Things You'll Need
- Plain, manila file folders (recycled folders are fine)
- Hook-and-loop tape, such as Velcro
- Word processing or graphics program, such as Microsoft Word or Paint
- Computer with color printer
- Clear contact paper
If you teach, homeschool or parent young children and are looking for a fun, inexpensive and environmentally friendly teaching tool, consider file folder games. File folder games are also highly portable and easy to store. File folder games can be used to make learning fun or just to entertain bored children. All of these factors make file folder games a great option for cash-strapped teachers and preschools. They are a favorite with parents as well.
Decide upon a teaching topic for the file folder game. Some possible topics include numbers, letters, spelling, shapes, math or colors.
Use a computer word processing program or graphics program to make shapes or pictures to use to make the activity sheet section of the file folder game. For example, to make a game teaching children to read and spell the names of colors, you could create several crayons in different colors on one page.
Print the activity sheet page. Laminate the page, if desired, by covering it with two sheets of clear contact paper (one on the front and one on the back. Glue it to the inside of the file folder on the right panel. Adhere dots or strips of hook-and-loop tape to the shapes on the activity page.
Make a second page with the same shapes or pictures as the activity page, except change the shapes to include possible answers for the activity. For example, if teaching the names of colors, you could create black-and-white crayons with the color names printed onto them.
Print the black-and-white shapes and cut out each one. Laminate them using clear contact paper, and adhere the other sides of the hook-and-loop tape to the backs. Type up the game instructions, print them out and glue them into the front cover. Keep the pieces inside the folder.
Some other ideas for file folders include an activity sheet with math problems and cut-outs with answers, or clocks with hands showing the time and digital time cut-outs.
Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.