Simple tip for organizing activities that go with your favorite children’s books

I thought I would share how I keep track of some of my favorite teaching resources that go with some of my favorite children’s books…

There are some activities or materials that I just know I will want to use the next time I read a specific book to my class so I simply tuck the activity or resource inside the book. For example, I keep this simple elephant pattern for making a patchwork painted Elmer the Elephant inside the book…

I have a second copy of the book that I leave out for the children to read but when I don’t have a second copy, I simply remove my materials from the book and put them back in once the children are done…

I keep all kinds of things in the back of my books like the transparencies I use for “The Mixed-Up Chameleon” by Eric Carle and my apple stick puppets and felt board pieces that go with the book “Ten Red Apples” by Pat Hutchins…

I also keep a little frog beanie baby with the book “Hop Jump” so we can pass it around as we read the book and play other frog games

With my “F is for Flag” book, I keep a folded up flag in the back so we can practice folding and discussing how to care for flags

With my “Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, I keep my felt sequencing game. I think I have kept this game in this book for over 20 years!

This isn’t the only way I keep track of my teaching resources but when I am in a hurry, I have gotten in the habit of simply tucking the materials inside the book for safe keeping or until I can come back later and put it away.


By |2011-07-06T01:43:46+00:00July 6th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Linda July 6, 2011 at 2:39 am - Reply

    I do the same kind of thing but I keep mine in one of those plastic library hang up bags (Libraries here in Australia use them for books with tapes generally) as sometimes my materials are a little too big to fit in the book. I have a teeny plush caterpillar that goes with my Hungry Caterpillar book along with some sequencing cards with velcro attached.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm - Reply

      Great idea to use the plastic bag too! I have lots of stuff that would certainly not fit inside the back of my books and I usually can’t find them when I need them:)

  2. Lorie Denhardt July 6, 2011 at 5:23 am - Reply

    I love this idea. I love to do craft and game activities based on children’s books but somehow I never thought of keeping them together. I have tons of crafts and games for The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I doubt that they would all fit in the book, LOL. Check out some of my ideas:

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm - Reply

      I will stop by and take a look Lorie… I have other ways of keeping materials too but this is something I use when I am in a rush or procrastinate on organizing in a better way:)

  3. cathy July 6, 2011 at 7:27 am - Reply

    I love these Ideas! So often I try to tie stories and art together and this is a great way of keeping those resources well cared for! I’ve added them to my ‘pin board’ on ‘pinterest’ which means that others may see them and click on the link which brings them right back to your articles. It’s a great community for teachers and crafters and just about anybody really 🙂 If you haven’t’ already joined and become addicted, email me back and I’ll send you an invite too. Sorry if this sounds like spam, it’s really more of a compliment and shared excitement 🙂

  4. Males in Early Childhood July 6, 2011 at 8:25 am - Reply

    What an ingenious, yet simple idea. Aren’t most of the best ideas simple ones though. I will have to try this strategy as I’m always misplacing this thing & that. Of course many of them i leave out for the children anyway, so they might end up anywhere.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      It serves me well for the most part! Sometimes things can still get lost but I use this especially when I am in a rush!

  5. Shannon July 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the idea! I am new a new follower and I am loving your ideas!!! I am a preschool teacher and just recently started blogging curriculum ideas and thing. Please check me out if you get the chance..It is just in the beginning stages so be warned.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm - Reply

      I will be sure to stop by!

  6. Danielle Morris July 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    I am trying to look for ideas to go with my books this summer. I would love it if you would ask on your facebook page for everyone to list one of their favorite books and their extended activities to go with them. Your ideas are great, I havent ever read Elmer I will have to check it out.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      I will leave the question tonight before I go to bed! I am sure you will get more answers than you could possibly need:)

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 7, 2011 at 12:57 am - Reply

      You may also like to look here at the links I have collected over the past year of blog posts about activities to go with children’s books.

  7. Creative and Curious Kids! July 7, 2011 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Good idea. The Elmer activity is so cute. Also, want to check out the Hop Jump book for my little frog lover. Thanks for sharing!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      Elmer is one of my very favorites:)

  8. Debbie Clement July 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    Of course you can imagine that one of my very favorite things on earth is seeing how teachers extend picture books!!! VOILA!!

    I love the thought of 20 year old felt pieces!!! I would ascertain from that concept that this system is working for you, Deborah!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 8, 2011 at 11:11 am - Reply

      You books have lots of potential for extending the content into all areas of the classroom Debbie!

  9. pammypam July 9, 2011 at 11:02 am - Reply

    thanks so much for the idea! i’m constantly looking for organizational tips, as i can’t quite seem to keep track of my books and their accompanying resources.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 9, 2011 at 10:46 pm - Reply

      I have that same problem Pam:)

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