Since my oldest daughter was a toddler I thought it would be a cool idea to create a Preschool Learning Folder.
Well, my daughter is 4 now and I still hadn’t made one… that is until the lockdowns occurred!
Toddler Learning Folder
A Preschool learning folder (also known as a toddler busy book or quiet book) includes all of the basic things that preschoolers need to learn – colors, numbers, shapes, animals, and so on.
It is full of hands-on activities that will help your child learn in a fun and engaging way.
Today I’ll be sharing a little about what’s included in my folders, some of my favorite places to find activities, and some tips for putting your folder together.
During lockdown in NZ earlier this year, I found myself with a lot of extra time on my hands. I decided it’s now or never, now is the time to make a preschool learning folder for my kids!
I wanted to put together a binder with activities that both my 4-year-old and my 2-year-old would enjoy doing.
Making A Preschool Learning Binder
I found some free printables online, as well as some big learning bundles on Etsy. I ended up putting together two folders, one with easier activities for my 2-year-old, and one with harder activities for my 4-year-old.
My 2 years old’s folder has activities that focus on learning colors, shapes, matching shadows, matching adult and baby animals, and so on.
My 4 year old’s folder has activities that focus on counting, upper and lowercase alphabet matching, sorting food groups, matching planets, matching continents, and more.
I have almost 40 activities included between the two folders, and my girls love doing them! Once or twice a week we will pull the folders out and they will spend over an hour doing activity after activity.
For the first few weeks after I made the folders, my 2-year-old was asking me every day, ‘can we do the activity folders now mama?’ She was obsessed!
It might sound like a lot of trouble…a lot of printing, laminating, cutting…but it is so worth the effort, and your child will love doing the activities!
How To Create A Toddler Learning Folder
Here’s some of the types of activities included in my Preschool Learning Folder:
- Counting up to 10
- Number order
- Using a calendar
- Basic shapes
- How to draw using shapes
- Positional words
- Bar graphs
- Visual discrimination
- Times of the day
- Fire safety
- Finding differences between two pictures
Other things you can include:
- Temperature – hot and cold
- Telling time
- Letter sounds and blends
Finding Activities For Your Preschool Learning Folder
Here are some great places to find activities for your Preschool learning folder, or where you can also buy complete activity packs!
Totschooling.net has an abundance of awesome free resources for toddlers, pre-k, and kindergarten. It is one of my favorite places to find resources!
Here are some of the activities I found on totschooling.net that I included in my learning folder:
- Continents matching
- Occupation and vehicle matching
- Planets matching activity
- Cookie jar number matching
I actually bought two big bundles of activities from Etsy for my learning folder – the Preschool Busy Book #1 and #2. These are beautiful, high-quality activity pages. I have linked to them below.
Depending on what you would like to include in your folder, there is a range of options for sale on Etsy. It is a lot easier just to buy a big bundle instead of finding the individual free activities… and I definitely don’t regret my purchases here.
On Etsy you can choose from a range of themed bundles as well.
Here are some of the resources I have used from Etsy:
Teachers Pay Teachers
On Teachers Pay Teachers you’ll find toddler busy books, seasonal worksheets, preschool learning folders, printable games, and more!
There are some free resources, but a lot of them cost money to support the teachers making these activities.
Here are some other free preschool printables online:
- Here’s a cute free mini pre-k learning folder you could print out for your child from thisreadingmama.com
- Here’s a big list of free preschool printables from teaching2and3yearolds.com
- Free printables for preshool and kinder from funlearningforkids.com
- Free printable packs from funwithmama.com
I have seen a lot of people recommending the Epson EcoTank printer recently because it is so economical and the ink lasts a long time.
I myself have an Epson WF-2630, which does the job, but is certainly not as good as the EcoTank!
When printing my preschool learning folder, I just made sure to set my print settings to ‘best’ so that it gives a good quality print job.
After printing everything I laminated every page using my laminator. Then, I had to cut everything out!
Some people like to cut before laminating and then to cut again afterward. I prefer to laminate first. It’s much easier laminating an entire page than laminating lots of little pieces! Plus, it’s a bit more work cutting things out twice, and in my opinion, the quality is completely fine cutting it out after laminating.
Putting The Folder Together
I found two 2D zip ring binders and filled them with sheet protectors. One ring binder is for my 2 years old’s activities, and the other is for my 4 year old’s activities. I put one activity in each sheet protector.
I love this organization! I can easily pull an activity out of the sheet protector and it’s all ready to go. Then, I can zip up the whole folder when I’m finished with it and no pieces can fall out and get lost.
I have seen a lot of people hole punch the laminated pages and then put them into a ring binder. All the pieces of the activity are stuck onto the page with velcro dots.
A lot of people like this method, however, here in NZ the price of velcro seems to be astronomical! I also wasn’t keen on having to take all the activity pieces off of the page before giving it to my toddler – especially if an activity has a ton of tiny pieces.
So, I love keeping my activities in sheet protectors, but do what works best for you!
There are so many free and paid resources available online for you to use. I hope that I have convinced you to make a toddler learning folder for your child! Trust me, they are going to love it!
I’ve got almost 40 activities in my Preschool Learning Folder, but you can see 30 of them over on my Instagram.
Using these learning tools for kids, alongside a great curriculum like 100 Easy Lessons, will get your child to understand the world quicker and easier in no time!
So it was the lockdowns that gave me the time and opportunity to put this learning folder together, so there are positives in 2020 after all!
But seriously, if you’re feeling isolated and anxious over ongoing lockdowns, I recommend you go and read my friend Tehila’s article on 8 Indisputable Proofs That the Government Cannot Isolate You. It’s well worth reading!
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