Curriculum Perfect for the Spring Season and Warmer Weather

Spring has sprung and warm weather is officially here (and summer is fast approaching)! Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite curriculum that ties in with the season.


May Day & Other Spring Festivities Curriculum

We may have passed May Day, but this curriculum goes over some other fun spring festivals and the history behind them.


In the Garden: Flowers and Insects Curriculum

The beginning stages of having a garden is understanding how they work and the life in it. This curriculum is filled with all the information to get your little one from the books to the garden planting their own.


The Four Seasons Curriculum

With it being the middle of Spring, and we’re close to Summer, it’s the perfect time to teach about the different seasons, why we have them and what they bring.


Going to the Park Curriculum

Whether you live in a small town or big city, chances are you have a park close to you. Parks are great places to get some fresh air and exercise, meet your friends, and have some fun!  Make your lesson planning easy with this project pack, which is all about things to do at the park, nature at a park, park and playground safety, playground science, and an introduction to state and national parks.


Exploring Nature Curriculum

Pair your outdoor adventures with this curriculum! Whether you hike, kayak, camp or explore your garden, this is the perfect curriculum to learn about the nature you encounter!

The Best of… According to You!

With the hundreds of lapbooks and note packs in our shop, it may be difficult deciding which one will be next in your curriculum. Using your reviews, we’ve put together a list of the most popular curriculums we have to offer!

For the student who knows or shows interest in a career in veterinary science:

“My daughter intends on being a vet and she loved this curriculum. It gave a lot of insight and contained so much information. It allowed her to learn more about her career choice and it gave her some incentive to do some research!!” by Elaine

“My daughter loved learning about animal care and veterinary science. I even learned something new.” by Tracie


Our top-rated curriculums on the English subject:

“This is the first lapbook i have bought from this company and I will definitely be buying some more! A great practical way to learn and my daughter loves the whole secret agent thing so this was perfect for her.Would definitely recommend.” by Patrice

“My girls are teens and we did this and they loved it. I learned some new things, also.” by Suzan

“My daughter has learning issues and hates (maybe I should say HATES) English – this pack helped her very much……..though English is still not a favorite ;0)” by Denise

“LOVE IT! We used this when my daughter was in third grade and are doing another one-using the same kit as I bought the CD combo- now that she is in fifth and is advancing more in grammar. Easy to us with our grammar program and great review. Can’t recommend it enough. Well worth it. THANKS!”


“This was the first lapbook our family ever used and we were hooked! We loved every part of of this unit. We printed all of our minibooks on white paper and my daughter would color them while I read. Thank for such a great product!” by Rebecca

“We really enjoyed the Little House in the Big Woods lapbook! It helped my daughter focus to have hands on projects for each chapter. We have a better appreciation for how much work they did back then. The more lapbooks we do…the more we want to do! Thanks so much for your lapbooks!” by Heather

“This was the very first lapbook that we did. My 9 yo dd is really into the books and wanted to do a lapbook on one. I had no idea what I would be getting from the company. HOAC did NOT disappoint. We used it along side reading the book aloud which was perfect. My 2 younger children really enjoyed it as well. It caused us all to dig deeper into the book and really think about the story. There are mini books about bee sting treatments, celebrations, difference between then and now and many more.” by Kristi


For the student interested in learning about why certain holidays exist and what they mean:

“I have really enjoyed the variety of activities put together in this lapbook. I also appreciate the fact that it can be used for different ages and abilities. Thanks for putting this together!” by Jennie

“In my opinion, Hands of a Child products are always top notch! This is no exception. Very well laid out. Super easy to follow instructions on construction of the folders, as well as the activities. Can easily adapt for multiple levels.” by Susan

“This was a very easy and fun way to teach what St. Patrick’s Day is all about and how it came to be. My 10 year old really enjoyed this.” by Carol


“A very simple lap book about Thanksgiving. This is for grades 4-8 but my first grader enjoyed this as well as my 6th grader. Easily adapted for the younger child. I had my first grader draw mostly pictures on the worksheets instead of writing. Thanksgiving discusses why the Puritans left England, their journey to the New World, Native Americans, the first Thanksgiving, a timeline, lots of recipes and symbols and how Thanksgiving became a national holiday.” by Kristina

