story + art = Great Start – The Jolly Postman & Simple Postcards


This is story + Art rolled into a geography lesson rolled into learning about “Mr Postman” rolled into having a little fun rolled into excited Red Ted rolled into an excuse to explore mainy new books…. What am I talking about? Playing By The Book’s international Postcard exchange!!! The exchange did take place a few weeks ago. I am very late with this post! This is going to be a long post… so just skip to the bits you like!

  1. The world
  2. The crafty bit
  3. The learning about the post office bit
  4. The post related booksThe exciting bit
  5. The world

1. The world. I started off this “ongoing” activity with Red with looking at a map of the world with Red Ted. Red Ted didn’t have a clue what I was trying to show him. Well he is only two.

2. The crafty bit. So we started with making our postcards. As this is an international exchange we thought it would be nice not just to make them, but also to make them “London”. I first drew a london scene, hoping Red Ted would “colour it in” (as per Thank You cards). Not interested. Oh.So, new approach: the old cotton wool & peg approach (see Clouds& Pigs and Chicks). He LOVED that. I gave him 2 colours: Red (for buses) and Green (for trees). Some blobs were duly created. I then gave him more paper for a “free for all” – which I decided look rather like a Rex!Once dried I drew outlines of London buses and trees (London apparently a city with rather a lot of trees in it!).Then I wrote the cards.  

This a great way in general to “recycle” a toddlers paintings. I recently took a whole bunch of “water colours” and found “shapes” in Red Ted’s drawings, making new Greeting Cards with little bird designs on them… Brilliant for father’s day or grandparent’s thank you notes.



Greeting Cards from Watercolours










3. The learning about the post office bit. I talked to Red Ted about what we were going to do with the cards (he has posted stuff before, but more by the by). So we went together. I showed him how we weighed the cards. Then gave him the stamps to stick on (with some help). Then he got to stick them in the post box.

The Jolly Postman

4. The post related books. I then got hold of 4 vaguely “post” related books (see review earlier in week). Our favourite was The Jolly Postman, by Ahlberg. It is the simple story of the postman delivering letters and postcards to lots of very familiar fairytale people! What Red Ted LOVED about this book, as that every other page contained an “actual envelope” that he could take a letter out from. He wasn’t that interested in the content of the letter yet. Still a little young, but that is fine, as it means we will still be enjoying this book in 2-3 years time!

5. The exciting bit. Our postcards started arriving, both the ones sent to us and the ones abroad! Red Ted loved his cards – I showed him his name and read them out to him and we “discussed” the picture on the front. Bless. We got one from Shropshire, one from New Zealand, one from Spain and a letter and photos from the US! Lovely. And finally 5th card arrived from San Franscico!

Received Cards

6. The world. Now, I know I said that Red Ted, aged 2 and 1/4 didn’t get “the world” bit, I still decided to revisit it! Afterall, learning through repetition and familiarity and all that. This time I pointed to the countries that we sent cards to and that we received cards from. As well as countries were our relatives and friends live (Canada, France, Austria, Germany). He still just stared at “the pretty colours”. But it is a start!

We enjoyed our Postcard Exchange, a big THANK YOU to Zoe for all her hard work in organising this exchange (with over 250 families!!!!).

Previous Craft Projects:

– Book & Cook – Duckies Rainbow & Rainbow Cookies

– stART – Story Telling, Bunnies & Stars

stART: Giraffe’s can’t dance – a Giraffe Loo Roll Marionette

stART: Chick – a Pop Up Card

Book & Cook: Alphabet Cookies – Learning through play

stART: Busy Airport – Cotton Wool Clouds and, erm, PIGS!

stART: Hit &Myth – a mix & match book for older children (>5yrs)    

stART: Story & Thank you time – inspirational thank you cards   

stART: Hurray for Fish – one for babies or messy toddlers!    

stART: Bedtime Star – Red Ted, makes a starry night for Pip Squeak’s nursery   

stART: The Way Back Home, Oliver Jeffers – Red Ted makes a plane and a UFO   

Craft: Peg animals – toddlers can help!


39 responses to this post.

  1. A post worth waiting for! 🙂 The jolly postman is great isn’t it – the letter inside are always such a hit, but we have real problems keeping track of them all – they get taken out of our copy and posted around the house…. I love what you’ve done with greeting cards.
    AND yesterday we did a crafty activity for your next Get Crafty – hopefully it will go live next week and I’ll send you the link 🙂


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on June 16, 2010 at 9:13 am

      Thanks Zoe! Just a shame my formating when all over the place. Grrrrr. Could have been “prettier” sigh… Look forward to your Get Crafty submission! Hurray!!! 🙂 x


  2. This project made me heart go pitter pat. Well done.


  3. How fun! The Jolly Postman was one of my kids’ favorite books.

    Thanks so much for sharing at My Backyard Eden!



