Materials For Parent Educators

Are you a parent educator looking for free printable handouts, articles, and class activities for your students? This page collects reproducible resources I have developed for use by other parent educators, especially those serving families with children from age 1 to 7. See info at the bottom of the page regarding copyright, fair use, and optional payment for these educational materials.
New: My difficult topics series: Better You than YouTube: Having the Difficult Conversations with Your Kids.  Talking about Death. Talking about Sexuality With Kids, Gender as a Spectrum, Talking with Children about Gender Identity , Scary Topics.
The Discipline Toolbox – the post with links to lots more information, and  the handout
 Child Development and Early Learning Topics

Development and Play

  • Handout on Developmental Milestones. This is an overview handout, which includes links to great age-based resources for learning more about typical development, developmental screening, and ways to help children learn.
  • Brain Development. A basic 2 page handout, and the 4 page version. (If you have a highly educated student population who want all the science, they’ll love the 4-pager.) Brain map is an 11×17 poster showing the different parts of the brain, defining the sensitive periods for their development, and how parents can help. Note, I do not have rights to the brain illustration here, so I would encourage you to use my idea (you’re even welcome to use my text) to make your own poster, with your own illustration.
  • Handout on Play Based Learning. What it is, what children learn through play, and the parent/teacher’s role in enhancing the learning that happens during play.
  • Posters of Open Ended Questions parents can ask to extend children’s learning.
  • Schemas of Play: These are postcard size “interpretive signs” which can be placed around the classroom for parents to read and learn from as their children play. They talk about types of play such as: Transporting, Transforming & Connecting. Here is an 11×17 Schema poster with the name and icon for each schema.
  • When I play, I am learning. Postcard size signs to place around the room, near activities, that explain what a child learns through playing with blocks, water, etc.
  • Hands On is Brains On: Includes an overview of brain development; how kids need a balance of direct teaching, facilitated play, free play and rest to learn; play-based learning and how parents / teachers support it. Here is the PowerPoint I use when I present this topic.
  • Making Music – the Benefits for Early Learning is a handout about all the developmental benefits of making music – whether that’s shaking bells at toddler circle time, or singing songs at preschool group time, or childhood music lessons.

Language & Literacy:

Temperament, Learning Styles, and Gender – Your Unique Child

  • Temperament quiz – can be used in class activity or as a take-home handout
  • Temperament handout – 4 pages with sources for more information. Or 2 page version.
  • Temperament posters. 8.5 x 11 posters to be posted around the room where parents observe children at play. The posters describe 6 different temperaments, and ask parents to consider what temperaments each child is displaying.
  • Toys and games for multiple intelligences – this is a handout to encourage parents to choose toys and activities that build a variety of skills in kids – it’s not about having LOTS of toys, it’s about having lots of variety in a small amount of toys.
  • Handout on Gender differences, which addresses what the research shows about biological and culturally influenced differences between boys and girls.
  • Gender as a Spectrum which addresses the concept of gender identity, defining your own values about gender, kids who explore alternate gender roles and transgender children. Talking with Children about Gender Identity which adds info on how to talk with a child about gender non-conforming people you may encounter, and how to be supportive of transgender people.

Children’s Emotions:

Parenting Your Child Day-by-Day


  • The Discipline Toolbox: This new teaching tool combines my old flow chart with lots of ideas from the Incredible Years program and book. For a  a free, printable handout that summarizes all this information, just click on Discipline Toolbox in color or Discipline Toolbox,  Black & White
  • The Discipline Process – includes a flow chart of steps in the discipline process from preventing problems to gentle interventions to logical consequences. (Or you could choose to use the Discipline Flow Chart on its own – in color, or black and white.)
  • Discipline – Saying No and meaning it. And Say Yes – Telling your child what TO DO instead of what not to do. FYI, these two handouts work well together. However, do NOT use these if you’re using the Discipline Process handout, as there is overlapping content between them.
  • Consequences and Time Out – the “power tools” of discipline.
  • Self discipline – impulse control, delayed gratification,  understanding difference between right and wrong – AND how we help our children learn these things!
  • Discipline Tools You Can Try: discipline tools posters to hang in the classroom / lab setting for parents to read while playing / interacting with the children. And discipline tools postcards for parents to print and use at home as reminders.

Supporting Your Child’s Learning and Development

  • Praise and Self Esteem – a handout on how to effectively encourage a child, and not offer praise so often that it loses meaning
  • If At First You Don’t Succeed: Building Grit, a Growth-Based Mindset, and the Willingness to Fail and to Try Again
  • Motivation – Handout on understanding your motivation and your child’s motivation to learn a new skill, praise, reward, punishment, and internal motivation.

Eating / Nutrition

Potty Training / Toilet Learning:


  • Toddler Safety Powerpoint presentation – a 42 slide presentation you can download and adapt to your needs. Covers child-proofing, prevention and treatment of common injuries, teaching safety skills to toddlers, and balancing safety with the child’s need to explore to learn about the world
  • Toddler Injury Prevention – Most common injuries and how to prevent them
  • Teach Safety to Toddlers. How to teach safety skills while letting your child explore
  • Risk-Taking and Safety. For parents of kids age 2 – 8. How we let our kids enjoy and learn from risky play while still keeping them safe.
  • Car Seat – 2 page overview. Appropriate for parents of kids 6 months and up
  • Car Seat 1 page – Is Your Child Ready for the Next Stage – most parents move their kids up to the next level car seat when they reach the minimum age or size. Much safer to keep them in old level until they reach the maximum size for it!
  • Rabbits in the Hole: A book for preschool earthquake drills.
  • Stranger Danger vs. Tricky People: how to reduce your child’s risk of being lost, abducted, or experiencing sexual abuse. long version, short version.