“This is our first year homeschooling and so I have been trying out many of the different methods of teaching to see what fits in best with our lives. I have to say that LOVED this HOAC unit study. It was very easy to follow and I really liked that it had detailed instructions on what to do with the printables for the lapbooks. (especially helpful to me since I had never seen a lapbook before!) I felt that the information in it was complete and my children ages 6 and 7 had a great time doing the lapbooks. They both asked if we could keep doing homeschooling this way from now on! (which of course made me ecstatic!!) I had a day by day lesson plan in it which was invaluable to me. I have a 6 yr old, a 7 yr old and then a toddler. All of them have special needs so my time is extremely limited. It was a really big help to be able to spend my time actually teaching them rather than preparing the lessons. All I had to do was look at the lesson plan and then print what we needed for the week. I did cut some of the things out ahead of time since my children have some fine motor issues. I have tried other unit studies also but this HOAC format was perfect for us, I will definitely be purchasing more unit studies from HOAC! Thanks for all your hard work putting these together so that people like me can utilize them. It has been a blessing for sure!” by Jessica


“Very simple yet thorough lap book. Lots of good, detailed information on Christmas symbols. Now that my kids and I know the history of each symbol it really makes us think and reflect each time we see a candy cane, poinsettia or receive a Christmas card. We decided to create our own Advent calendars after reading about their origins in this lap book. We included special messages for each family member in ours.” by Kristina

“My kids and I learned so much about the symbols of Christmas! There were some projects that my younger ones had a hard time either cutting out or putting together, but it brought us closer so we could help one another. I helped my smallest cut out everything. He got to color it in and glue it on. Now they are keepsakes that we can bring out each year to remember Christmas. Thanks for a great study!” by Elizabeth


For the science lover:

“My son worked on this last year and loved it. He’s my science nut 🙂 He took the finished project to his merit badge counselor and earned a merit badge too! I love when that happens. Thanks for the great product.” by Kristin

“We loved this animal classification lapbook. I have some samples on my blog at if you would like to see how we made the lapbook and completed the study. They really came out understanding animal classification when they were done. Finish the lesson with a fun field trip to the zoo & see if they can identify the different animals :O)” by Rachel


“This was the first lapbook we completed in the Habitat series. After completing this we can’t wait to work our way through the remaining lapbooks. Ocean Habitats begins by explaining the difference between and ocean and sea. Then it breaks into each ocean along with a few facts about each. You will learn about each layer or zone of the ocean, ocean currents and finally ocean life. It gave very general information about ocean life so I had my daughter, age 11, do research on an animal who calls the ocean home. Animals just make learning more fun. She researched the ocean zone in which the animal lives, how the animal helps the ocean and how we can protect this animal and its environment.” by Kristina

“I was afraid this was going to be “too much” for our boys, but it was great! One day I will realize that HOAC Project Packs really are easy to customize to your kiddo’s level. The boys enjoyed looking for vocabulary words as we went through. Our 9 year old was the “note keeper” of the project and our 6 year old was our “illustrator”. We tied in Creatures of the Deep and will be revisiting our Ocean Habitats when we do the Pirates pack.”


For the pirate enthusiast:

“My boys LOVED this lapbook! They like coloring and thought it was fun to paste/brad and color the pirates onto toilet paper rolls. We used eye patches to make it more fun. I liked the color by number and learning activities included. Anything with pirates and parrots will be a hit!” by Melissa

“Oh my, did my co-op class have fun doing the pirates lapbook! This is a great topic for boys. They had to move our classroom because we were being too noisy talking like pirates! On our last day I had them search the building for hidden treasure. They loved it!” by Lynda

“What a great time we had with this! While my olders (12, 10, and 8 were doing Pirates, the 6 and 2 year olds were able to tag along on the journey with this project pack. We all had pirate names and positions on the crew. It is one of our most favorite studies!” by Vicki

“Great unit to start out with. We spent a week on this unit, and the boys said it wasn’t long enough. I done this with a 1st & 2nd grader. They had so much fun creating a pirate, pirate ship, flag, etc! All the activities were fun & informative. Most activities the boys could do all on their own. My boys enjoyed this unit so much, and I was told I have to get more! We’re looking into doing Blackbeard and the Pirates lapbooks from HOAC also. I shouldn’t say looking into … we will do them! Thank you HOAC for adding such fun to our lives by providing great material for our children to learn from!” by Angela


There are even curriculums that get you prepared for your next vacation:

“We completed this lapbook just before our vacation to Disneyland. Although we are regular visitors to the Magic Kingdom, this lapbook gives a lot of info and would be perfect for someone who has never been there, as well as great memories for someone who has.” by Sara


Any of these catch your eye? What have been your favorite curriculum topics you used so far?

