Welcome everyone! I have found over my few years of putting together these Pre-K Packs, that the audience is growing to as many stay at home mom’s, as much as the homeschool community! I for one – think that is fabulous! My boys have loved using and playing with the Pre-K Packs! I love that learning and practicing their academics has been a fun and positive thing for them and not a boring thing or punishment!
As of April 2014 we currently have 25 Pre-K Packs, with 14 of the themes also having Expansion Packs! We also have other fun learning printables, such as our Full Alphabet Identification Printables, Aa-Zz Alphabet Flashcards, Monster Color Puzzles, Alphabet Stamping Sheets, Pre-K Chore Charts, Letter Matching Printables and Monster Counting Cards!
For those of you that are new to my Pre-K Packs I wanted to quickly go through the pages, as well as explain how I prepare and store them!
First up, I’m going to quickly list the things that I have on hand to help me prepare my packs and also the items we like when we are playing and using the packs!
PREP SUPPLIES I USE:
Laminating Pouches – Scotch makes great ones here, but I usually order these ones They are cheaper and I have never had a problem with them.
Velcro Dots or Strips
OTHER ITEMS I USE:
Crayola Activity Center
Washable Dry Erase Markers or Dry Erase Crayons
Maped Koopy Kids Scissors
Cardstock and Standard Printer Paper
Do a Dot Markers
You can choose to print on regular paper or a standard cardstock. Anything that is going to be handled a lot, I generally print on cardstock and then also laminate.
PREPARING THE PAGES:
The first thing I do after I print the Pre-K Pack is laminate all the pages, except the Cutting Practice Sheet. To laminate the pages I use my Scotch Laminator and Laminating Pouches. If it is a themed unit that I plan on using for years, then I generally just laminate everything. The only time I don’t laminate everything is it is a theme that I don’t plan on keeping long term. On those I just print the PreWriting Sheets and Which One is Different Sheets just on card stock and the kids use their Crayola Activity Center for those.
If you don’t own a laminator then the Crayola Activity Center is a great investment. That way you can just print the pages on cardstock and then just put them in the Activity Center. That way you won’t have the print the packs over and over again.
Anything that is going to be handled a lot, I like to laminate. The pages that we print on cardstock and use in the Activity Center are the Prewriting sheets, Which one is Different and the Color pages. However, sometimes I’ll just laminate them though. Cause it really is only like 6 or 7 more pages and I am already laminating the rest of the pack, so it doesn’t take that much more time or effort.
After I have everything laminated (minus the Cutting Practice Sheet), I get trimming and cutting the pages. I use this American Crafts Paper Trimmer and I LOVE IT! After I cut everything, then I add velcro or magnet strips to what needs it.
USING THE PAGES:
Now I’m just going to go through all the pages and explain how I am going to use them.
The Prewriting Practice Sheets, Which One is Different and Color Page are pretty self explanatory. If they are laminated you can write just on them straight with dry erase markers or if they are just printed on cardstock, you can use the Crayola Activity Center.
The Counting Cards and Letter & Sound Finding Cards I just laminate and leave as a sheet. If you prefer, you can cut them up into individual cards. I just like to leave them whole for storage reasons. But, once Nathan gets a little more advanced at these activities, I plan to cut them up.
On the What Comes Next and Sorting Pages I trim and cut out all the pieces. I then add Velcro Dots onto the pages. That way it makes it easy for the pieces to stay in place, plus it makes storing the sets in the storage envelopes easy without the pieces being loose.
I put magnet pieces on the back of the Size Sequencing Sheet, all the puzzles and the Shadow Matching! That way they can use a Baking Sheet and the pieces stay in place good! Nathan would get so frustrated before I did this. It is a great and cheap solution!
I cut the 2-Part Vocab Cards and store them in a baggy. If you’re not sure how to use the 2-Part Vocab Cards, then head on over to Homeschool Creations, Jolanthe has done a great post on them!
After I have everything prepared I get it ready for storage. Anything that has loose pieces I put in baggies. This generally means the Puzzles, Shadow Matching Cards and 2-Part Vocab Cards.
Then, I put everything in plastic Storage Envelopes! I originally started by just having everything in File Folders, but that made it hard to take everything to the table when Nathan wanted to work on it. This way I can just grab the whole envelope and take it to the table!
