I am proud to say that I finally finished it my first printable activity book for kids, and it’s all about one of my favorite fairy tales, The Three Little Pigs. Many years ago, when I was in elementary school, I recall retelling this classic story. Now I’ve revisited it again, only the art and writing have improved a bit (I hope!).
I wanted to make sure the book was really fun for kids, so I started out by drawing a set of classic activity sheets: spot the difference, hidden objects, a word search, a maze, etc.
This new book is a digital download, available exclusively through Teachers Pay Teachers. Why a digital download, rather than a physical product? If you’re a teacher, having a digital copy means you can print this book again and again, year after year. If the kids mess up a coloring page, no problem. Print a new one! If you want to hand out one of the activities as a homework assignment, simply print a class set.
When I started writing down all the content I wanted to include in the activity book, I jotted down notes and thought the book would be about seventy pages. In fact, it ended up being 198 pages! And there are still many things I wanted to include, but had no choice but to leave out, due to time constraints.
From first sketches to final product, the whole process of creating this activity book took about 6 weeks.
After I completed the activity pages, I realized I wanted to illustrate the rest of the story. At the time, I figured I was going to use a classic public domain text, but after I read through it a few times, I realized that the language was too old fashioned for my liking. So I rewrote the story for a modern audience.
In this new version, the wolf doesn’t actually eat any of the pigs. (I thought that was a bit grim for kindergartners and first graders.) Instead, they run to find their brother who builds the brick house. Also, the pigs don’t eat the wolf at the end. Instead, the wolf runs away, and is never seen again.
With the classic story done, I had a bunch of completed images. I thought these would be fun to turn into popsicle stick puppets, so kids could retell the story in a classroom puppet show. So I created those.
Then I thought, well, it would be nice to focus a bit more on activities that relate to common core, so I wrote out several questions that teachers could ask about the text. Then I created an activity called “The Fourth Little Pig” wherein students can come up with a fourth sibling, draw this character, and decide what building material he or she uses to build his/her house. This, I thought, would also be a good opportunity to add a sister into the story, since there are no girls in the story. I am curious to see what students come up with as far as building materials go. Will the fourth little pig make a house out of pancakes, cardboard, or metal?
Each day I kept adding new content. I drew a wanted poster for the Big Bad Wolf, a bunch of coloring pages, and added writing templates so kids could write their own version of the story with the illustrations. I added math worksheets covering topics from preschool to first grade, counting, addition and subtraction. Finally, I included a bunch of templates that I thought teachers might find useful for creating their own activities.
All in all, it came out to 198 pages. I’ve priced it according to similar products on Teachers Pay Teachers. In the past I’ve only created clip art packs on TPT, so this is my first venture into making content that teachers can use directly in their own classrooms, rather than for their own products. I’m excited to see how it goes.
You can download your own copy of the Three Little Pigs Activity Book here.
-Tim van de Vall