Worksheet Wars: The struggle to find age appropriate printable activities.


Are printables the bane of childhood and a prop for lazy teachers, or a valuable asset in the toolbox of educators?  

Just the word, worksheet, brings to mind tedious paperwork. I’m old enough to remember mimeographed dittos that reeked of mind-tingling ink the children eagerly sniffed as the teachers handed them out. Beyond these old tropes, I wanted to learn more about the development of a child’s mind and the appropriate introduction of printable activities into that progression. 

Psychologists have been studying cognitive development in children for almost a century. And it is widely accepted by experts that by the age of 2 children can store images in their mind and recall them later: the ability to remember the fuzzy little ball that wiggles is a puppy. Shortly after, a child can understand the dual relationship between a representational object and the real thing: a snugly teddy bear is a representation of a real wild bear. This skill quickly evolves into the understanding of a symbol and what it represents: the letter B stands for the “bha” sound. This massive cognitive accomplishment takes place in the few short years between 3 and 6, paving the way for reading and other academic accomplishments. 

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During this important stage children learn quickly and effortlessly in engaging, interactive environments, actively using all their senses to experience the world. The goal is to stimulate the innately developing stages. The challenge is to find activities to encourage the child’s natural intellectual growth. A teacher once told me, “I can’t enrich my students with the same toys day after day, the point of enrichment is new experiences.”


On tight budgets and where some schools are situated with no outdoor space, an economic option can be freshly printed activities. Sorting and matching games stimulate the understanding of abstract concepts, like opposites and size, using representational images and the physical activity of moving the images around. Seek and finds reinforce shapes and symbols as forms of communication while searching the page. Story boards and puzzles develop the skill of assembling and problem-solving while physically constructing the finished product.

And of course, all these activities can be enhanced with creative, artistic, child-directed embellishment: bring on the sparkles and glue!


Appropriate printables are interactive, hands-on activities that encourage the understanding of symbols and anchors the symbols to concrete objects in a child’s world in an engaging, multi-sensory activity. Well designed printable activities enrich and stimulate the child’s cognitive development. There is a place for printables in early childhood education.

The critical component is finding the right printables that offer developmentally appropriate activities.


Dianne Miller is the author and illustrator of the Little Bunny series, a collection of e-books she originally created for her own children.

The e-books are supported by hundreds of free preschool printables and read-alouds. She actively works to push the envelope and create printables that meet the needs of contemporary educators and parents. Her adult daughter has worked in early childhood education for 10 years and helped her “invent” the 3-in-1 printable, making the most use of the printed page with developmentally appropriate activities.

Her work can be found at

Purposeful Inclusion

Have you noticed Little Bunny is neither a boy nor a girl? Little Bunny is purposely gender-less. That's why the books are written in dialog only. The constant dialog can be a bit clunky at times but it is intentionally designed to make Little Bunny relevant for all children. 
It's been long known in the publishing and entertainment industries girls will watch or read about a boy character but boys are reluctant to read or watch a girl character. So the industry (not everyone) leans towards the most profit. Little Bunny was carefully crafted to circumvent that stereotype. Little Bunny is consciously gender-less to include every child. Happy inclusion!



As I interact with more and more Little Bunny fans I am beginning to see a dilemma.

I made the books for my own children. The stories are rather didactic. But a 2 or 3 year old’s life is very regulated and full of instruction, so the stories feel like their own experiences and have a comforting tone.

As my children grew older and started to learn basic academic skills, I made the worksheets. Then we read the books together and the familiar stories made great first readers.

But as a result, LBs doesn’t fit easily into a standard category for childrens’ lit. They aren’t board books or 1st readers. The books are comforting for 2 or 3 year olds but too simple and didactic for 5 year olds.

So I recommend you use LBs just as we did; as comforting stories for 2 and 3 year olds, fun hands-on worksheets for 4 and 5 year olds and for those who love the simple, sweet stories as easy, familiar 1st readers.

Free YouTube Read-Alouds:

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Free printables:


And with Kindle Unlimited Free eBooks:


Help Yourself!!!

Happy comforting, learning and reading!

FREE the week of Thanksgiving Nov. 21st to 25th OVER THE BRIDGE AND THROUGH THE STREETS

Over the Bridge and Through the Streets is a contemporary retelling of the traditional Thanksgiving song, Over the River and Through the Woods. A young girl experiences anticipation and excitement on a bus ride to visit her grandmother for Thanksgiving. Available for FREE Nov. 21st to 25th on Kindle. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!.…/…/B00O076MV0    FREE KINDLE READING APP AVAILABLE HERE:…/kcp-landing-p…/ref=kcp_ipad_mkt_lnd    Instructions on how to download a book to your phone here:…/    

Over the Bridge and Through the Streets is a contemporary retelling of the traditional Thanksgiving song, Over the River and Through the Woods. A young girl experiences anticipation and excitement on a bus ride to visit her grandmother for Thanksgiving. Available for FREE Nov. 21st to 25th on Kindle. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!.…/…/B00O076MV0 

FREE KINDLE READING APP AVAILABLE HERE:…/kcp-landing-p…/ref=kcp_ipad_mkt_lnd 

Instructions on how to download a book to your phone here:…/


A Great Big Thanks To All Who Helped Little Bunny Grow!

