20 Best Tips

Holly Berry Counting Cards – FREE Printable


Looking for a fun way to work on counting with 1:1 correspondence and add in the Christmas theme? The Holly Berry Counting Cards are a quick (and easy) printable to help you out as you wind down for the Christmas season.

If you’d like to grab the Holly Berry Counting Cards for your family or classroom, feel free to download them below!

Inside the Holly Berry Counting Card Pack

Here’s a peek at what’s included. There are two different styles of cards, depending on the ability of your children. 

If your children are still working on number identification and 1:1 counting, use the basic card set with the larger number and holly berry counting card.

If you children are able to identify number words along with numbers and counting 1:1, use the second set of counting cards for your child to work on matching.

The Holly Berry Counting Cards Printable is a FREE download. Have fun using them, but if you would like to share, please send friends a link to this post (much appreciated!)



Additional Printables You Will Enjoy

Need something to keep the kids busy when family visits for Christmas dinner – or maybe an activity or two to fill in as the school year winds down? Grab the 16 page Christmas Activity Pack (FREE). 

The printables for Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree include fun activities to tie in with the book ~ vocabulary words, word tracer cards, puzzles, tree size sequencing cards, a story sight word chart, recycling items, counting activities and more! Be sure to download BOTH sets of the printables since they go together and build on the skills your child will use.

Use the Christmas Cookie Number Sort cards to have your child work on sequencing numbers from 1 to 20 or have your child sort the numbers by odd or even. If 20 numbers is too many, choose a handful of numbers and record them on the mat {great handwriting practice as well}.

If your kids love the book Gingerbread Baby, be sure to check out this post full of 30 go-along activities and more for the book! 


Pattern Block Mats and Cards – New Printables

We have a huge bin of colorful pattern blocks in our house that I just can’t bring myself to give away. There’s something about sitting down with them when kids come to visit (or we just want to have a little fun) that makes me want to hang onto them for quite some time. 

To go along with the blocks, we now have a few sets of alphabet pattern block cards inside our bin so we can pull them out for learning fun with the nieces and nephews that visit.

And I would love to share these printables with you all as well! 

Mini Pattern Block Cards – Subscriber Freebie!

The Mini Pattern Block Cards are a brand new subscriber freebie. These cards print off four to a page (so each card is quarter-page size).

There are two sets included in this printable: one set of uppercase letter cards and one set of lowercase letter cards. 

Each card also has a small uppercase and lowercase letter in the upper right corner showing the represented letter, so children can use the cards as an uppercase/lowercase matching opportunity as well. 

Personally, I suggest laminating the cards for added durability – little hands might make a mess of them otherwise! :) Somehow I don’t think that just our house, right? 


If you’d like to download this freebie, simply click the green button below to subscribe. You’ll be sent an email with the password (and you’ll receive emails from me). 

Are you already an email subscriber? Please go to this private page and enter the NEW password. You can find the password in your most current email at the very bottom. Become a subscriber HERE and receive instant access. 


If you would rather not subscribe, you can find this printable in my Teacher’s Pay Teachers store and purchase it HERE for $1.50


Uppercase and Lowercase Pattern Block Mats

I also put together two additional sets that I absolutely love: pattern block mats for both uppercase and lowercase letters. Both sets are full-sized (8.5 x 11 sheets) and work with a 1:1 size for each of the pattern blocks, so kids can place the blocks directly onto the mats as they build the letters. The uppercase and lowercase sets are each 52 pages. 

There are two sets included in each 52 page printable set: one includes a letter page with the alphabet letter only and the second includes the letter as well as several pictures of words that begin with that letter sound. 

For added learning, use the “how many?” area at the bottom of the pages to count how many pattern blocks of each type are used in creating the letters.

Number Pattern Block Mats

The Pattern Block Number Mats feature numbers from zero to twenty. Each mat includes the number word at the top, a space for children to build the number using pattern blocks, and then an area to count the blocks used to build the number (21 pages).


Purchase the Pattern Block Mats

Each of these sets can be purchased in my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking on the graphics or the below links. 

30 Activities, Crafts, and Printables for Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett

Books by Jan Brett have been huge favorites in our house, including her story Gingerbread Baby. The illustrations are simply amazing, and there are many activities that can be done to encourage learning as we read: sequencing, learning about different animals, and so much more!

Each of our children has enjoyed Gingerbread Baby – whether a board books, a paperpack, or hardcover. Like many of our books from Jan Brett, this is one that has earned a permanent spot on our shelves for years to come. There are some books that are just timeless!

Here is a collection of ideas and printables that you can use with your kids or classroom when reading Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett.

Activities to Go-Along

Gingerbread Crafts

Science Tie-ins


Read the Story Online

If you don’t have a copy of Gingerbread Baby at home, or if you’d like to do something a little different, read it online here.


Additional Literature Based Learning Ideas

Like this? Don’t miss these other literature based activity posts focused on some of our favorite children’s books. 

activities, crafts, and printables to go along with The Snowy Day

Over 30 go-along crafts, activities, and printables for The Polar Express

ABC Letter Crafts for Kids

If you’ve been around my blog for any amount of time, you may remember the many upper and lowercase letter crafts I worked on with our kids and preschool co-op classes. Finding ways for kids to visualize letter sounds is definitely something that we’ve seen make a difference in our home (and besides, the crafts were super cute!). 