DRY ERASE MARKERS:
I have tried a few kinds. The Expo Washable Dry Erase markers are great and wash off super easy. BUT, I haven’t been able to find them in bold colors. Only the neon colors. So, Nathan gets bored with the colors quickly and there are a couple colors that don’t show up that great on the Crayola Activity Center. The Crayola Dry Erase Markers are not bad. They wash off with just a little pressure as long as you get it quickly. I find the longer the marker sits the harder it is for me to get it off. The Crayola Dry Erase Crayons come off super easy and are probably my favorite. Just be sure to monitor your kids while using them. They do not wash out of fabric or off walls very easy. My sister had an unfortunate situation once with them. My least favorite are my just regular Expo Dry Erase Markers. They come in MANY colors and for that we have a couple sets. But, they take a bit more elbow grease to get it off. Funny enough I have found that Goo Gone 2 removes it pretty easy. So, I generally just pull it out now if Nathan wants more colors and wants to use them.
I also wanted to make sure you knew about one of my favorite buys ever and that is the Maped Kids Scissors! They have a switch on them that allows the scissors to spring action to help your kids learn the action of opening the scissors back up. Then, once they get how to open them back up on their own, you can turn the switch off! Seriously great and affordable!
I hope that info helps! Feel free to email me if you ever have questions or need any help!
New here! Just stumbled upon this and added everything you mentioned to my amazon cart. Thank you!!!! This is fabulous. Seriously, this is a phenomenal thread, so incredibly helpful, and I’m excited to use your guides! Recommending you to my friends!
Thank you so much! So glad you love the PreK Packs!
How do I get these? My girls would be so thrilled, but they love all the themes. My girls are 2, 4 (almost 5 and already racing through kindergarten) and 6 (at a grade 2 level)…
Pam from Over the Big Moon
You can view all our Pre-K Packs at http://overthebigmoon.com/pre-k-packs/! Hope they enjoy them!!
Do you find that the Crayola Center is easier to clean off/deal with?? I decided to try the laminated direction and have the hardest time getting the marker off..but they are Expo and from your comment above, it sounds like its the marker not the lamination…So from your experience would you recommend the Center or the lamination as far as cleaning goes? I am going to invest in the crayons.
new to these pre-k packs and am very excited for my 3 year old to get a jump star this summer on our long road trip! Thank you!!
Page protectors wipe off much easier than laminate and are way cheaper 🙂
I am new to pre-k packs…I love this post! I never thought to use velcro or magnets. Thank you so much!
I recently found scissors with a switch at dollar tree…$1! I was thrilled!
Another hint from many, many years of cutting out things for folder games etc. is to leave a little border of white around the entire object. That way you don’t have to cut every little curve or skinny part like fingers or hair sticking up. Many purchased items are like that and the kids certainly don’t mind in the least. Saves a huge amount of time!!
I’m tutoring a child with some learning issues and it is hard to motivate him and keep him focused. The themes help so much. Thank you, thank you!!! Because I’ll just be using these things for one child (and probably little brother) I’m not laminating as I did when I was classroom teaching. I use a heavy weight paper or card stock and I use the plastic page protectors for any “writing” activity. Dry erase pens just wipe right off and I can use the pages over and over. We tape his pages on the wall for awhile so I have a supply of pages to get me through the unit. I get the 2 1/2 gallon “Jumbo” slider bags by Hefty (got mine from Target) for storage as they are cheaper than the plastic folders for what I’m doing now.
Mr. Clean (and the “cheap” brands) magic erasers work great to remove dry erase marker off of laminated paper…..even easily removes marker which has been left on for a year! Thank you for your princess set. Love it!
I’ve been busily printing away all your amazing packs but wasn’t sure what to do next with them! 😛 Thanks for this tutorial and making everything so clear. I am excited to introduce my kids to these fun activities. 🙂
Just a recommendation: If you have a Sam’s Club close by, they have laminating sheets. I have purchased them there for years, they are so much cheaper, and they really last. Qty: 200 for $20.86 (plus tax).
Great tip! Thanks!
first thanks.. second I was looking at the stuff to buy yesterday at walmart and seen magnetic paper.. thought about doing that.. ( I have not looked into cost or durable) but wondered if you or anyone else has done or or thought of doing that.. and what it turned out? follow that.. thanks.
This may be a dumb question but I’m not sure what to do with the Captain America magnet sheet.
I am wondering the same thing…I understand everything but the magnet sheet.
did you ladies ever figure it out? I don’t understand the magnet sheet either…
I have seen these types of sheets on pinterest. What I have seen has used colored pom pom balls with magnets on them to fill in the holes.
So this may be a really ridiculous question, but are you laminating and then cutting them out or the other way around? Thank you!
I guess that wasn’t very clear either. I see in the instructions you’re laminating and then cutting, I guess what I”m trying to figure out is I’ve been cutting uot the pieces and then laminating them and then cutting them out again so that the lamination overlaps all around, but it seems from the pictures that you just cut them out (so technically the edges aren’t covered). Does that make sense?
