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:
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!