Hey there! I’m Malia – your lesson planner, curriculum designer, and classroom cheerleader.

I started teaching back in 2003 and fell instantly smitten with students’ magical lightbulb moments.

I went on to earn my National Board Teaching Certification and my Master’s from Stanford University.

And then life took an unexpected turn…

I was on a year-long maternity leave for our second son and I was missing the classroom.

Maybe it was my newborn sleep deprivation or those extra cups of caffeine I was drinking just to make it through our busy days, but I decided to dive feet first into a brand new hobby…

I started sharing the games I was playing with our preschooler on my blog called Playdough to Plato.

And that blog quickly grew! Pretty soon I was getting emails and DMs from teachers around the world who wanted to help students make MORE progress with LESS planning time.

So I started designing teaching tools and trainings to help you do just that!

If I could add just one more hour to my day, I could probably solve a modern mystery… or at least cook a homemade meal every night.

But since we all have the same 24 hours in a day, let’s figure out how to make the most of it. Sound good?

I created this site to help you save planning time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger teaching results.

Because I believe that our students deserve not just a good education but an EXCEPTIONAL one.

I hope you’ll join our inspiring community of incredibly dedicated teachers so we can stay connected! Join our free VIP email list here:

Kindergarten Literacy Centers


  1. Hi Malia.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with the world! I think I first saw one of your ideas on No Time For Flash Cards and have been checking out your site since then. I am a mom to two boys, ages 6 1/2 and almost 4. Before having children, I taught elementary school for 7 1/2 years, earned my Masters in Reading and became certified as a Reading Specialist. When we started our family I knew I wanted to be home with them and raise them full time. I still however love to teach and learn about different ways to teach concepts to children. I still read professional books about teaching! One of my passions is reading children’s books. Since my oldest son has been born we have literally read thousands of pictures books/chapter books!
    At my son’s school I had a mini seminar for parents about reading and shared some of your game ideas with them. I also recommended your blog to them. Then this summer I taught at a Reading Club at his school and provided a link of your blog on our Club’s Shutterfly website. So thank you for being generous with your knowledge and ideas. You are impacting a lot of children and adults-more than you will probably ever realize!!

    1. Hi Krista,

      Wow!! I am deeply touched by your note and am moved that Playdough to Plato has been a source of inspiration for your family and other people in your community. Given your background, I know that you share my commitment to making learning fun and effective for kids. Thank you very, very much for taking the time to introduce yourself and say “hello”.

      I hope you enjoy the last few weeks of summer and please let me know if we can ever help brainstorm activities for a specific skill you’re working on with your boys. 🙂

      Talk to you soon,


  2. Hello – I am probably quite a bit older than the majority of your followers, but I am excited to be here. I have recently agreed to homeschool my 4-year-old granddaughter for a year. We are living in Venezuela. The schooling options are not the best. The government keeps trying to take over more and more of the curriculum, including political propaganda and transforming history as they go. My daughter hopes to return to the US next school year so we want Emma to be ready for kindergarten in English. Finding your pages has given me a shot of confidence. I have a Masters in Linguistics from way back when and English teaching experience, but it’s been a while since I worked on an introductory level. I’m looking forward to your posts and so glad for your guidance.

  3. Hi Malia,

    I think it’s pretty cool that many educators have found alternative ways to follow their passion. I am a certified teacher also, but I will honestly admit that I enjoy teaching at home better.

  4. Normally I do not learn post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to take
    a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me.
    Thanks, quite great article.

  5. Thank you so much for the links to my purchase this morning! Our two little ones are going to love the 10 printable books and the 15 Editable Word Games. I am very pleased with the quality of the downloadable books and games!

    I really appreciate how quickly you addressed the online shopping glitch! You have great service as well as great products.

    Looking forward to spending some quality learning time with my littles as we work through these books and games this summer.

  6. Hi!
    I purchased your 32 Sight Word Games – EDITABLE on TPT, and I love it and use it at least weekly with my daughter, but there is an error with the fishing game – which is my daughter’s favorite game. Could you please fix it? Just as an example, when I type the letters A-R in the “getting started” page, what generates into the fish is : a, b, c, d, e, f, m, n, o, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r. In other words, “m,n,o” is repeated on the fish twice, and “g,h,i” aren’t on any of the fish. So we miss at least 3 sight words. The same error is on “Going on a Word Hunt.” Thank you for your help! I love the file aside from the errors, and I recommended it to a lot of people! 🙂

  7. Just found your Playdough to Plato and it is a God send. Seeking help with an art workshop, I recently offered to my granddaughter’s preschool camp class. I am an artist, child psychotherapist and children’s art teacher.

    1. We are so glad that you are finding helpful resources on the blog, Suzanne! Fingers crossed you found some fun activities to do with those preschoolers. That sounds like a blast!


      Kaylee // Playdough to Plato Team

  8. Respected Malia,

    You are doing a wonderful job! I am very pleased to learn about your activities! Soon, I’ll meet you!

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