I wondered the same thing. Altho my toddler has a propensity for picking at things, so I’m cutting before laminating so there are sealed edges.
First of all, THANK YOU!! These packs are awesome and must have taken a considerable amount of time to make. I appreciate it so much (and so do my two pre-k kids)!! I have a question though…what do I do with the “P is for” pictures with the little white circles (or cut-outs?) on them? Are they just to color or am I missing something? Thanks again!
I could be wrong, but I think those are intended either for do-adot markers or dot magnets. At least that’s what we use them for. We have a few round pre-inked stamps we use and some mini pom-poms glued to magmets. HTH!
Regular rubbing alcohol takes off dry erase marker and perm. marker from laminate. Another marker you could try is the washable Vis-a-Vis pens. My students love them and they wash off with a wet wipe or damp paper towel.
Your pre-k packs are amazing. Thank you. I had a question on the magnets. My magnet tape doesn’t adhere very strongly to the laminate so I tried super gluing the magnet tape but that didn’t work either. Any suggestions.? Thanks.
do you have any of these pre-k packs for the 4th of July? My daughter will be starting Kindergarten in the fall and we will continue to study over the summer break so I thought a 4th of July theme would be fun.
I didn’t start doing the Pre-K Packs until last fall. My 1st pack, was Halloween. I for sure have plans on doing a 4th of July Pack. It will come out in the 2nd half of May! Thanks for the comment!
I have tried to print several of your Pre-K Packs…and I am really having trouble with parts of them – the letters and numbers, as well as some of the words are all scrambled and do not work with the pictures they are posted under. Is this something that I am doing wrong? Please help…these are so, so, so amazing! I really want to be able to print several for my daughters. Thanks so much!!
Thank you so much for all of these great resources!!! It’s so generous of you to share : ) I especially love that you have given us all of the links to supplies on how to keep them organized!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Oh I’m so HAPPY to have found your blog!!!!Going out and getting started today for my grand babies!!!They are in Africa right now and my daughter has started the 4 year old and of course the 3 year old is right there beside him.These are just great! Thanks so much for your time ,your energy and your sweet spirit!!!!!Blessings to you and yours.MEME Sandy Williams
Thanks so much for all your tips and techniques. I can’t wait to get started with my kids when they are old enough. I am trying to gather resources now so that I can get ahead of the game. One trick I learned when working at a school for dry erase markers is to use WD40 on it. It has amazing powers of removal. Also if you get marker on a dry erase board that you can’t get off (because it isn’t supposed to be used on the board) color over it with a dry erase marker and you should be able to erase it. Just some tips I picked up. 🙂
Hi! Thanks so much for your wonderful PreK packs. I wanted you to know that I have used the Valentine’s pack to make two games for our preschool’s Smartboard (patterning and #ordering puzzle). If you would like a copy please let me know and perhaps you can post them for other teachers to use!
Love the colorful graphics and tidy layouts!
Libby, I would love to see what you have done with them! Feel free to email me anything you would like to share to [email protected]! Thanks so much!
>These are amazing! Thank you for your generosity!!
>Hi, thank you for the great packs. My daughter loves them. Just an FYI, when it comes to getting the Expo Dry Erase markers off of my page protectors or laminated pages, I use a little bit of hand sanitizer, and it takes it off. Then I let it dry before letting her write on it again.
>THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR PACKS!!! I just returned back to work after being out with my baby and I also have a four year old that is in a small church school. Being a teacher I see where my son can benefit from all these packs. i really wan to thank you because this makes it easy enough that after a busy day at work I still can come home and take out one of your packs and work with my son. You gave me a chance to still feel like I'm devoting enough time to him even though I had to go back to work and that is PRICELESS 🙂 So I THANK YOU for not only creating these AMAZING apckets but thank you for offering them for free 😀
PS. One quick question how come some times when I print them the letters come out all jumbled? Is there a step I'm missing???
>Mr. Clean Magic Eraser takes dry erase marker off hard-to-erase surfaces! I use it in my classroom all the time 🙂
MJ @ Creative Madness Mama
>This is a great post! I think I generally had gotten the hang of all of what to do (haven't really started yet), but it's great to read through with the pictures and everything. Thumbs up!
>I LOVE your pre-k packs!! I teach 4K at a Christian school, and it's SO handy to have great packs that I can use. I have laminated them too- but I LOVE the big envelope idea!
As far as the markers go, I've used hand sanitizer on them as well- it takes off all the stuff!
Thanks for all of your hard work! I appreciate it!
Just as an fyi, bug repellent like deep woods off, etc, with deet with take ANY ink off of any surface, even clothes! It also takes off permanent ink! Makes you kinda scared about bug repellent!