  4. What an EXTREMELY cool idea! I love it! (Followed your link from the Read Aloud Thursday post.) Thanks for sharing of your activities and I’ll have to go look for that book!


  5. What fun! 😀 It looks like he had a blast doing them and mailing !:D Who doesn’t like getting mail that isn’t bills? 😀

    Have a great day!


  6. Love this post!! I visited you last week from TILT, too- love all the UK familiar stuff. 😉 Anyway, love all the ideas- I think the chick/bird watercolour is awesome!

    Emily/Miss Mommy


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on June 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

      Thank you!! Glad you are enjoying my blog – makes it all worth while when I get comments like this… 🙂 Please do come and visit again (and again ;-)) xx


  7. I would love to do more art with my kids. You have many great ideas here. Love the birds you colored over the color splotches. I let my toddler “decorate” all cards with crayons. They always turn out so fun. Very Jackson-Pollack-esque usually.


  8. We participated in Zoe’s exchange, too, though only the US swap. We received some lovely cards, but yours are especially beautifully designed.


  9. It sounded like a great activity, I’m sorry I didn’t get myself together in time to do it!


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on June 17, 2010 at 9:38 pm

      Ooh, but you could always do your own postcard exchange with family? Or if you want a card from the UK, we could do a mini one with Red Ted 😉 xx


  10. Posted by JDaniel4's Mom on June 17, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    The cards came out so well. I think it was because you did such a great job in drawing your pictures.


  11. What a great post!!! I am hoping to do a postcard exchange in the fall 🙂


  12. Great job with the cards. They are so cute! Thanks for linking!


  13. What a really neat idea! And those postcards are really cute too!


  14. Great idea! Terrific post cards…love the smock on the artist!


  15. What a great project, I think I might do that in the summer holidays with my daughter – thanks so much for the inspiration!


  16. Such a cute book! Thanks for posting!


  17. This is fantastic! I love the idea of recycling toddler art into greeting cards, too. I haven’t seen this particular book, either. An all around excellent project and post!

    Thanks, as always, for linking up to Read ALoud Thursday!


  18. What an amazing idea! So sweet. I am visiting from Finished for Friday….this is adorable!


  19. I love this! What a great project. Thanks so much for linking up to Finished for Friday.


  20. I love the Jolly Postman. I think mine might even still have the letters in it (provided my kids haven’t gotten a hold of it).

    Fun projects.


  21. What a great looking book and project!!! Thank you for linking up to stART 🙂


  22. Thanks for joining WMCIR! How exciting that you got to participate in this postcard exchange, and the book sounds great. I am sure Red Ted will enjoy looking at the cards when he is a little older, and I really like the idea to draw the pictures after the free form painting is done.


  23. Hi! I found you on CMOS, your little guy is adorable! I love your card and postcard ideas. Anyone would be thrilled to receive one! I hope you visit me too!


  24. Stopping by through Tot School linky. The book you mentioned sounds really interesting. We have been participating in a postcard swap focused on the states of America. The girls really enjoyed getting the postcards sent out. I have activities planned to make a book and we will be putting them on the wall with a map. Just as soon as I find time. Love your craft/greeting card idea.


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on June 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm

      Ooh the book activity sounds fabulous! And aren’t postcards at this age wonderful? Children are so great for enjoying the simple things in life!! Thank you for stopping by 🙂 and for hosting the linky!!!! x


  25. Sounds like your little guy had a great time! I’ll have to check that book out for my kidders sometime! Stopping by from Sharing Time. 🙂


  26. Those are adorable!


  27. This is great! I saw this on Making the World Cuter. I don’t have kids, but I can imagine this being a great way to get out of that creative blank that we all get in. Some “adult” fingerpainting, finding shapes in our work, and then making them art, cards, or a great art journal entry.

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on June 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm

      Yes, exactly! I am sure this “technique” has a name, as I remember LOVING doing this in art class at school… definitely a fun way to do something different!


  28. We took part in the International Postcard Swap too!
    I really like your idea of homemade postcards.
    thanks for sharing your link on Book Sharing Monday 🙂


  29. Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!


  30. Thanks for sharing @ Anything Related!


  31. […] stART: Jolly Postman & Greeting cards from Toddler Art  […]


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