super-excited to see how the children like this activity as this is the first year I've had it out. I think it will be really really fun for them. My inspiration for creating this work was this tutorial over at The Crafting Chicks. When I saw their adorable felt envelopes I immediately thought, "How cute and fun would it be to make one of these for the classroom so the children could deliver valentines to each other using the special mail bag?" So.......this past weekend I whipped it together. I used my sewing machine and sewed white ric-rac right onto the bag at the same time I was sewing the pieces together. I used a long piece of ric-rac for the should strap too. The pink heart on the flap was sewn on partly as decoration and partly to cover up the stitching from the Velcro I sewed on to fasten the flap closed. (NOTE: If you don't have access to a sewing machine, I am pretty sure this would work equally well using hot glue. In fact, I think that's how it is shown in the tutorial.)
To do this "special delivery" work, the child takes the "mail tray" from the shelf. You can see this tray below. I printed and laminated 2 sets of "love mail" cards (8 cards in all). The download for these cards is available in the tutorial I linked to above. I placed these on the tray along with a dry-erase marker and piece of felt (for erasing) and a basket of photo cards of the children. We use these namecards each day as placecards for snack time. They have a photo of the child with their first name printed below. You can see that in the second photo.
The child chooses who they would like to make a valentine for and writes the name of that child after the "to:" using the dry-erase marker. Then they sign their own name after the "love:".
Next, they go fetch the "mail bag" which is hanging from a hook near our line area.
They slip their card into the mail bag as shown below. Finally, they are ready to deliver their mail to the recipient. They will practice using their grace and courtesy skills as they say, "Happy Valentine's Day" to their friend. The friend will then reply, "Thank you." The recipient of the card then returns the card to the "mail tray", first using the felt square to erase the names so the card can be "recycled" for use by another child. The "mail carrier" returns the mail bag to the hook and the "mail tray" to the shelf.