Tying Literature into Your Curriculum

Reading literature is such a vital part of a child’s education. The books read can impact a child’s entire life. With that being said, how do you know you are choosing the right books for their age and reading level? How do you know they are truly grasping the message of the book?

Below are just a few books to start with for different age and grade levels. Some of the books have corresponding lapbooks that can enhance the reading experience and engage them with hands-on activities.


Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd Grade


“Kitten’s First Full Moon” by Kevin Henkes

“Kitten’s First Full Moon is an acclaimed modern classic, from one of the most celebrated and beloved picture book creators working in the field today. This memorable character and her suspenseful adventure are just right for the very youngest child. It is Kitten’s first full moon, and when she sees it she thinks it is a bowl of milk in the sky. And she wants it. Does she get it? Well, no . . . and yes. What a night!.”


Amazon Book


Image result for the tale of peter rabbit beatrix potter

“The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter

“The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a British children’s book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter that follows mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit as he is chased about the garden of Mr. McGregor.”


Amazon Book



Image result for strega nona

“Strega Nona” by Tomie dePaola

“Strega Nona—”Grandma Witch”—is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical ever-full pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. Big Anthony is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden, but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit Strega Amelia, he recites the magic verse over the pasta pot, with disastrous results.”


Amazon Book



3rd through 6th Grade


Image result for little house in the big woods

“Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder

“This beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family begins in 1871 in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their dog, Jack. Pioneer life is sometimes hard for the family, but it is also exciting as they celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night Laura and her family are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa’s fiddle to send them off to sleep.”


Amazon Book


Image result for my side of the mountain

“My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George

“Terribly unhappy in his family’s crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude-and danger-of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.”


Amazon Book



Image result for the twenty-one balloons

“The Twenty-One Balloons” by William Pene du Bois

“Professor William Waterman Sherman intends to fly across the Pacific Ocean. But through a twist of fate, he lands on Krakatoa, and discovers a world of unimaginable wealth, eccentric inhabitants, and incredible balloon inventions.”

Amazon Book

What are some other books you have on your reading list?

Top 5 Lapbooks of February

February has officially graced us with its presence, and with it brings brand new monthly planning. Below, we’ve listed the top 5 lapbooks for February that both celebrate history and teach valuable lessons.

1. Study a President

Study a President Lapbook

This means any President! Use this lapbook with the 18 hands-on activities to learn about important dates, country of origin, family, early life and occupations, election and office facts, impact on national history, qualities and characteristics of the president, and more. Better yet, tie it in with some important dates this month: Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is February 12, George Washington’s birthday is February 22 and President’s Day is February 20.

2. Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Lapbook from In the Hands of a Child

Valentine’s Day is more than just “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue,” but do your children know that? Teach them all about the history of the day, Saint Valentine, the symbols, etc. with this lapbook.

3. Great Inventors and their Inventions

Great Inventors and Their Inventions Lapbook by In the Hands of a Child

Do you have a mini-inventor on your hands? Grab this lapbook and learn about the greatest of our time, such as Johannes Gutenberg, Galileo and Benjamin Franklin. Better yet, you can tie this in with Thomas Edison’s birthday on February 11.

4. America’s Civil Rights Movement

America's Civil Rights Movement Lapbook from In the Hands of a Child

Not only is it Black History Month, but it’s also Rosa Parks’ birthday on February 4. This is a great time to teach your children that every citizen is entitled to their own civil rights, however there are those in the past who have had to fight for these rights. This lapbook covers the years 1954 through 1968.

5. The Cardiovascular System

The Cardiovascular System Lapbook from In the Hands of a Child

Today, February 1, is Healthy Heart Day. Teach and show how the complex cardiovascular system works.

Understanding Tragedy through Lapbooking

Open any newspaper or watch a nightly news program and you are bound to find a report about a tragedy somewhere in the world.  From natural disasters like forest fires and hurricanes to tragedies like September 11, 2001 and war; these are some of the unfortunate events we hear about and experience on a daily basis.  How do we explain these types of things to our children?  How do we help our children understand what a crisis is and teach them how to deal with it?  One way of helping your child understand tragedy is to create a lapbook about the event or a related topic.


