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Before In the Hands of a Child made its debut, homeschoolers and classroom teachers had to do all of the preparation in order to pull together a lapbook. 

That task takes a lot of time when searching for items and templates to use to make lapbooks.  Many educators do not have the time or the resources to complete this for every unit study in their curriculum.  Knowing how much our own children learned and enjoyed learning in this style, we knew we could meet a need for educators who want to put more of a hands-on spin to their curriculum but are daunted by the task.  

We take the preparation time out of the parent/teacher job description and allow educators to focus on the learning experience. Our lapbooks make it easy!


Altogether we have published over 450 Lapbooks (and now Notebooking Packs too) and we continue to release new ones on a regular basis.  In addition, we have added other products to our line, including lapbooking supplies, custom created units, membership programs, and much more.  The success of our business can be directly related to the support of the homeschooling moms, classroom teachers, and children who use our products and continue to tell others about our company and the type of curriculum we have to offer.  It is through their words, their testimonials and their efforts that we continue to grow.


What is a Lapbook?

Supplies Needed

Incorporating Lapbooks into Your Curriculum

Adapting Lapbooks

Lapbooking Tips and Tricks

Our Lapbook Products

Folding a Lapbook Base


Our Lapbook Products

If you've ever met Niki at one of the Homeschool Conventions we attend you're sure to hear her say "diamonds are over rated, options are a homeschool moms best friend"

While we believe that, we also know at first glance it can be overwhelming.

We're going to walk you through each section of our unit to help you feel at ease.

Once you're familar with these few sections you're ready to do any one (or dozen) of our 430+ units!

The major parts of our units include:

The Table of Contents

The Planning Guide

Core Concepts

The Research Guide 

Reproducible Graphics


Table of Contents

Each unit starts with a Table of Contents and is followed by a Planning Guide.

The Planning Guide

The planning guide takes all the prep work out of our units. It tells you how many days to plan your study, which vocabulary words to do each day, which sections of the Research Guide to read, as well as which activities to complete.


Core Concepts

Next, you will find a list of core concepts to be covered during the study, each of the concepts is represented by a graphic organizer or template.

Each graphic organizer or template helps students take bite-sized pieces of information learned in the Research Guide and complete a hands-on activity to help retain that information.

If you implement graded assignments in your curriculum the list of concepts will be essential for you, the parent/teacher, to know what to test the student on.


Under each concept you will find the folding instructions for each of the graphic organizers or templates. Each one has a corresponding activity number to make following along easy.

These instructions are written at the child's level so be assured you won't be frustrated as you help them try to fold their graphics.


The Research Guide

The Research Guide contains all of the lessons needed to complete the activities laid out in a chapter-like format. (This means no trips to the library or getting online for "missing" information) This format helps to build students' listening, reading, and comprehension skills.


Included in the Research Guide is a Bibliography, which also makes a great resource for finding information for any rabbit trails you may choose to follow during your study.

Related books and websites are included in the Research Guide. This list makes a great starting point for further study or as a way to bring the grade level up for older students and require some additional reading and research on their own.

 Reproducible Graphics 

Reproducible graphics for the graphic organizers and templates follow. You may want to make a copy of each graphic for each student completing the unit. An instruction sheet for folding file folders and photos of sample lapbooks are included in the back section of each Project Pack. If you and your students are visual learners you will find the folder instructions and sample photos quite helpful.



Answer Key

Most of our units conclude with an Answer Keyt o help make grading projects a breeze!

Stand-Alone or Supplement

Project Packs from In the Hands of a Child make great stand-alone unit studies or can easily be added as a supplement to an existing curriculum. When using as a stand-alone product we recommend completing 2 - 3 activities per session (30 - 45 minutes). Most of our studies take about 2 weeks to complete.

Start out by reading through 2 - 3 sections of the Research Guide and then complete the corresponding hands-on activities.


The hands-on activities correlate to each section in the Research Guide, following the same outline as the core concept page.



 Folding a Lapbook File Folder Base 



Lapbook Layouts


Your student's completed Project Pack does not have to look like the photo featured at the end of the Pack. The photo is simply a reference to help you understand the folds and the process of putting the file folder together.


If you run out of room or things do not fit, add another file folder or an extension!


Allow children to take an active role in designing the layout of their project so that it becomes personal for them. The personalizing of their projects aids in the reinforcement of the study.


Your students may choose to attach the various activities to their folders as each one is completed or they may choose to wait until all activities are completed and then attach them to the file folder.


If you choose to do the latter, simply store the activities in a zip-top bag, expandable file, or folder until you are ready to assemble them in a file folder.


Should you have any questions as you go about your study please do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to help you bring laughter and learning together in the Hands of Your Child!!

No matter what you call them lapbooks, lap books, accordion books, centers, file folder games, flapbooks, flipbooks, notebooks, pocket folders, pop-ups, portfolders, portfolios, printables, presentations, shapebooks, scrapbooks, shutterbooks, take it to your seat centers, project packs, unit studies or any other terminology, Lapbooks are FUN! So what is this thing with so many names??


What is a Lapbook?

  • A 3-D presentation of what the child learned during her study
  • A collection of mini books and graphic organizers pulled together into a series of file folders
  • A hands-on approach to learning, replacing worksheets or other monotonous learning tools
  • A scrapbook
  • A unit study
  • A portfolio


Children of all ages benefit from learning through lap books


Who benefits from Lapbooks?

