Map M – Letter of The Week and Geography Lesson.

Letter of the week has been a popular feature on our blog for a few years now, but it’s not so popular at my kitchen table anymore. My son has known his letters for what feels like forever so to get him interested it takes something special… like a map.  He loves maps, and will often ask us ” How do you get to Nebraska? How do you get to Paris? ” So we find the map and we decide if we should fly, drive or take a boat. I capitalized on that love to do this simple cutting and letter activity.

  1. Gather your materials you will need an old atlas or map ( you will be cutting it ), kid scissors, a marker, piece of construction paper and glue.
  2. Start by looking at a map . We looked at a map of the US since my son is into learning about states right now. Choose a state or country to check out. He chose Utah, we don’t know why but he loves Utah, like a lot.
  3. Flip to it if you are using an Atlas. If you just have one map to use, take some time looking at it with your child, look for different points of interest . This activity is as much a lesson to familiarize kids with maps and geography as it is one for the letter m.
  4. Tear out the page and write an M, if your child is able to have them write it. It’s easy to turn it into a block M by adding to theirs.
  5. Cut it out.  This will take time.
  6. Encourage them when it gets tricky. This was the most line cutting my son has ever done, honestly I was pleasantly surprised he did it all. He was pretty proud too.
  7. Add glue
  8. “Slam Utah down” His words. Let dry.

It’s an easy project but the cutting takes patience and builds skills , the exploration of the map sparks discussion and the letter recognition comes along for the ride!

Learning at Snack Time Too


While my son flipped through the atlas I fixed him a snack.  I knew which state he was looking for and was just thankful it was Utah, I didn’t have enough ham for any other state.

Alphabet  Books

ABC USAby Martin Jarrie is another beautiful alphabet book!  Like most alphabet books it devotes a page to each letter with vibrant illustrations . Not everything in this book is by any means unique to the United States but most are. I specifically appreciated the I for Immigrants page, both from a historical and personal perspective, my son loved the J for Jazz and we both loved all the whimsical illustrations. There are a lot of learning opportunities presented as well, school age children could really benefit from it as well the 2 letters that stood out for me for further learning were U for Underground Railroad and V for Valley Forge.  How ever you use this it’s worth a look for certain.


All Aboard!: A Traveling Alphabet by Bill Mayer was more fun for my husband and I than for my son but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a book of pictures, with hidden letters in them. For example the letter O is overpass with loops of road and hidden in it is an O. Some letters were easy to find some were hilariously hard. We read this to my son tonight at bedtime and while we stared at the letter H ( highway) picture debating where the h was, he fell asleep between us in his bed. This is a great alphabet book for families with children just learning and those who have mastered the alphabet. Oh and the debate was settled , we were both wrong. The final page highlights the letter in each picture in a compilation of the whole alphabet.

Letter of The Week Mmmmm !

Marshmallow M !


This project is much more a counting activity than art, my son was offered to color or paint his paper but declined ( he saw the marshmallows) so instead we counted our hand fulls of marshmallows before placing them on the glue . Many were eaten but lots of fun and learning was too so I didn’t mind too much.

  1. Gather your materials. This is an easy project all you need are some mini marshmallows, 2 pages of construction paper ( one will do the trick though) a marker and some glue.
  2. Start by writing an uppercase M on the paper.
  3. Add glue to it, now older children can add the glue to the M, I offered this job to my son but he declined saying “no no I do marshmallows” .
  4. Add the marshmallows. The way we did it was I gave him a handful, he counted them as he put them on 1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6 for example and then he got to eat the last.
  5. Keep going!
  6. Let dry.
  7. Cut out and glue onto a 2nd paper to make it sturdier if you are displaying it.

Big and Little
Marshmallow Sorting

This is a simple but effective sorting activity , my son loved it and woke up asking to do it this morning, although I suspect he just wanted another marshmallow! This idea can be used with any object that you can find 2 sizes of. My son also loved squishing the large marshmallows, in his hands so there is a sensory aspect to this too! I know these sorts of activities can seem boring to adults but they are really very useful and kids gain a lot from them.
  1. Gather your materials. You need a divided tray ( thank you dollar store) or 3 separate bowls. Large and small marshmallows. I also added in the words Big and Little in the correct sections of the tray.
  2. Show your child how to put the little marshmallow where is says little, and repeat for the big marshmallow.
  3. Place all the marshmallows in the center piece or middle bowl and ask them to find the right place for little and big marshmallows.
  4. Sort !

Letter of the Week ! M m!

M for Mountain!

I was going to do marble painting for M, but my teething toddler is putting even more things in his sore mouth right now so the marble idea will have to be saved for another less accident prone time. I was surprised that my son knew that these were mountains when I was testing this idea out on him, I was thinking this may be a 3+ activity, but I was wrong. He had fun making it and I hope you do too!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of construction paper, glue, scissors and markers or crayons to decorate.
  2. Draw a low and wide M. Don’t cut it out yet.
  3. Have your child decorate the M, my son spent 5 minutes playing “match” with the markers and lids before coloring, I was loosing my patience but took my own advice after a few crabby minutes and let him lead. As it turned out he wanted to color the “bala” which is a W, so a little flip is all we had to do!
  4. While your child is drawing wild flowers, animals or other things like scribbles draw some small clouds . Older children should be able to do this and the next step on their own.
  5. Draw some snow caps for the tops of the mountain. Cut them and the clouds out.
  6. Give your child the 3rd piece of construction paper, have them draw birds in the sky, a sun or whatever they want.
  7. Cut the M out.
  8. Glue the M on the backing.
  9. Glue on the snow caps.
  10. Add the clouds and let dry.

Songs!

She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain!
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes
She’ll be coming round the mountain, she’ll be coming round the mountain,
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes

She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes
She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes
She’ll be driving six white horses, she’ll be driving six white horses,
She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes

Oh, we’ll all go out to meet her when she comes
Oh, we’ll all go out to meet her when she comes
Oh, we’ll all go out to meet her, we’ll all go out to meet her,
We’ll all go out to meet her when she comes

She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes
She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes
She’ll be wearing red pajamas, she’ll be wearing red pajamas,
She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes

She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes
She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes
She will have to sleep with Grandma, she will have to sleep with Grandma,
She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes

We’ll all eat chicken and dumplings when she comes
We’ll all eat chicken and dumplings when she comes
We’ll all eat chicken and dumplings, we’ll all eat chicken and dumplings
we’ll all eat chicken and dumplings when she comes!