Recently, a site I love began sharing some hands-on ABC crafts that I know your family will adore. Each week they are posting a new uppercase letter craft based on a different animal. Take a look at some of the ones they have shared so far: 



Click on any of the images above to go directly to those posts and learn more about the weekly alphabet crafts here. 

Busy Bags Kids Will Love

Preschool age is one of my favorite age groups to work with. First of all, they are curious, every little thing becomes a learning opportunity, and they LOVE pretty much everything. 

Keeping them occupied can be a predicament though. Because attention spans are short on those in the five and under crowd. Finding activities that keep kids learning, little hands busy, and make life easier for the parents – well, that’s a definite win in my book. 

My friend Sara, from Happy Brown House, recently wrote a book that does all three of those things. Busy Bags Kids Will Love is full of quiet boxes, bags, and bins (52 to be exact) that can be made ahead and brought along to play with in the van, at doctor’s visits, church – anywhere really! 

Why Busy Bags? 

The name ‘busy bags’ can be deceiving. Busy bags are more like educational activity kits that parents (or teachers) put together for children to play with either in moments a parent may need a little break (maybe you’re helping another child or trying to cook dinner) or when a quiet activity is needed. 

Busy bags also take on many different forms – from items in an actual bag, to bins full of fun, or even a box packed with learning supplies. In essence though, they are intended to keep the attention of little ones while providing something educational and fun

Creating Your Own Busy Bags

In her book Busy Bags Kids Will Love, Sara shares 52 activities that are easy to put together and focus on several specific learning areas:

  • math
  • fine motor skills
  • literacy
  • and just plain ol’ fun.

While we don’t have preschoolers in this house at the moment, we do have nieces and nephews that visit, so we’ll be making up some of these ideas and also sharing them with the grandparents. Between visiting kids and games our girls grab when babysitting, these are goldmines!

Each activity includes skills that are targeted, materials needed to create, and detailed directions to make the activity with full color pictures. She really makes it very simple! 

The bulk of the materials used are ones you can find in your own closet or inexpensively at the dollar store. There are some that require very little prep, while a few may need a little more time, BUT they are all easy enough for you to make. 

What I love most about these activities is the full intent for LEARNING that is packed into them. Yes, they will keep little hands occupied, but as they are busy, they will also be taking in and processing key information for this early stage: 1:1 counting, matching colors, identifying numbers, matching ABCs and so much more! 

In addition, Sara also shares 100 things children should know or be able to do before entering kindergarten. Sometimes it’s not all just about the alphabet and numbers. Overall, the book is truly a fabulous resource for any family with young children or those who work with them.

Grab a copy for your home or school from these sellers: 

Win a Copy!

To celebrate the release of her new book, Sara has generously offered to give a copy to one of my readers. Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway is open to those with a US mailing address and ends on Sunday, June 25th at midnight. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paper Plate and Popsicle Stick Crafts – Preschool and Kindergarten Community Linkup

Preschool and Kindergarten Community weekly linkup

Ready for another week of linking up and sharing ideas? I am so glad that you are stopping by today and can’t wait to see what you all have to share this week. Be sure to stop by our PreK & K Pinterest board to see a collection of the different posts we are pinning – including yours!

Don’t forget to link up a post (or two) of yours and share what you’ve been working on with your kids! Here are a few fun ideas from last week’s linkup. 

Paper Plate Crafts

If you have a stack of paper plates in your house that could use a little decorating, check out these cute ideas from There’s Just One Mommy

Create a Cooking Camp

This summer it would be SO much fun to create your own cooking camp with some friends. Our kids love the time we spend in the kitchen together. Check out the tips at From Playdates to Parties

Alphabet Caterpillar 

Your child can inch his way through the alphabet with this FREE super-cute and colorful alphabet caterpillar printable for both upper and lower case letters.  

Popsicle Stick Crafts 

3 Boys and a Dog shares 24 creations with popsicle sticks that boys (and likely a lot of girls) will love. From animals to airplanes, there are some fun ideas for summer fun! 

Disappearing Colors Experiment


Here is a quick and fun science experiment from Learning 2 Walk where you will make colors disappear. Such a fun idea!


That’s it for this week!! Thanks so much for checking in with us and sharing below.

Follow the PreK and Kindergarten Community Pinterest Board

Preschool Pinterest Board

Each week I am  pinning many of your links onto the Preschool and Kindergarten Community Pinterest Board. I’m a visual person, so having pictures to help me remember posts is super helpful. Be sure to jump over and follow the board – and find some fun ideas at the same time!

Were You Featured in the Preschool & Kindergarten Community?

If you were featured in one of the weekly posts, feel free to grab the button coding below and display it on your site!
Homeschool Preschool


Link Up with the Preschool and Kindergarten Community!

Homeschool Preschool: Preschool and Kindergarten Community linkup at Homeschool CreationsShare what you are doing with your kids! Please link your exact blog post to the Mr. Linky below and link back here too! Grab a button for your post and be sure to take a minute to visit the person who linked up before you.