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 – Letter E Theme

letter e activities Letter of the week theme posts continue with letter E. The goal of theme posts are to provide all your choices in one spot, not as a guide to do them all. Pick and choose what will appeal to your child the most and remember to have fun playing with these letters. If you are doing a letter other than E this week check out our Letter of The Week section to find even more letters to create and learn.

{Letter Ee Crafts}

Earth e - Egg E - Elephant E - Envelope E

{Crafts Starting With E}

Earth MuffinsEarth Tambourine Coffee Filter Earth –  Playdough EarthPuffy Paint EarthRecycled EarthEggs Elephant –  Eye

{Alphabet Activities}

Keep your letter of the week in context by exploring whole alphabet activities.
We have many to choose from for various abilities and learning styles.


Letter Of The Week- Letter D Theme

Our Letter of the Week Themes continue with letter D. As I have mentioned before don’t completely forget about the other letters when you are doing letter of the week, just give this letter a little extra attention. Letters like most things are best taught in context to create a real deep connection . Choose a few fun crafts with the letter focus but don’t try to tackle the whole list , there should be time for lots of other opened ended art, and activities not related to the letter of the week.

{Letter D Crafts}


Dragon DDuck DDoor d

{Crafts and Activities Starting with D}


Dinosaurs - Dinosaur Egg- DirtDog Collar - DragonflyDrumDucks

{Alphabet Books }


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.

Learn The Alphabet : with Northwest Coast Native Art by Native Northwest was an amazing gas station find. Yes I said gas station. I ran in for some diet coke and came out with an alphabet book ! This book is amazing, bright beautiful and even though I bought it for my daughter since it’s bright colors and sturdy pages are perfect for a baby, my almost 4 year old son adores it. What I love is when he reads it to her . The Native art is gorgeous and if you are unfamiliar with North West coast art you are in for a treat.

Letter Of The Week C

Need ideas for your letter of the week curriculum ? Look no further. Not only do we have letter crafts we have crafts and activities that start with all the letters too! This week it’s the letter C . Cactus,  Cats, Caterpillars, Comets and more! Also don’t miss the alphabet books, it’s important not to only focus on the letter, but teach it in a meaningful and holistic way, alphabet books are a great way to do that.

{Letter Crafts}

Candy C - Carrot C - Caterpillar C - Comet CCookie C


{Activities and Crafts That Start With C}

Cactus- Candy Cane- Car Wash- Carrot- Cars-Castle- Cat Caterpillar- Cloud

Coffee Grinds Sensory Tub- Coffee Shop- Cookies- Corn- Crab- Cupcakes

{Alphabet Books }

Sleepy ABC by Margaret Wise Brown . Although I have a legendary hatred of Runaway Bunny I generally love this author. I like this book, and the illustrations will zip you back in time for sure.  Unlike many alphabet books it has a great rhythm for reading it all without breaks.  My one complaint is that the child is tucked into bed then a few letters later is out listening to a story from another woman not their mom. I am not sure perhaps those are different children, didn’t bug my son one bit, but left me wondering. Like the title suggests it’s a good alphabet book for a bedtime read, it even ends with something I say often ” Go To Sleep!”.

The Graphic Alphabet by David Pelletier is a fun book to share with a child who has already mastered the alphabet, because this book is challenging. Each letter is shown in it’s own illustration, but you aren’t sure exactly what the picture is of, this is the challenge. As you can see on the cover it has an avalanche, the hardest one for me was N no matter how I looked at the picture I thought it was of magnets! Turns out it was noodles! Very fun book for kids that already know their letters and are up for a challenge.

A Is for Zebra by Mark Shulman is a fun and unique alphabet book. Perfect for children who have mastered letter recognition and are up for a fun challenge. The trick is that each letter is represented by the last letter of the coordinating picture . A is for zebra ! You will have fun finding the letter on each page as well as items in the adorable illustrations by Tamara Petrosino.

Letter Of The Week – Letter B Theme

letter of the week ideasOur letter of the week posts continue with a one stop shop for all things you may need for introducing and having fun with the letter B. Bugs, boats , bats and butterflies are just some of the fun crafts you can make, don’t miss the three alphabet books showcased they are all ones I highly recommend! For my full philosophy of how to use these ideas check it out here.

{ Letter Crafts }

Bumble B

Banana B

Boat b

{ Crafts and Activities That Start With The Letter B }

Banjo

Bat

Beach Sensory Tub

Birds

Boats

Bugs

Bunny Ears

Butterflies

Bus

{ Great Alphabet Books }

all book lists include affiliate links

Alphabetter by Dan Bar-el and Graham Ross is another great alphabet book for you to check out. Each letter is represented by a child who has something that starts with the same letter as their name but doesn’t have what they want which starts with the following letter. It’s such a cute gimmick and so effective while reading that it’s not a gimmick at all! At the end of the book all the children pass the items back down the alphabet and everyone gets what they want. Awesome book for toddlers on up !

Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming is a wonderful example of what an alphabet book should be. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers learning their first letters, the text is short , the letters are front and center and the illustrations are fun and interesting. My son loves this book, I grabbed it at the library after remembering how much my Pre K class loved it too! Many alphabet books are too long to read entirety at circle time or in one shot with a toddler but this my 19 month old will sit through Z every time!


Alphabet Soup by Scott Gustafson is a treat! I read a lot of alphabet books and this one stands out for so many reasons. Otter is hosting a potluck and his animal friends are all bringing something to share. Each page is devoted to an animal with a coordinating food item and more. This book is reminiscent of Graham Base’s Animalia but much more toddler friendly. Where Animalia is great for older children because it’s so full of detail, this book brings it down a notch but still enchants you with stunning illustrations and fantastic coordinating text.