We are gearing up for the Christmas season as of the writing of this post. For Letters M, N, O, and P there will be several Christmastime themed learning activities. The Peaceful Preschool already incorporates Christmas activities for N, O, and P, but as always I tend to add in our own activities as well.
As always, I focus our Bible lessons on The Jesus Storybook Bible. You can view all our Bible Lessons by A-Z on this page. I update the page as we move through each Letter Unit.
M IS FOR MARY, MOTHER, AND MANGER
It worked out that this focus timed nicely with the Advent season. We have already been reading the Nativity story with Letter K and Letter L, so it was nice to continue and highlight different aspects of the story.
This time we focused on Mary as Mother, read the Are You My Mother? story and talked about how moms take care of babies. We also read this page from Thoughts To Make Your Heart Sing about mother hens taking care of their babies, and how God is like that for us.
We made a Manger M by gluing pine needles to our Letter M printout.
We also worked on learning the song Away in a Manger.
M IS FOR MAGI & MONEY
‘Tis the season for giving. We talked about how Christmas gift-giving models the Magi giving gifts to Jesus, and we used these Money flashcards (from the Target Dollar Spot this past summer) to talk about the value of money. I gave my son examples of things that could be bought for $1 and $5 and $10. Then, together we made a charitable donation for our seasonal family giving, and talked about the value of that gift in comparison to what we counted out.
M is for Mother
M is for Moon
- Whose Moon Is That?
- Kitten’s First Full Moon
- The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson (poem)
- Nature Anatomy (moon phases)
M is for Madeline
M is for Mitten
M is for Mouse
PHONICS & LETTER FORMATION
As usual, here are my go-to resources & activities for every Letter Unit for phonics & letter formation:
- Letter Unit 3-Part Cards
- Click here for a lengthy post on how I use 3-Part Cards
- Jolly Phonics 42 letter sounds and actions
- Handwriting Without Tears letter formation chart
- Salt tray letter formation
- Glitter glue letters (via The Peaceful Preschool)
- Forming letters with natural materials or play dough
- Sandpaper card letter tracings
- Dry erase write and wipe pouches
- Chalkboard write and wipe
- B is for Breakdancing Bear letter activities
- Stamp it! Write it! Poke it! from Simply Learning
- Letter Unit item basket
This list is LONG! I never feel like this is a checklist where I have to complete all of this or somehow I’ve failed OR that my son isn’t learning enough. It’s OKAY if we don’t do it all.
M IS FOR MAP
I drew a map layout of our house. Yes, this is our entire house. We live in a cabin in the woods so no complaints from me!
So, with the map we played treasure hunt with our Things That Start With Letter M basket: we took turns hiding an item, then marked an X on the map, and waited for the others to go find it. I put the map in a write-and-wipe pouch so that we can reuse the map as much as we want.
We also did something super easy and fun: count out the number of U.S. States that start with the Letter M!
FYI our USA puzzle is by Janod — it’s a magnetic board and so gorgeous that I hang it up on our school room wall. It has been updated since we purchased ours but here’s the link.
M IS FOR MOON
We did a more extensive Space Unit leading up to the total solar eclipse earlier this year, so I decided to keep this portion of Letter M pretty simple & playful — focusing on the aspects my kids are currently interested in.
The kids stamped a black Letter M using a Marshmallow dipped in white & silver paint.
MOON PHASE ART PROJECT
I pre-cut circles of black cardstock and the kids stamped the moons with a crumpled up aluminum foil wad dipped in white & silver paint.
Once the moon circles dried, I cut them up with the kids and we looked at the moon phases chart in Nature Anatomy to build a moon phase poster. We paired this with noticing the moon phases during the week. In the moment I did not spend a ton of time with each moon phase name, but rather left it simple. I plan to use the terms with our observations now in the real world.
MAGIC MILK MOON
We got this Magic Milk idea from Simply Learning — she paired this activity with Letter K and Kitten’s First Full Moon. I thought it would be fun to pair it with reading Whose Moon Is That? and use similar colors to the book.
It’s really simple to do and an amazing science experiment. My only complaint is that it doesn’t last long. It’s not like baking soda + vinegar where it seems to keep going and going. The milk fats react to the dish soap but once they are mixed, it’s over. My kids then just stirred the milk in to a nasty brown color and had fun with that, but the “wow” factor goes by quickly.
To do this just pour a thin layer of milk on to a tray or baking dish. Add drops of food coloring around the tray but do not mix. Dip a Q-tip in dish soap and pick a spot on the tray to dunk (but not stir) the Q-tip: the milk (and colors) will react and spread a little like fireworks! Very cool.
M IS FOR MADELINE
We used pine cones plus play dough “hats” in an egg carton and numbered rocks to count out the 12 little girls in 2 straight rows. This could be done with literally any 12 loose parts!
I found this cool Madeline Maze via Pinterest. My son loves mazes so this was a hit. It’s a tough one — my son needed help, but he liked tracing the line I made with him to complete. This was also a way for him to reenact the story and work on his pencil grip and pre-writing skills.
EIFFEL TOWER ART PROJECT
I drew the Eiffel tower with white crayon on white paper. The kids used watercolor paint to paint the page however they wanted. As they painted the image I drew was revealed. This is really easy! After the Eiffel tower, the kids wanted “secret messages” so I just drew simple things like hearts and their names for them to paint and discover.
PRACTICAL SKILLS & CULTURE STUDY
We made Nutella Crepes! This crepe recipe was super easy for my kids to mix together. I did the cooking on the stove and they spread the Nutella.
The books in the photo are:
- MAPS — my son loves exploring this if we have a specific country in mind connected from a book we are reading (e.g. Madeline in France).
- We also read Everybody Bonjours which was just a cute introduction to French culture (including crepes). Not an amazing read, but fun to connect to Madeline.
MADELINE’S EMOTIONS ART
I made this little sheet of Madeline’s emotions which is available here in PDF. I made one page with the 6 emotions described in the original Madeline book. The second page is blank so you can write in your own labels!
The main idea was to use this to discuss different emotions and corresponding facial expressions BUT also since the illustrations in Madeline are so simple I thought it would be a perfect example to help my son see how easy drawing faces is. He’s a bit of a perfectionist and gets to a point with art where he quits trying because it can’t look “right” so I’m trying to show him how there are great examples (like Madeline) with simple lines he can work off of.
M IS FOR MITTEN
Grab a mitten and stuff small toy animal figurines inside. Count them. Play in a sensory bin or with white play dough. The animals don’t have to match perfectly the story. We read two versions of The Mitten and they both have different animals.
THE MITTEN ART PROJECT
We used the Mitten printable provided by Simply Learning in her Letter M Preschool Unit bundle. The kids put their handprints on to the mitten pages: pretty simple!
THE MITTEN LETTER LEARNING
More fun with tools from the Simply Learning’s Mitten: Literature Unit.
OTHER M ACTIVITIES
IF YOU TAKE A MOUSE TO THE MOVIES
If You Take A Mouse to the Movies is just a really fun Christmas book with plenty of opportunities for story interaction. We made and strung popcorn, made snowmen out of white “snow” play dough, and crafted some snowflake Christmas ornaments with glue and glitter just like Mouse in the story.
M IS FOR MAIL
We mailed a letter! I had my son participate in the whole process. We don’t have a mailbox right in front of our house (we live on a camp property so all mail goes through the main office), so my kids miss out a little on the fun of watching the mail get picked up and delivered. I try to take them in to the post office sometimes, though, to help make a connection.