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Morning at the Museum

at the

National Postal Museum

Saturday, February 14th from 9:00-11:00am

Start your Valentine's Day off enhancing speech and language during a special

before-hours exploration of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. with pre-visit materials specially designed for children of all ability levels and special activities such as Postal Pilates and mailing a postcard to troops overseas.


EXPLORE: Descriptive Language
ENRICH: Expressive Vocabulary

ENGAGE: Describe postal objects using key features



  • A key feature is a major defining or distinguishing feature of an object. As you explore the museum exhibits, here are some leveled activities to do with your child to enhance their ability to describe using key features.

    • Level 1: Ask your child yes/no and wh- questions that encourage them to talk about the key features of the postal objects. For example, "What is a mailbox used for? What color is this mailbox? Are most mailboxes the same color?"

    • Level 2: Challenge your child to describe a postal object using at least three key features, such as color, size, shape, function, category, and varieties. For example, a thorough description of a stamp could be as follows: "A stamp is square or rectangular, small enough to fit in my palm, and it can have different colors and designs on it. You use a stamp to mail a letter.:

EXPLORE: Auditory Comprehension 
ENRICH: Understanding of Nonfiction

ENGAGE: The ability to understand orally-presented factual information



  • Throughout the Postal Museum, you will find exhibits that with videos about different topics relating to postal history. Using these presentations, help your child work on processing and comprehension of non-fiction information.

    • Level 1: After watching and listening to the information, ask your child, "What was that video about?" Give your child three general options, such as, "Was it about mailmen, mail trucks, or stamps?" Point to images in the exhibit hall that represent each option in order to support their comprehension of the question with visuals.

    • Level 2: After watching and listening to the information, ask your child, "What were three facts you learned from the video?" If they are unable to recall three, play the video again and remind them to listen carefully and focus on the pictures as it plays to help them remember the facts.



EXPLORE: Bilabial sounds
ENRICH: Articulation of Individual Sounds for Clear Communication

ENGAGE: Practice producing /m/, /b/, and /p/



  • Start the day by reminding your child how to produce a bilabial sound (a sound that uses both lips): Close your lips together tightly. For /b/ and /p/, you open them with a pop. For /m/, you keep them closed until you say the next sound in the word.

  • As you explore the museum, make a list of as many words as you can find  that have /m/, /b/, and /p/ in the beginning, middl, or end of the word.

    • ​/m/: MuseuM, Mail, Money, Mailbox, mailBag, postMaster

    • /b/: Blue, Bike, Boat, Big, mailBox, mailBag

    • /p/: Postal, Pilates, Post office, Postmaster, Pony express, stamP

  • Have your child practice these words as his/her ability level:

    • Level 1: Say each word in isolation five times, then use it in a short phrase (e.g. "yellow stamP")

    • Level 2: Use each word in a complete sentence. As a challenge, make up a sentence using two or three of the words (e.g. "The Postal MuseuM is so Big!"

h Sounds


EXPLORE: Requesting
ENRICH: The Ability to Request a Desired Activity

ENGAGE: Practice choosing an activity and asking for it appropriately



  • Before going to the museum or right when you arrive, review this visual schedule created by the Morning at the Museum staff.

  • Ask your child what activities he/she would like to do during his/her visit to the museum.

    • Level 1: Model a complete sentence for your child, such as "I want to see the stamps." Using that sentence pattern, have your child request 3-5 desired activities. If they can't use your model to create their own sentence, ask them to point to the picture of what they want to see and say a sentence for them to repeat.

    • Level 2: Have your child request activities using complete sentences and polite words, then explain why they want to do the activity. For example, "Can we please go see the stagecoach? I want to see what it looks like inside."


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