Teach Cardinal Direction {Make It Personal}

I saw this blog post on Land of Nod‘s website and nearly fell off my chair. How adorable are those decorated letters? The cool thing is that my project with these kraft letters came organically per my husband’s suggestion one evening. Our son is curious about cardinal directions – East, West, North and South. That is a tough concept for many directionally deficient adults (erh..me). So the way my husband started to explain the direction was by landmarks and people.


So I thought to help our son out a bit we’d put up the letters E, W, N and S in their respective corners of his room. Then I recalled this lovely post. I went out that day to purchase the letters. I was nervous because these letters are adorable and really only for the truly crafty types (erh…not me). I went for it and I am shockingly excited and pleased about the result. So, that means this project was easy folks. Go for it.


  • Kraft Letters E, W, N and S (we purchased lower case letters from Land of Nod but there are many places to purchase these types of letters. Etsy and Paper Source are two other sources.)
  • Mod Podge
  • Glue
  • Paint and any other materials you wish to use to decorate (e.g. glitter, buttons, etc)
  • Scissors
  • Brush for paint and for Mod Podge
  • Images from that specific area of the world/country (e.g. landmarks, people, mini license plates, etc)



  • Gather images: I wanted to be specific and personal with my son to maximize his learning. So the first thing I did was seek images that meant something to him. For East, I found images of the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, maps of Maine and Massachusetts (where his grandparents live), license plates, lobster, images of his Nana and one of his Papa. I got those images organized and set them aside.
  • Decorate: I painted the letter GREEN. I chose to paint the letter but you don’t have to paint. I grabbed the opportunity to add a little color to his room. I let the paint dry.
  • Glue Images: I applied glue and placed the images (not too carefully, more like in a collage). I let the images dry.
  • Apply Mod Podge: I applied a coat of Mod Podge and let dry overnight.
  • Display: Hang the letter!


SO great! My son was really excited about his direction letters. I think he may have learned something too!

Thanks for choosing to read this post today.

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Founder, Publisher, Writer & Editor at Carrots Are Orange, Inc.
Marnie began Carrots Are Orange in 2010 after the birth of her first son. Carrots Are Orange is a Montessori inspired learning and living blog for parents and educators. She hails from Maine, a wonderfully down to earth place to grow up. Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999, currently living east of Seattle with her husband and three young boys. She is pursuing Montessori certification. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, PBS Kids, BabyCenter, the Melissa & Doug blog, and WhattoExpect.com.


    • says

      Thanks Heather! It was hard to get good images. I hope you got the point! :-) Let me know if you have any questions. Definitely check out the Land of Nod post. The blogger did an INCREDIBLE job decorating letters. Gorgeous. ~ Marnie
      Marnie recently posted…Want to Teach Kids Money Sense?My Profile

  1. says

    Another fantastic post! My oldest came across a compass the other day in my parents’ motorhome and was asking questions. He understands quite a bit as far as where our relatives live in distance, but of course he does know which direction. I’m going to have to do something like this with him.
    Allison recently posted…Kindergarten Curriculum and MFW Weekly Wrap UpMy Profile

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