This post may contain affiliate links. Read my whole disclosure here.
Inside: Create these easy DIY family mailboxes and encourage more communication with your kids in a playful way!
When my oldest son is worried or upset, it’s not always easy to get him to open up to me and tell me what is bothering him.
Even if we have a close relationship and talk a lot every single day, I know that he sometimes finds it hard to express his feelings and worries.
After trying different ways to make it easier for him to open up to me, two things really helped us: our bedtime conversations (a daily habit of talking about our day and sharing our thoughts and feelings every evening) and our shared journal (a notebook where we record events, thoughts, and special moments of our lives).
But one day, in an unexpected way, we discovered another way to encourage communication that works great for us!
One year ago, close to Valentine’s Day, we found some cute mailboxes at Target. My son came up with the idea to buy one for every family member so we can prepare Valentines for each other and put them inside the mailboxes. And this is exactly what we did!
After Valentine’s Day, my son started leaving notes with little drawings in my little mailbox. I always replied with a note placed in his mailbox, and he was so happy to find my messages!
Soon this playful way of communicating turned into something more. My son started to share his feelings or worries using drawings he put in my mailbox. And his drawings were such a great opportunity for me to start conversations about the things he shared with me!
After a while, we decided to turn using our mailboxes into a habit, so we decorated a mailbox for each family member and put them on a table next to the entrance.
The mailboxes were filled on a regular boxes with notes, drawings, and even little surprises we prepared for each other. My son even prepared many drawings for his little brother so he could find something in his mailbox as well.
It’s been a year since we started using the mailboxes, and they were such a wonderful way to encourage more communication in our family!
In the meantime, we changed my mailbox with a bigger one that we taped on a door because my son wanted to be able to place big drawings inside my mailbox.
He helped me create the mailbox out of a two-pocket folder, and it turned out very cute!
We also added a paper heart that lets me know when my son puts somethings inside my mailbox. The heart usually stays inside the folder and he only takes it out when I need to check my mail.
If you like the idea of creating mailboxes for your family, I gathered here all the details you need to make them.
How to create DIY family mailboxes
There are many ways to create family mailboxes!
Here are some ideas to choose from, depending on what supplies you want to use:
- use mini mailboxes for kids (like this Tin Mail Valentine’s Box from Target) and decorate them with stickers
- use two-pocket folders and invite the kids to decorate them using markers, stickers, stamps, or craft supplies
- create these easy paper plate mailboxes (by Toddler Approved)
- create mailboxes using clasping full-size manila envelopes (by Hands On as We Grow).
Encourage all family members to decorate their mailboxes and personalize them. Then display them in a place where everybody can easily access them.
I’m pretty sure your kids will love to prepare notes or drawings and slip them inside the mailboxes! And they will be happy to find something from you or other family members in their mailboxes!
These DIY family mailboxes are a great family communication tool, but they also bring many learning opportunities!
The kids will get the chance to get creative in their drawings, write letters, and read the messages they get from you.
I hope you and your kids will enjoy this idea as much as we do!