a few months ago i bought a school-type workbook for my oldest child but was hesitant to pull it out because i wanted to be able to use the pages over and over again and not to have the book just scribbled in and then thrown away. i thought about scanning each page and then printing out multiples if i needed them, but that seemed like a huge waste of ink…and time. so then i thought about putting each page in a page protector in a binder but could only think of dry-erase markers to use. and markers equate to huge messes and smudging and stains for me to have to clean up. *sigh*
so in putting together this general conference guide for kids i found all kinds of resources to not only help keep my kids entertained during general conference but also during church, doctor’s visits, car trips, and just for having something fun to do at home.
i think the writer of this blog and myself must be like-minded, because we were thinking along the same lines, but in her post i was introduced to dry-erase crayons! (here they are on amazon with the cloth to erase them! [aff link]) i cannot tell you how excited i was to discover that these even existed! and that they’re washable! and they had them at my store! and that i didn’t have to resort to dry-erase markers!! yay!! so i was now able to give my kids their binders full of activities…including some coloring pages AND the workbook pages that can now be used over and over again! happy day!
the activity book mainly consists of coloring pages (from melonheadz lds illustrations), black and white pictures of my kids (tutorial found at icandy handmade), letter tracing pages to practice writing, my beloved workbook pages, and activities from the friend magazine.
here is a download for these general authority name tracing pages:
notes: i found both the regular and bright dry-erase crayons (here are the bright ones with eraser cloth on amazon [aff link]) at walmart (my sister said she found some at target, too) in a package of 8 for $3.99. each package has a black mitten or cloth that wipes the crayon off the page protectors. (aff link) these cloths work great, but if your kids have colored every square inch of every page and you don’t want to have to rub it all off using the cloth, then i suggest using a damp paper towel to do it a lot faster. it comes off even easier that way. also, i used a “view binder” – the ones with the clear plastic sleeve all the way around – just cut coordinating paper to size and put it in the front, back, and also the spine. nothing fancy, but cute nonetheless! (here are some on amazon – 4 for approx $10 [aff link])
also: a couple of other things i’ve added in their books are blank pieces of colored cardstock – blue so they can color their own outdoor scenes free-hand, white so they can draw anything they want, etc. i’ve also found workbooks and awesome coloring books at the dollar store…so check out yours to see what they have!
how to store: if i included every coloring page, workbook page, etc i’d need a few 3-inch binders! so to keep them interesting and to keep the weight to a minimum, i put the pages into file folders and rotate them. i have folders for the different holidays, folders for coloring pages (1 folder for each coloring book i took it from, and another one for all the ones i’ve printed off), etc. i like this way of doing it because i can save the pages and switch them up every now and again. and my kids are always excited by the “new” coloring pages…even though they’re just ones they haven’t seen in a while.
my kids love them and have had a blast with them all through general conference, sacrament meeting,and even at home during the week! i hope you find that you kids will love them, too!
*here are some more free links to coloring pages and word games, etc. i’ll keep adding more as i come across them (but check out the general conference resource post, too – there are tons of links for things you can use in an activity book as well!):
super mom moments – kindergarten readiness sheets
coloring pages for kids – lots of coloring pages
site words – free sheet at bottom of post
lds.org coloring pages from the friend
lds coloring pages (index from the friend coloring pages)
tlsbooks.com preschool worksheets
school express preschool worksheets
worksheet universe preschool worksheets
kids learning station educational sheets
preschool palace learning sheets
scholstic parent resources for learning sheets
nourish interactive nutrition education sheets
pbs themed printables and coloring pages
Chantal Brousseau says
I loved the idea so I tried to make one for each of my four kids. I used the page protectors but found it really slippery. When the kids are drawing the page protector keeps moving. Did I just bought the wrong kind? Did you had a similar problem? Did you tape the page to the page protector?
I thank you in advance for your help!
Hi Chantal! Thanks for your comment.
I didn’t tape the pages to the inside of the page protectors. Every now and again the pages will stick out the top just a tiny bit and my kids or myself just push them back in. But it hasn’t really been an issue, though you could certainly tape the top of the page protector shut if you’re having trouble with pages coming out.
What kind of page protectors to you have? I honestly just used some cheap ones that I had lying around! Maybe really thick/glossy/shiny ones would cause the issue you’re having? (or maybe they could be the answer! I really don’t know to tell you the truth. Trial and error, I guess!) My page protectors are just flat and smooth on the outside, but the inside seems to have a little bit of a texture which seems to help keep the pages in better. Also, if they’re pressing super hard with the crayon while they’re coloring, that might make the pages move around a little bit and cause small creases in the plastic. But yes, I have noticed that because page protectors tend to be more slippery than, say, coloring book pages (just because they’re made out of plastic and don’t have that friction), they will move around slightly within the binder itself, but not enough that I’ve considered doing anything different. My kids haven’t really had a problem with it when they color, and if they do have a problem with pages moving around it’s usually just when they erase the crayon with the black mitten. But if they hold the page in place with the other hand then there’s not a problem at all, and that’s what they usually do.