We couldn't have made the change to a dot com without the help of all the bloggers and pinners that have spread the word about Little Bunny. A great big thank you to all of them!

Miss Lucy writes about teaching English as a second language on her blog Miss Lucy’s Teaching Fun. She linked to Little Bunny in her Time to Read feature

Ginny’s preschoolers “LOVE” Little Bunny seek and finds. Follow her blog Small Things here:  

Little Bunny is featured on this UK website featuring coloring pages:

Sister Zakkiya is the editor of the Muslim Kids Digest and Muslim Mommy websites. She is homeschooling her 6 children and she started Muslim Kids Digest when she couldn’t find a website specifically designed for Muslim children.

She featured the Little Bunny 3 in 1 printables here:

I have no idea what language this blog is written in but the pictures are beyond adorable!!!

A nice recommendation from My Active Child for Don’t Go as a bedtime read:



Sandra ia a stay at home mom of two boys. Her bog COASAHMOM features product reviews, giveaways, sponcered articles and much more.

Click here for a blog by Dianne about about creating printable fun:

Kim and Amanda believe everyday moments are teachable opportunities. Both are certified and experienced educators and their blog The Educators’ Spin On It  offers activity ideas for children 0-8.

Click here for a blog Dianne wrote about learning differences:

Filled with tons of free printables including board games, party kits, masks and worksheets, Itsy Bitsy Fun is a great source for free printables!

They featured Little Bunny’s African Animals Coloring Book here:

                     And the 3 in 1 Printables here:                            

                    And the ABC Coloring Book here:                            

Kristina, wife, mother, blogger,and homeschooler writes about her homeschool jouney, learning activities, crafts and more at School Time Snippets, and gave us a great shout out on facebook

Gude is the mother of 2 small boys. Crafting makes her happy and she shares her joy on her blog Hodge Podge. She loves easy crafts to do with kids as well as grown up crafts.

Check out a guest blog written by Dianne about 10 easy Crafts and Activities to Prepare Kids for Pre-school.

Kristie loves the world of blogging and shares her passion about her faith, her family and living on less at Saving Dollars and Sense.

Click here for a blog Dianne wrote about growing up: 

Brandy is a New Hampshire mom of three writing Happily Blended where she blogs about parenting, being positive and fitness to name a few subects. Some of her feature blogs include Jenny the pug and Wordless Wednesdays with great photos!

Click here for a guest blog by Dianne about children discovering what they want to be when they grow up:

Valerie is the mother of a very active 2 year old and writes about cooking, baking and crafting at Glittering Muffins.

She featured Little Bunny on her Facebook page!

Amy is a mom of four and a pastor’s wife who loves cooking and reading. She shares her joys and struggles and everything in between in her blog Amy Loves It.                                   

She featured Little bunny in her Friday Freebies!              

Pam, the Unconventional Librarian, has a BS in English, a post baccalaureate certificate in Elementary Education and a Master’s in Library Science. She loves children’s and young adult books. She also loves social media and uses it to promote books that reflect our society. Click here to visit her site

Click here for a guest blog written by Dianne about preschool reading:

And click here for a post for back to school preparedness:

Pam is committed to Shot@Life an organization that champions vaccines to children around the world. Check out their mission statement here:

Janine La Tulippe is committed to helping children become happy adults. Her website True Aim Parent and Education brings Christian values to teaching preschoolers.

Click here to find a blog written by Dianne about the valuable lessons in baking cookies:

 A great review from Emma!                  

A nice shout out from the Unconventional Librarian!

Laura loves to share her life as a mom and offers great give aways, reviews, deals, freebies, recipes, printables coupons, on line coupons and much more at:                                                                    A Place For Everything.

Click here for a feature blog post about Little Bunny :

Kelly has a Bachelor's in accounting and a Master's in elementary education and is the mother of 6 boys! Her blog Homeschool Parent is a resource for homeschooling parents but the ideas featured in her blog are perfect for any parent or teacher.

Click here for a feature blog about different learning styles written by Dianne:

Kids Activity Blog amasses an amazing array of activities for young people in one place! They regularly feature Little Bunny worksheets and printables in their Learn page under Coloring Pages and Printables.

Click here to find KIds Activity Blog Printables:

Bethany is a columnist for the Greenville News and Co-owner of Kidding Around Greenvillle SC. She started her blog No Twiddle Twaddle blogging about children's eBooks, she now writes about homeschooling.

Click here for her interview with Dianne Miller about the Little Bunny series: