About Us

Hey there! I’m Malia and I’m excited to officially welcome you to Playdough to Plato.

I started teaching about 16 years ago and the moment I walked through my classroom doors, I fell instantly smitten with seeing students have those magical ah-ha moments.

So I went ALL IN and worked really hard at becoming the best teacher I could possibly be for them…

I earned my Master’s in Education from Stanford University and went on to earn my National Board Certification too.

But then about 10 years ago, I was on maternity leave with our second son, Grant, and life took an unexpected turn.

I missed being in the classroom and so I launched this site as a way to keep one foot in education during my year away.

And that little hobby quickly became a full-fledged business.

Teachers started emailing me to ask for help with all sorts of things – literacy centers, math games, science experiments…

Playdough to Plato is where I share what I’ve created so you can take your teaching to the next level…

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:

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  1. Krista

    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!!

    • Malia

      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. Jane

    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. Latonya

    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. sbo

    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. Chrisitina

    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.


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