Scroll down for my full collection of handouts, or click on one of these links to go to a specific section:
- Child Development – includes developmental milestones, temperament, emotional development
- Early Learning – includes learning through play, language and literacy, preschool / school and academics, and supporting non-academic skills for school success
- Parenting Day to Day – includes discipline, nutrition, sleep, potty training, safety, and screen time
- Long-term Parenting: Mission and vision, parenting style, sibling relationships, connections to extended family, and how to talk with a child about difficult topics
- Topics for Parents: Relationship skills and self care
- Activities for Kids: stories, songs, crafts, circle time activities, and hands-on STEM learning
- What’s New: If you’re looking for my newest resources, check out; Posters on Expressing Emotions; handout on Managing Meltdowns),
- 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. (Also check out my blog post for great resources for understanding developmental milestones which includes links to development newsletters and screening tools.)
- Developmental Screening: The Ages and Stages Questionnaire is one of the best research-based validated tools, and it’s now available for free online. Your students can complete it on their own or you can do it in class as a conversation starter. Here’s a handout on the Completing the Online ASQ Developmental Screening or here’s my blog post on it. Here’s more info on the ASQ.
- Brain Development. A basic 2 page handout, and the 4 page version.
- 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.
Your Unique Child – gender, temperament, learning style
- Temperament quiz – can be used as an 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.
- Separation Anxiety (babies and toddlers), Separation Anxiety and Preschool, Tantrums, Emotion Coaching.
- Taming Tantrums. Tantrums handout with additional info on Daniel Siegel’s concept of the downstairs brain and how children regress developmentally when they are upset. This is aimed at toddler parents. Also check out Managing Meltdowns, which is aimed at parents of older children or neurodiverse children.
- Expressing Emotions Posters – this is a collection of 3 posters to use with young children to teach about how to recognize, express and release anger, sadness, and fear.
- How Big – Zones of Emotional Regulation – a tool for using with elementary age children to understand their feelings and appropriate coping mechanisms to get back to calm and ready to learn.
- Emotional Literacy. Teaching your Children the Words and Ideas.
- Parental Anger. All parents get angry in front of their children. If they handle their anger poorly, it’s frightening for children. But, if they handle their conflict well, children learn important lessons.
- Building Resilience in Children. Let them experience challenge and disappointment. Help them manage anxiety. Allow them to take risks. Teach growth-based mindset.
- Kid friendships. How to teach skills that help kids make and keep friends.
Learning through Play
- 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.
- Child Directed Play handout. Focuses on the Floortime method, which is helpful for children with autism, developmental delays or for typically developing children.
- 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.
- Playdates – arranging opportunities for children to learn social skills through play.
- 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.
- 4 opportunities for learning – talks about balancing direct teaching, facilitated play, free play and down time to support a child’s development.
- Hands On is Brains On: Includes an overview of brain development; 4 opportunities for learning; 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.
- Nature / Outdoor Time: Handout covers nature deficit disorder, the benefits of time outdoors, and how to overcome the barriers to going outside, and Let Your Kids Play in the Mud. a 20 minute video about the benefits of outdoor time: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMQ1e6ljuFs
- Handout on the Benefits of Walking Your Child to School
Language & Literacy:
- Language Development– 2 page overview handout, with lots of tips for what parents can do to enhance language development.
- Responsive Language – how parents can enhance language learning not just by talking a lot, but by noticing where the child’s attention is and focusing there.
- Early literacy – building pre-reading skills with your toddler – what parents can do to lay the foundations for future reading. Literacy age 2 – 6 – similar handout aimed at a broader age range.
- Raising Bilingual Children – this handout is appropriate both for English speaking families who want to add in an additional language, and for families for whom English is a second language.
- Mirrors and Windows: Diversity in Children’s Books.
Preschool and School
- Choosing a Preschool or Child Care
- Choosing Activities – this handout is very similar to choosing preschool, so you wouldn’t want to use both in a class – this one focuses more broadly on extra-curriculars rather than focusing on “school.”
- Benefits of Multi-Age Classes.
- Adapting to Preschool or Kindergarten – How to get your child ready for their first day of school, and support them through the transition. Or here’s an alternate handout focused just on minimizing Separation Anxiety at Preschool.
- How to Help Your Child Succeed in School: create an environment which supports learning, set high but reasonable expectations, and connect with your child’s school and teacher. Laying the Foundations for Future School Success – for parents of toddlers.
- Teaching Early Math Skills for age 1 – 5. Teaching Science Skills for age 3 – 6. Teaching Engineering (Hands-On Problem Solving) for age 1 – 6.
- Teaching Problem Solving Skills.
Supporting Your Child’s Learning
- 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.
Parenting Your Child Day-by-Day
- The Discipline Toolbox Framework.
- Discipline Toolbox in color or Discipline-Flow-Black & White. Any building project starts with strong foundations, then building the structure, and fixing the problems as they arise so you can return to building. You need different tools for each job. These handouts offer the overview. The three handouts below offer more details.