  • Preschoolers
  • All ages and grades of students Kindergarten-High school
  • Special Needs Students
  • Homeschools
  • Classrooms
  • Co-ops
  • Scouts, 4-H, and other organized groups
  • Sunday schools and Youth groups
  • Senior Citizens


Learning Styles

  • Visual (spatial). You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  • Aural (auditory-musical).You prefer using sound and music.
  • Verbal (linguistic).You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
  • Physical (kinesthetic).You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.



  • All ages and learning styles can be taught together
  • When using Lapbook Project Packs, all teacher prep is done for you
  • Easy to store
  • Instant review tool
  • Portfolios
  • Improve retention and reinforce study
  • Motivate reluctant students
  • Empower students to be responsible for their own learning



Successful Lapbooking doesn't require a ton of supplies, mostly items you already have on hand!


Everyday crafting supplies: such as stickers, markers, colored pencils, and scissors

File Folders: can be plain manilla file folders, colored file folders or the fancy patterned file folders, either letter or legal file folders work!

Colored printer paper: experiement with different weights and find the one you prefer, we like simple 20lb paper but for some kids heavier card stock is better.



Double-Stick Tape: or some similar type of adhesive, glue sticks, scrapbook adhesives, anythings works just find your favorite.

Share your favorite Lapbook supply with us by emailing your list to niki@handsofachild.com

Then what?

  • Choose a topic to study
  • Decide if you want to use premade blank templates to complete your study or design your own.
  • If you want to use blank templates, you do your own research on the topic.
  • Use library books, the Internet, or an existing curriculum and choose 10-20 concepts you’d like your child to learn about the subject.
  • Design the graphic organizers for each of the concepts you want the child to learn.



Completing a Lapbook...

  • Flexibility is key, work on the unit a few activities a day.
  • Do a few vocabulary words and timeline events each day.
  • Store completed activities in a baggie or large envelope.



Folding the folder

Make the size that is right for the number of pieces you have in your projects


How to fold a lapbook

Basic Lapbook Base

  • Open a file folder and lay it flat.
  • Fold both right and left edges toward the center so they meet and close like a pair of shutters.
  • Crease firmly.


Base with Single or Double Extensions

  • Complete the basic lapbook base.
  • Open base and lay flat.
  • Cut another folder in half or use a sheet of cardstock for the extension.
  • Lay the extension in the center of folder at either the top or bottom. (You may add two extensions if need be; one at the top and one at the bottom).
  • Attach to base with clear packing tape.


Double Folder Base

  • Make two base folders.
  • Open them and lay them side by side with outer flaps pointing straight up, not flat.
  • Where the two flaps meet glue them together.
  • Fold center flap to one side, fold both shutters in and close folders like a book.



Incorporating Lapbooks

  • Use for all subjects, just add  English and Math at the student’s grade level
  • Add onto a complete boxed curriculum
  • Use for a fun break or child-led learning

Adapting a Lapbook Project Pack is key to ensuring that you provide the best lesson for your student. 

At first glance, some might just skip over an activity because they feel it is too easy or too difficult for their student. 

We want you to use all the activities we provide…they are easily adaptable!


For example, if you have a PK-3 student the vocabulary activities might be difficult for him or her to complete.  Here are some tips to help you adapt the activities that require your student to write:


  1. Have your student dictate vocabulary words and their meanings as you write them.
  2. Have your child draw a picture instead of writing.
  3. You write the word or sentence first so your student can see how it is written (many of our Lapbook Project Packs also include activities with dotted lines for easy copy work).
  4. Practice.  Practice.  Practice.  In the car, on a walk, in the shopping cart!  Practice saying the vocabulary words and what they mean.  Before you know it your preschooler will be telling others what those words mean!
  5. Contact us.  We would be happy to give you ideas for adapting specific units to a grade level.


On the other hand, some of the activities may seem too easy for your student.  Does your 5th grade level student want to learn about butterflies, but the Lapbook Project Pack seems too easy?  Try it anyway; just change things up a bit to suit your student’s grade level and skill.  Here are some tips to help you adapt the activities to make them a little more difficult:


  1. In addition to writing down vocabulary words and their meanings, ask your student to use the word in a sentence; either verbally or written.
  2. Give your student one hour (or reasonable time frame) to research the topic on his or her own either online or at the library.  Give your student a set of questions and see what he or she can find without your guidance.
  3. Encourage your student to expand on the topic or choose a related subject to learn about.
  4. Take a look at some of our preschool units…there is a lot of clipart related to each topic included.  Have an older student cut these out and write a story or play about the pictures.
  5. Contact us.  We would be happy to give you ideas for adapting specific units to a grade level.


These are just few ways you can adapt a Lapbook Project Pack to meet the needs of your student.  Let your student be the judge if something is too easy or too difficult…you just might be surprised!

-When first starting a new learning method such as Lapbooking, allow the student to have a say in the topic.  Allowing them to choose something of interest to them will ensure they give it their all.

-When working with younger kids, precut the activities.

-Let the child make it their own, do not insist things be done your own way.

-Relax and have fun with the process!

-Vocabulary Words and Timelines

    • Vocabulary and Timeline activities do not have to be completed in one day. Vocabulary words can be learned throughout the entire study.
    • We recommend that your student learn a few new vocabulary words each day or learn them as they are written in the Research Guide (all words in bold are vocabulary words).
    • We also recommend Timeline activities be completed a little each day. Choose the vocabulary words and time periods you are going to add to your vocabulary books and timelines as you read them in the Research Guide.
    • If you are working with young children or a group of children, cut out all of the graphics a day or two before beginning the lapbook and store them in a zip-top bag. It is also helpful to have all materials organized before beginning. All of our early childhood Project Packs include a full supplies list on one of the very first pages!