I hope that helps somewhat!
Thanks again for commenting.
Just an idea, get each page of the book laminated. It will still wipe off (cloth, clorox wipes or baby wipes are AWESOME for this!) and they won’t be slippery. Also if your kids spill something on the book it should still be fine. The one drawback is you can’t get the pages unlaminated like you can take them out of the page protectors. BUT your kids also can’t take them out and write on them! I have my own little laminator but for odd sized objects I go to a teachers supply store. An office supply store may do it as well. My school doesn’t have a laminator but I love how durable it makes things so I do it myself!
Hi Lauren! Thanks for your comment. I’ve thought about laminating them, too and just punching holes to stick them in binders. I was going for the “as cheap as possible” approach, haha, but laminating would certainly make it last forever! Thanks for suggesting it! It’s a great alternative!
I just bought a Brother 12 x 12 laminator for only $55 on WalMart’s site. SO worth the investment! My old one is more than 15 years old and has been used for an at-home preschool. It still works fine, I just wanted the larger size. The 8.5 x 12 laminator sheets are a little more than $20 for 100 at Sam’s Club, which means I can laminate for about a quarter a page! Then, after 3-hole punching the pages I can put them into binders and switch them out for themes or holidays. I also use China markers for the letter tracing pages.
Hi Rachael! Thanks for the suggestion – great idea!
Do you have a pdf file of the pages you put in the book or do you just recommend that I search those pages you linked to find one? It would be great to just download what you compiled and print that. Please?
Hi, L! Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I don’t have a download to offer as none of the pages I used in my kids’ books are my own. I just went to the individual sites and printed off several pages. It didn’t take too long to do, and the nice thing about putting them in binders is that you can always add more later! So print what you can now and then go back for more when you get the chance. I started off with just a few pages and then I add more every now and then. I also use pages from workbooks you can buy at many stores (Costco & Sam’s Club even have them!), and this month I’m putting in pages from Christmas-themed coloring books. Blank pages work well, too – then they can color their own pictures! Good luck, and I hope your kids enjoy them!
Did you make the letter tracing pages?
Hi Lindzie! Yes, I did do the tracing pages – I’d kind of forgotten about them, honestly. I just used a DJ Inkers “Stitch” font and typed out the names of the Apostles for General Conference. Thanks for reminding me about them! I’ll add them to the post this weekend sometime. Thanks for your comment!
Thanks! I think I have a font like this, so I can make up my own. I just didn’t want to go searching for that when it wasn’t there! 🙂 In the process of trying to get this put together for my 3 year old who is going into Primary! Did you use cheap economy sheet protectors or ones that are less clear? I’m off to buy them tomorrow!
Hi Lindzie! I just added the printable (it’s right above the picture of the tracing pages). Sorry it took me so long to get it up!
I think your 3 year old will love this! My almost-3 year old sure does (and my almost-5 year old, too)!! LOVE, I tell you.
I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything but cheap economy sheet protectors in my life, haha, so whatever works – just make sure they’re not TOO flimsy or they’ll crease easily when you rub the crayon off. I’ve been thinking of getting more sheet protectors to add pages from christmas coloring books to my kids’ binders and I think I saw some at 50/$2.50 from Walmart, so I’ll probably end up getting those.
Hope you have fun putting yours together!!
Sherri Myers says
I would love to pin this on pinterest but I can’t seem to do it. Can you help me. I love the idea and I now have Great Grand Kids this will be super fo. Thanks
Here’s a link to a direct pin for the dry-erase book: http://pinterest.com/pin/128423026845739750/ if you hover over the top left corner it should let you “repin” it. Pinterest can be a little glitchy sometimes, so I hope it works for you!
Hi! I LOVE this idea! I’m always on the hunt for fun activities for my kids to do, especially during church. I saw you put some workbook pages in it (color the pictures “orange”, etc.). Did you make those? I’m having a hard time finding them. My younger kids would LOVE them!
Hi Tiffany! I’m glad you like it! The workbook pages are from a Pre-K workbook that I bought in Canada. But I’ve seen similar ones here in the States at Sam’s Club. And though I haven’t looked yet, the probably have them at Costco, too. (And I’m sure other stores have them too – they go along with the curriculum, by grade.) But check your dollar store, because mine has Sesame Street books that are really similar with color pictures and activities for colors, numbers, letters, etc. They look a lot like the one I have in my book 🙂 Hope that helps!
Great ideas! Thanks, Katie!
there will be more coming, Tiffany!