Nature / Outdoors

Screen Time. I made three versions of the handout – same content, just different levels of detail: 6 pages with data and citations, 4 pages includes discussion of benefits and risks and 2 page quick summary of dos and don’ts

Sleep and Daily Schedule:

My difficult topics seriesBetter You than YouTube: Having the Difficult Conversations with Your Kids.  Talking about Death. Talking about Sexuality With Kids, Gender as a Spectrum, Talking with Children about Gender Identity, Scary Topics.

Parenting – Long Term Perspective – Handouts

Recommended Parenting Books – Find my top 20 recommendations here.

Family and Your Child’s “Village”

Having the Difficult Conversations with Your Child:  Better You than YouTube.  Talking about Sexuality With Kids

Parenting Vision & Mission: Here is a pencil and paper exercise for students – first give them 15 minutes to write as their children play about what they hope their child will be like in 15 years. Then go around and share and discuss. Then talk about vision statements and give examples (see handout). Then turn the paper over, and have them brainstorm vision statements. Then talk about mission statements and have students read each of the examples in the handout, then they brainstorm mission statements.

Parenting Style: What “Label” best describes your parenting style? [and here is a classroom exercise on that same topic: continuum exercise posters]. Four Parenting Styles describes Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive, and Uninvolved Parenting. I used these as a discussion in week one on “How other people define parenting styles”, then week two is “How do you define your own parenting style and decide what kind of parent YOU want to be.”

How Much is Enough, How Much is Too Much: about consumerism and “simplicity parenting”: making choices about what toys to buy, what activities to participate in, leaving free time in the schedule, and a brief mention of screen time.

Preschool and School

Other topics for Parents

Relationship Skills: These can be used for a discussion of the couple’s relationship, or most can also be adapted to talking about friendships, relationship between parent and child, and so on.

  • Relationships. One page summary of relationship skills.
  • Love Languages Quiz – a quiz students complete to determine what love language they “speak” and what love language they “hear”. Based on Gary Chapman’s ideas.
  • Appreciation – a handout  on ways to communicate appreciation to our partners and others. Some ideas from Jennifer Louden, some from Gay and Katie Hendricks.
  • Communicating needs – uses ideas from the “non-violent communication”(aka compassionate communication) method from Marshall Rosenberg to address how to determine what we need and how to ask other people to help us meet that need.
  • Finding Time Together and coming up with ideas for how to use it.
  • Bids and Turns – based on John Gottman’s research about the ways partners respond to bids for connection – by turning away, turning against, or turning toward.

Self Care:

Activities for Toddlers and Children

Don’t miss

  • My “Fun with Toddlers” series – a collection of handouts with songs, books, crafts, and sensory activities that tie into seasonal themes and favorite toddler themes.
  • Cheap Dates with Toddlers series – a collection of blog posts with simple suggestions of free or cheap activities to do with little ones. Some are focused on the Seattle area, but most are universal.
  • A webpage of Favorite Songs for toddlers, with links to lyrics, and videos.
  • Other fun toddler activities.
  • My Inventors of Tomorrow blog: hands-on STEM learning for kids ages 3 – 6. Lots of easy, fun, cheap ways to teach science at home or in the classroom.

Resource for Seattle area professionals

I would love to encourage you to refer clients to the parent education programs at our community colleges! These programs serve families with kids birth to 5. For children, classes offer hands-on learning, discovery and play. For adults, they offer on-going education on all topics related to parenting and also offer connections to other parents.

To make it easy to refer, I’ve designed handouts for you! These are handouts for use by childbirth educators, doulas, doctors and midwives, preschool teachers, therapists, and anyone who works with parents of babies and young children.  Your options: 2 page handout, the 3 page handout with details. The 1 pager for expectant / new parents.

Copyright and Payment Information

Copyright: All the materials on this site were written by me, Janelle Durham.

Fair Use: You cannot sell these materials. (You may ask for reimbursement for copying costs, but otherwise no money should be received for these materials.) You are welcome to use the materials in a class where students have paid for the class, or in other settings where you are paid for your work. You may link to them in emails or from your website.

Using Excerpts: If you cut and paste substantial information from my website, please cite me as the author and include a link to the webpage where it was found.

Payment: If you are making frequent use of my handouts or linking to my blog, I ask that you consider paying for them. How much you pay depends on what you think is fair, and what is do-able given your circumstances. As a general guideline, consider 3-5 cents per copy used. So, for example, if you expect to distribute 100 copies of a handout (or email a copy to 100 students), that would be $3.00 – 5.00 for a one-page handout. Another way to think of it: how many times have you paid $20 for a book that you use as a resource – is my work as helpful to you as that book? Would you pay $20 for it? It’s your call.

Click on the button below, to make a payment in whatever amount you choose. [Note: I am not a non-profit, just a private individual and this is not a charitable donation… the button says “donate” because that’s the only way I’ve figured out to make PayPal and work together to let you choose how much to pay.]

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