I recently spoke with a mom about her son’s love of Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter”.  She recounted to me how upset her son was when he heard the news of Steve’s  tragic death in 2006.  While snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, Steve was pierced by a stingray barb; what some experts says was a one-in-a-million incident.  While trying to console her son and think of a way for him to honor his hero’s memory, this mom came across our Steve Irwin: Crocodile Hunter Project Pack at In the Hands of a Child.  They had never tried a lapbook before, but thought this would be a good time to start. 


By creating a lapbook on his hero, this young boy learned about and celebrated Steve’s life.  He learned about his childhood, his family, his career as a television and movie star, his work with zoos and animals, and his work as a conservationist.  Even though it has been 7 years since Steve Irwin’s death, his young fan can pull out his lapbook and remember his favorite “Crocodile Hunter.”


In the Hands of a Child has a variety of topics that can help you create a lapbook that will help kids understand some of the unfortunate events that may be happening right now in or have happened in history.  Some of those topics include:

  •  Slavery HOCPP 1014

  • Titanic HOCPP 1019

  • Forest Fires HOCPP 1041

  • Volcanoes HOCPP 1042

  • Extreme Weather HOCPP 1044

  • World War I HOCPP 1086

  • World War II HOCPP 1089

  • September 11th, 2001 HOCPP 1105

  • Steve Irwin HOCPP 1107

  • The Civil War HOCPP 1181

  • Amelia Earhart HOCPP 1227

  • The Holocaust HOCPP 1249

  • Earthquakes HOCPP 1255

  • Emergency Services HOCPP 1304

  • America’s Great Depression HOCPP 1347

  • Basic Survival Skills HOCPP 1350

  • Firefighters HOCPP 1367

~Katie Kubesh

Personalizing Lapbooks

Lapbooks are not just a great hands-on tool for learning, they are also creative outlets for students.  A lapbook is a great way for students to showcase what they have
learned as well as their creativity and individuality.  No two lapbooks are ever alike; whether students design the lapbook themselves or use a ready-to-assemble pack.

 Personalizing a lapbook doesn’t mean writing your name on it!  Personalizing a lapbook means creating a one-of-a-kind portfolio that is as unique as the child who created it!  Encourage your students to express their own personal style and creativity with each lapbook he or she creates.  Here are some ways you can encourage your students to make their own lapbooks unique:

  • Provide multi-colored file folders for students to choose from.
  • Allow students who enjoy coloring to print the graphics and templates on white paper and then color in the pictures.
  • Allow students who do not enjoy coloring to print the graphics and templates on colorful paper.
  • Allow students who are reluctant writers to type their answers on the graphic or template before printing.
  • Provide stickers, printed papers, scrapbook embellishments, and other fun materials for each student to personalize and embellish.
  • Encourage students who enjoy creative writing to write a short story or poem about the topic they are studying.
  • Encourage students who enjoy drawing to draw a picture of something they learned or something related to the topic.
  • Encourage curious students to conduct a survey or experiment and record their data in their lapbook.
  • Encourage musically talented students to write a song or jingle relating to the topic and include it in their lapbook.
  • Preserve memories of making lapbooks by taking pictures of the process and including them in the lapbook.

If lapbooking with multiple students, hold a contest to see who can create a lapbook with the most color, most creative story, neatest handwriting, most detailed pictures, most detailed information, etc.

 Give your students ownership of the lapbooks they create!  No two students are alike so why should their lapbooks be the same?  Encourage them to complete lapbook that is as unique as the person who created it!  Encourage your students to personalize their lapbooks!

It’s Our First Annual Spirit of Christmas Giveaway!!


In the Hands of a Child is starting to feel the Christmas Spirit and we want to help you feel it too, so…


…are you ready to win big?


Just follow these two simple steps for your chance to win $100 worth of lapbooks and/or Note Packs!



Where should you post?

  • Blogs

  • Facebook

  • Twitter (be sure to include us in your tweet by using @HandsofaChild)

  • Pinterest

  • Public Message Boards

  • Anyplace that will allow you to give us a link to verify your post.


Step 2.  Come back to our blog and leave us the link to where you posted so that we can view and verify the post. (Except when using Twitter, in which case, be sure to mention us in your tweet by using @HandsofaChild so that we see the tweet).


The more places you post to and leave the links for on our blog, the more chances you’ll have to win!!


It’s that easy!


The winner will be chosen using on December 23, 2012.


SO… What are you waiting for?  Get in the spirit and start posting!