Busy binders are the easiest way to help your preschooler is learn. These low-prep, hands-on activities keep them busy and save you time!
You have the best of intentions. You see all those cool activities on Instagram. You promised yourself you’ll set it up in the morning.
But then the baby is up all night teething, your boss needs you to answer an email yesterday, and your partner can’t find the car keys.
Life as mom means our days are constantly derailed and that can be so tough when you want to do engaging learning activities with your preschooler.
Fortunately there is a really easy solution – the preschool busy binder.
I made this for my son when he was four years old because I needed affordable grab-and-go preschool activities. I was homeschooling my autistic and dyslexia eight-year-old during the pandemic while trying to keep our 18-month-old from choking on Legos.
So the preschooler wasn’t getting what he needed – hands-on learning.
The preschool busy binder is the solution for this problem.
What is a Busy Binder?
Simply a busy binder is a three-ring notebook filled with activities for your child. Your preschool child is kept busy by the engaging activities in the binder.
Busy binders provide structured learning activities for your child. But they aren’t just preschool worksheet packets.
Instead, a busy binder has hands-on activities. Those activities could involve matching velcroed pieces or it could involve using toys and crafts you already have at home like alphabet magnets and pom poms.
What should be included in a Preschool Busy Binder?
A preschool busy binder should include common preschool curriculum like:
- letter recognition
- capital and lowercase letters
- letter tracing and formation
- tracing and prewriting
- number tracing
- same and different
- phonological awareness (rhyming and syllables)
Busy binders need to feature themes that are typical to preschool classrooms like:
How do you make a Preschool Binder?
A lot of tutorials online have moms laminate and hole punch sheets to go in the binder.
Then they have to laminate, cut out a bunch of tiny pieces, and use velcro to attach the pieces for their child to match.
I didn’t have time for that. And my kids would lose all the pieces.
Plus I think it’s kind of wasteful (no judgment). Did you know that lamination can’t be recycled or reused?
That is why I created Busy Binder Printables that slide into plastic page protectors.
It’s less work for moms. You just print out a new set each month and slide them into the page protectors.
You can recycle the old pages and then resue the page protectors for years to come.
So it saves time, saves money, and is better for the environment.
Where do I get free printables for a Busy Binder?
You can grab a free sample of my Busy Binders right here.
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Where do you get Busy Binder Printables?
There are plenty of Busy Binder printables on the internet. You can go on Pinterest and try to find a bunch of free printables.
But you’re going to go down a rabbit hole and end up distracted and confused.
So I recommend you hit the easy button and grab the Year-Long Busy Binder Bundle.
I’ve already done all the hard work for you by outlining the curriculum and themes. You just need to download, print, and place them into plastic page protectors.
The Year-Long Busy Binder Bundle is both predictable and engaging. Many of the activities repeat with a different seasonal theme because preschoolers need a lot of exposure to develop mastery.
The repetition reduces risks while the themes create engagement.
It has all the preschool curriculum your child needs:
- and more!
What supplies do you need for a Busy Binder?
You probably already have most of the supplies at home. This is what you need to get started:
- 1″ binder
- plastic page protectors
Once your child is ready to use the binder, you will need supplies like:
- dry erase markers
- dry eraser
- pom poms
- plastic counters
- alphabet magnets or plastic beads
- play doh
- unifix cubes (or legos)
These are nice to have but not necessary:
- shape buttons
- pipe cleaners
- wiki sticks
Before you buy new supplies, look around your home for what you have that you can already use.
How do you use Busy Binders for preschoolers?
The best part about using a Busy Binder with preschoolers is how easy it is. You seriously just grab the binder and a supply and set it down.
But when you’re first getting started, your child might need more guidance. This is how I recommend you start with your Preschool Busy Binder:
- Explain what the Busy Binder is to your child.
- Let them look through it.
- Guide them through the calendar activities.
- Sit beside your child as they complete another activity.
- Put it away as soon as your child’s interest wanes.
- If you used dry erase, try to erase it right away.
The next day:
- Choose a time when you’re doing a task nearby like folding laundry.
- Set up the binder and the necessary supplies.
- Invite your child to do the activity.
- Follow your child’s lead. You don’t need to correct them.
You can also decide to do the Busy Binder every day first thing in the morning or after school. It can be your special bonding activity with your child. This is especially helpful for working parents.
Recapping Preschool Busy Binders
Preschool busy binders:
- are a 3 ring notebook of activities for your preschool child.
- have hands-on learning activities.
- can be laminated but it is better to use plastic page protectors.
- are best when they are super low-prep.
- save parents a bunch of time.
- have solid preschool curricula like the alphabet, counting, shapes, and emotions.
- cover important preschool themes like weather, plants, and holidays.
- can be done independently (after some initially teaching).
- use materials you already have at home (like letter magnets and pom poms).