Maira Nicholson says
This is great idea I’m going to suggest this Sunday at church ,this can really help kids busy , I notice right away that we belong to the same church!!! Thank you for the idea
Thanks, Maira! My kids use it at church and they love it! And several families in my ward had asked me about it and started doing it too, and their kids all love it. It’s a great way to keep them entertained.
I’m just wondering if you have any idea where you got your “color” pages? I’ve searched the websites listed and haven’t found the ones you have pictured above nor anything very similar. Just wondering. Thanks for the links and wonderful work!
Hi Amber! The “color” pages are actually from a Pre-K curriculum book that I bought at Costco in Canada. I’ve seen similar ones at Sam’s Club here in the States, and though I haven’t look for them at Costco here, they might have some curriculum books in their book section too. Another place where I’ve found similar “color” activities…the dollar store! The one I’ve been to has Sesame Street books, and one of them is all about colors and my kids love those ones, too. Thanks for asking the question – I hope you find one you’re happy with!
Patty Mullen says
WOW thanks for all the awesome resources!!!
Glad you like it Patty!
Just wondering if the dry-erase crayons erase as well as dry-erase markers?
hi Michele! that’s a great question. i’d assume the markers would erase easier, but because they are SO easy to rub off, they just might rub off on anything and everything – clothes, couches, skin, etc. but if your kids are sitting at a table, i’m sure they’d work just fine! the crayons can be a little bit tougher to get off – you have to rub it more. though, if you take a damp paper towel and wipe it off, it comes off incredibly easily. and, the crayola ones are washable. so i guess it just depends on what you’re going for! hope that helps! and good luck!
This will definitely help during church! Having two little ones is kinda crazy at times and this is will save me! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Kelly! I hope they like it as much as my own kids do!
Mr Clean erasers are the fastest way to erase. Don’t get them wet. Just take the eraser and wipe it off. We have our kids at school use these crayons all the time. Mr Clean works for dry erase markers too.
great idea! thanks, Wendy!
Great idea! I just made a couple of these for my girls, but instead of page protectors I used my thermal laminator like a previous visitor suggested. It worked great and the dry-erase crayons wipe off of these pages very easily. I’m so excited to have something new for my girls for church. Our church bag was starting to get a little out of control 😉
Yay! I hope your girls love them as much as my kids do!
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for posting this!!! I have the same exact workbook for my boys and have also not really given it to them for the same reasons. Two of my four boys have ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, and Bipolar Disorder so they need things to do to keep them busy. I’d MUCH rather have them coloring and learning with this than only playing video games and watching tv all day!
Yay, Sherie! I love that workbook and so do my kids! Hope your boys like the dry-erase book!
i dont know whats wrong with me but i was unable to find the word of wisdom coloring page that you have in the picture. I went through mellonheadz pretty carefully. If you could give me some advice i would really appreciate it. thanks
Hi TomiLe! I had a hard time looking for it, too – I don’t think there’s a tag on it. But after searching, I found it for ya 😉 http://melonheadsldsillustrating.blogspot.com/2012/06/word-of-wisdom-coloring-page.html
I LOVE THIS!!!! I have just spent the last 2 hours looking through the sites you have listed finding things for my daughter….One question…the pages you show in the picture (colors – Blue on top and then pictures underneath to color) WHERE are those??? They are super cute and I would love to find them!
Hi Nicole! That page is actually out of a preschool- or kindergarten-aged workbook that I bought at Costco in Canada…but I’ve seen very similar ones at Costco in the States, too. Hope that helps!
I am sad that your post shows such cute pages, but you don’t have them available here for us to print! Or am I missing a link or a download somewhere?
Hi Carrie! The pictures you’re looking for are likely from the 1st link listed at the bottom of the post (melonheadz lds illustrations – she’s got a ton of cute lds coloring pages!!). The Apostles tracing pages you can download, and the link is just above the pictures for those. Otherwise, the picture for the “blue” and “orange” pages are from a workbook, as I noted in the comments (you haven’t been the first to ask about those!). But you can find similar workbooks at Costco, or Sam’s Club, or even amazon – the ones I have are just Pre-K or K level educational workbooks. Thanks, and I hope you find what you’re looking for!
Katie, you are wonderful… I’ve been looking for this.. and I found all of these are so lovely
Thanks Katie… really GREAT job!!!
You’re welcome! 🙂
megan hill says
how many pages are in the book you made because i have 3 kids i babysit and this seem like something good i could do but need to know how any to buy
Hi Megan! These would be great for the kids you babysit! I started out with about 20 coloring pages and put 2 in each page protector (front and back) but I just keep adding to it every time I get a coloring book or find any new, fun printable coloring pages and so now they’ve got a ton! The sky is the limit, really. Though I find that the more variety in pages they have the better – that way they don’t have to color the same pages over and over 🙂 Hope that helps!