I remember eagerly awaiting Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer months as a young girl. Those were the days when I had the privilege of getting the mail when it arrived in our mailbox, a task I shared with my brothers. We each were assigned different days of the week, probably so we wouldn't argue about whose turn it was to retrieve the mail. Even with the Information Age and the ability to e-mail, text, and instant message, there still is something special about getting something in the mail. I still look through the daily mail to see if I have received a letter.

The post office is a great place to visit as well as to research to find out how mail services began. Postal services assist us in many different ways. We recently experienced this while preparing for my youngest son to go on an 18-day trip to China. When it came to sending off for a passport, we were able to do this through our local post office.

With the holidays just around the corner, the job of the U.S. postal carrier becomes more intense. Letters, Christmas cards, packages, and catalogs start filling mailboxes. With Christmas quickly approaching, our minds may be focused on cards we want to write. This time of year is often when we connect with people we have not seen in quite a while. As you are busily preparing for the season, do not forget to say a special thank-you to your local postal carrier.

Let's take a look at the United States postal service and the job they do.

Vocabulary

Pony Express, postal system, stamps, postcard, mailbox, post office, mail carrier, letters, packages, airmail.

Bible

  • God's Word is like a letter written for us. Thank God for His Word.
  • There are many letters in the Bible. See how many you can find.
  • Look up the word "letter" in a Bible concordance. Record five of the verses you find and memorize one.

Memory Verse

"Ye are our epistle [letter] written in our hearts, known and read of all men: forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:2-3) 

Math

  • Research how much it costs to mail a first-class letter. How many ounces can it be?
  • After finding out the mailing expenses, figure out how much it would cost to mail a four-pound package first class.
  • How much does it cost to send something "book rate"? If you have a ten-pound box of books to send to your friend in Texas, how much will it cost?
  • How much do postcard stamps cost? If you send a greeting to 15 friends while you are on vacation, using a postcard for each person, how much will you have to spend?
  • You want to send 100 Christmas cards to friends and family. Five of those cards need to have airmail stamps to friends who live in Germany. How much money will it cost?

Art

  • The first Christmas cards were created by Sir Henry Cole in mid-19th-century England. Research and find out what you can about this topic. (A great resource is Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas by Ace Collins.) Make your own Christmas cards. Be as creative as possible.
  • Read the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown, and then create your own version of Flat Stanley. Mail it to friends or family who live in a different state. Ask them to take a picture of Flat Stanley at a point of interest in their town and send the photo to you along with a short description of the location. Then, ask them to send Flat Stanley to someone else they know. See how many different places your Flat Stanley can visit.
  • Research when postage stamps came into existence. Go to the post office to see all the different kinds of stamps that are available. Design your own postage stamp.
  • Mail is still delivered by mule to Supai, Arizona, a small town in the Grand Canyon. Draw a picture of this.

Field Trips