First, suggest your child be a detective. Ask her to examine each piece of mail to find where it came from. She can search for a postmark, publisher, or return address. Or she can check the reply address on the literature inside.

Once your child pinpoints the place of origin, help her:

• Locate that place on a map. If you want, make an enlarged copy of a U.S. map. Hang it up. Then use a dot or a pushpin to mark where the mail came from. See if more comes from certain areas.

• Sort the mail using different criteria. Sort by state or regions of the country, such as southwest or northeast; by which ocean or mountain range the mailer’s address is closest to; by climate (desert, temperate, etc.); or by which major city or landmark it’s nearest.

• Use the map to measure how far away that place is from your hometown. Which mail pieces traveled the farthest distance? The least?

• Use a highway map to plan a pretend trip between two cities where mail originated. Measure the mileage between them. Calculate how much gas it would take to drive. Estimate how long it would take.

• Plan a vacation to one of the cities. Go to the library to research interesting places to see or do on a visit. Use the Internet. Or write a letter requesting information from the local Visitor’s Bureau.