Monday, October 1, 2018

Learning About the Alphabet: H is for Hippo

Hippo photograph

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Over the course of twenty-six posts, I will introduce my own simple lessons for the letters of the alphabet. I will provide enough ideas and suggestions for a week's worth of activities.

For the letter H, we focused upon the Hippopotamus.

The hippopotamus is a member of the ungulate family of mammals. Ungulates are browsing or grazing mammals with odd or even-toed hooves. Another ungulate that starts with the letter h is horse.

Photo of Hippo with facts

Hippo Facts 

  • Hippos are an average of 11.5 feet in length 
  • Hippos can weigh around 5,300 pounds 
  • They can submerge underwater for up to five minutes by closing their nostrils 
  • They are herbivores – eating only plants 
  • Baby hippos ride piggyback on their moms in deep water 
  • Aggressive behavior occurs mostly in the dry season when it is crowded and breeding season is occurring 
  • Mother and calf are closely bonded 

Coloring Pages

Coloring.WS from DLTK's Hippo Coloring Pages

Paint the World Super Coloring's Hippo Coloring Pages


The Hippopotamus Sun Catcher 

Hippo craft
It is always so much fun to see projects coming together!

Hippo Craft - sun catcher

This was such an easy craft to make and 
looks so pretty in the window!

Hippo Paper Bag Puppet

I printed out the template for a paper bag craft from Scholastic for our children to color, cut out, and then glue onto a brown paper lunch bag. They even made up a hippo-themed song using their puppets. 

Hippo paper bag puppet craft

Letter H Handwriting Practice

I printed out several different worksheets to practice writing the letter H for both our children. They then drew their own houses on the back of those worksheets.

Tracing the letter H and drawing a house


There are some fantastic fiction and non-fiction books available to teach your children about hippos and other topics.



Featured Shape

Ovals are a great shape to focus upon because there are so many curved shapes that make up a hippo's body while you are drawing it.


Who remembers playing Hungry Hungry Hippos as a kid? We did not have a copy of the game but my cousin did and I remember the noise the marbles made as you snapped them up.


Other Topics

Houses & Habitats 

To go hand in hand with the Hippo topic, you can teach your children about their habitat in Africa.

Build a house out of available craft materials: Provide your children with a box full of things like craft sticks, pom-poms, playdoh, glue, construction paper, and more! Let their creativity shine!

Construction paper house craft
Design your own house

Design a house out of construction paper: I drew several different shapes onto pieces of extra construction paper, asked our children to cut the shapes out, and then they turned them into a house.

Putting together construction paper house craft

Be sure to check out these posts, too!



National Geographic: Hippopotamus 


  1. I love Sandra Boynton books. So many great memories of reading her fun filled rhyming stories aloud!

  2. Hippos are so fun! I'll have to remember some of this when we get to H in a few weeks.

    1. They are really neat! I fond memories of getting to visit them up close at the zoo I worked at.

  3. The book covers are so cute! I recently learned that a hippo can outrun a person on dry land, which surprised me.