In these modern days, we are more accustomed to sending e-mails and virtual gifts than going to the post office to mail letters and physical gifts. Unless there is a birthday gift that you want to prepare for a close friend or a family member, it's highly unlikely to find one's self wrapping gifts. And if your juniors have never seen you perform an activity, it's almost impossible for them to be aware of the concept.
Fortunately, I have found an app that would help us introduce the concept of a post office, wrapping physical gifts and writing greeting cards to our juniors, entitled Bamba Post Office.
You've Got Mail
Bamba Post Office is a unique app that allows your juniors to send gifts and greeting cards via the post office's mail services. As soon as you start the app, it will ask you to choose between a square box or a rounded box that will be used to pack your present.
Next, you pick an item to gift from several options. These may include a toy robot, a toy truck, a birthday cake and several fruits. There are actually plenty of items in this app, but you will see only six of them at one time. You can see the other items the next time you replay the activity.
To accompany your present, you can also pick a greeting card to put inside the box. Using your finger, you can either hand-write your message or draw something special on the card. Once you have put both the present and the card inside the box, you're ready to choose a wrapping paper and a ribbon to personalize the package.
Once the package is nicely decorated, it is time to choose a lucky recipient. The app already offers three wacky characters, but you can pick a family member to receive the package by adding their photo from the Camera Roll. You can also use the Camera to immediately take a picture of yourself or someone else who is with you.
After choosing a stamp for your package, it is time to drop it inside the big red mailbox. You can then see an animation that shows how your package is delivered to your destination. If you choose one of the built-in characters, you will be taken to the house where the character lives. After hitting the door bell, the recipient will show up and you can drag the package over to him/her. He/she will then respond by expressing their feelings over the gifts that you sent.
Parents Need to Know
Even though the app seems to provide plenty of options, it is still a bit limited. This is not a free-to-play toy app, because you have a fixed sequence of steps, limited choices for the gifts and packaging materials, and you can't add more than one items inside the box. I wish the developer would update the app so that juniors could play more freely.
If you decide to use a picture from your Camera (or Camera Roll) as a recipient, you will see a different ending. Instead of being taken to the house where the built-in characters live, you will see a table on which the photo is placed alongside the package. You still get to open the package and see the gift and the greeting card.
Things I Like
I really like the way the app makes the process of giving a gift an easy one. The ability to use the photo of a family member has helped me to show Philip, my 3-year-old, a simulation of how presenting a gift to her mom or her grandpa would feel like. He gets to learn about the steps involved in the process and how happy the recipients would feel when they receive the gifts.
I also like the way the app has helped me to introduce the concept of sending packages by mail to Philip. In fact, I am inspired to actually try the activity with Philip this weekend. Packaging and sending a real physical gift through the mail is be a new experience for him and I hope that he would be excited over it.
Bamba Post Office is a fun little app that serves a good gift giving simulation app. I do wish that it has more post office related services but overall, I would recommend you to give this app a try, especially if you can't remember the last time you sent a package through the post office.
Get Bamba Post Office on the App Store.