An ABC of Ottawa

An Activity Sheet for Big and Little Kids

Why not use AN ABC of Ottawa as a gateway to your own activities? The possibilities are endless and wonderful! And don't forget to check out the hotlinks


1.    You can create your own ABC of Ottawa! Think of a different idea for each letter. Perhaps your book will say that C is for Canal or B is for Bytown Museum. Do a page for each letter (make it a decorated, fancy letter) and then do a picture page to go with each letter. 

Give yourself LOTS of time for this project. Maybe your whole family can join you. When the 26 letters are done, the pages can be stapled together or photographed and made into a REAL book.

2.    Look at the letters in An ABC of Ottawa. Each one is pasted onto a different background.

Can you cut out (or tear without scissors) the initials of your name and glue them onto a colourful background that you have created?

3.    Can you find unusual items around your house to put together in your art? For example: fabric scraps, newspaper bits, paper towel, or anything that can be easily glued to a heavier card stock. This is called a “collage” in art. Here are some examples of unusual items used in An ABC of Ottawa

-       P is for Peace Tower: How have the clouds been made? Can you make a picture using cotton balls? You may want to use them as clouds, as snow, as furry animals (sheep, chicks), as hair.

-       F is for Farm: Collect leaves or grasses and incorporate into an art project.

-       B is for Biking, S is for Snow: Collect black and white images or black and white photocopies of faces of your family or friends. With coloured crayons, “decorate” the black and white pics. 

4.    Can you make fireworks for Canada’s July 1 birthday? Look at N is for Night: draw the Peace Tower (page 33) and then do a fireworks collage by painting dried rice many different colours and glueing the rice onto your picture. What other ideas do you have to make the fireworks?


Here are some ideas for family fun from different pages in the book. Let each page be a starting point for your own ideas.

E is for Engine: Make your own train (save your empty toilet paper rolls!)Visit Fallowfield Station to watch a train arriving.

G is for Gate: Visit Chinatown in your own kitchen by trying to eat with chopsticks, discuss symbolism of dragons and make your own dragon. And visit the real Gate on Bronson Ave.

M is for Maman: Ottawa’s biggest spider is made from metal and we see it outside the National Gallery of Canada. Make your own spider. And then visit the Gallery!

V is for Vegetables: Look at all the vegetables and fruit in your fridge. 

-       Can you make them into a rainbow pattern on your kitchen table? Can you group them by colour? 

-       Draw a picture of your favourite vegetable or fruit. 

-       Make funny faces on your plate using raisins, grapes, carrot coins, bean sprouts (great for hair). Don’t forget cucumbers and asparagus!

T is for Tulips

Get ready for tulip time. Make a bunch of colourful tulips. You can use sidewalk chalk to draw a tulip garden in front of your house or make indoor paper tulips this winter.


A is for Astrolabe: Who was Samuel de Champlain? How did he travel to Canada? Where did he come from? Who guided him as he visited from place to place?

-       Measuring tools: what/how do we measure with a compass, a ruler, a weight scale? 

-       Line up crayons, pencils, forks, other items in your house. Take a ruler or a measuring tape and measure their lengths. Compare inches and centimeters for each item.

Do you have a map of Ottawa?

-       Find your school on this map

Here are some other well-known places:

-       P is for Peace Tower: Where is Parliament Hill? 

-       T is for Tulips: Dow’s Lake, part of the Rideau Canal 

-       Y is for Yacht: Can you trace the route of the canal? 

An ABC of Ottawa by Miriam Bloom and Julie Mason

To order copies: or

Also available at Books on Beechwood, Extraordinary Baby Shoppe, Fab Baby Gear, Octopus Books, Perfect Books, Tag Along Toys, The Village Quire, World of Maps. Or borrow from the Ottawa Public Library.

Using Format