- Discipline Foundations – the green zone from the toolbox. Trust, respect, letting your child know what’s expected of them, routines, attention principle, and when/then.
- Teach Your Child HOW to Behave Well – Role Model, Re-Direct, Substitute, Offer Choices, Tell What TO Do. The orange zone on the toolbox – building the skills.
- Consequences – the “power tools” for fixing discipline problems – the red zone on the toolbox. I have two versions of the handout, one with Time Out details and one without. Consequences and Time Out; Consequences
- 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.
- Three Discipline Tools to Try: Kids do well when they can, the Attention Principle, and When/Then.
- Self discipline – impulse control, delayed gratification, understanding difference between right and wrong – AND how we help our children learn these things!
- Words Matter Handouts. These handouts are reflective activities, where students read examples of ineffective communication (vague commands, broken record, asking a question when you mean a command) and parents re-write that sentence. The idea is that changing our words can change our interactions with kids. I have three versions of the handout… the long (Words Matter), the short (Words Matter to use in class), and the in-between (Words Matter for Discipline). Pick your favorite.
- Older handouts:
- Discipline Process – pre-dates the toolbox handouts… It 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 – 8 Tools for Toddler Discipline. And Saying 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.
Eating / Nutrition
- Nutrition Overview for Toddlers and Preschooler
- Making Family Meal Time Pleasant
- I have information about breastfeeding on my other site, http://www.gooddayswithbabies.wordpress.com
Potty Training / Toilet Learning:
- One page summary of Potty Training Stages.
- Basic Handout.
- Longer Handout – includes discussion of praise, punishment, and motivation.
- I also have a blog post on “What if my child won’t poop in the potty.”
- 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.
I made three versions of one 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
Or, here’s a one-sheet on screen time that talks about 3 C’s: Connection – does the screen enhance or disrupt relationships? Context – when, where, and how is it used? Content – quality standards may be more important than quantity guidelines.
Sleep and Daily Schedule:
- Sleep and your Toddler
- Routines: the Importance of Everyday Rituals or Getting through the Day with a Toddler: Routines. These two handouts have similar content, though different tones, so you’d want to pick just one.
Traveling with Children
Parenting – Long Term Perspective
Best Parenting Books
Find my top 20 Recommended Parenting Books
Parenting Vision & Mission:
Here is a mission worksheet – 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 Mission Vision Handout
Here is an overview handout on Parenting Style, where readers can take a quiz to see where they may lie on the parenting spectrum, then it outlines the four parenting types and encourages them to reflect on how they were parented / how they want to parent.
This handout replaces my older versions called What “Label” best describes your parenting style? and Four Parenting Styles.
Here is a classroom exercise where you put up posters describing opposite parenting styles and people mark themselves on a continuum between those and you use that to lead into the parenting style discussion: continuum exercise posters
Consumerism / Simplicity Parenting
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.
Family and Your Child’s “Village”
- Connections with Extended Family
- Resolving Conflict With Family
- Talking about Cultural Identity and Diversity.
Having the Difficult Conversations with Your Child:
- Better You than YouTube. Why their parents are the best people for kids to have these conversations with.
- Talking about Scary Topics.
- Talking about Death
- Talking about differences how to respond when your child notices that others are different from them: race, ability, age, weight, etc.
- Talking about Sexuality With Kids
- Gender as a Spectrum, Talking with Children about Gender Identity
Other topics for Parents
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.
- Relationship toolbox Handout and relationship toolbox poster. One sheet summary of relationship skills.
- Relationships. One page summary of relationship skills. (An earlier version of the Relationship toolbox handout.)
- 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. It also explains how to apply the love languages to the couple relationship. Here is a supplement to that handout on learning about and speaking your child’s love language.
- 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.
- Conflict Resolution Worksheet uses ideas from Marshall Rosenberg and Dennis Adam’s book Honest, Direct, Respectful. Recommends the script “When [problem behavior], I feel [emotion], I wish / want / wonder…”
- 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 for Parents
- Stress And Parenting
- Time for Self Care
- Self care and work. Notes for a one hour discussion on self-care and work-life balance. Pie exercise for examining work-life balance, and the Pie of Life image to go along with the discussion.
Activities for Toddlers and Children
- 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. A collection of Circle Time Songs for Toddlers and a full year’s worth of lesson plans for a toddler Circle Time.
- 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 for parents of all ages of kids. 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 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 print them, 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: I make these materials available free of charge. But, I do put a lot of work into them, and ask you to consider making a donation to support that work if you are able to do so. How much? If you use my site as a resource as often as you use one of the books on your shelf, and you paid $20 for that book, consider donating $20. If you use my handouts a lot, know that some organizations charge per use. Consider maybe 3 cents per copy used. So, if you plan to distribute 100 copies (or email a copy to 100 clients), that would be $3.00 for a one page handout. Click on the button below, to make a payment in whatever amount you choose.
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You are doing a great work Janelle…!!
Can I tell you that I learned a ton from this!!! So much good info!! Thank you so much for this awesome resource!!!
Thank you making all this available. It has been very helpful with sharing with parents.