When I taught, I created learning centers out of file folders. You know the ones, manila folders you use in your file cabinet. Students could practice specific skills independently or with a partner while I taught a small group.
Last year, I was planning my daughter’s annual Book Fair for her preschool. I always like to make home-school connection activities for the students to complete and get them excited for the upcoming Book Fair. I decided to create file folder games. They were easy enough for the teachers to pass out to the students and for the students to complete with their parents. I received great feedback.
So, here are a few ideas for file folder games you can create for your child. It’s best if you can laminate the folders to survive wear and tear, but also so your child can use dry erase markers on them. If you can’t laminate them, use a pencil so you can erase later. Use your creativity and make them as cute or as simple as you would like. I suggest helping your child at first, but eventually, these are quick games that your child could complete on his/her own.
Manila file folders
Pencil/dry erase marker
- Place letters on one side of the folder. Put matching letters on the other. Have your child draw a line to the matching letter (create several of these, until you have used the alphabet).
- Place capital letters on one side of the folder and lower case letters on the other. Have your child draw a line to the matching letter (create several of these, until you have used the alphabet).
- Place letters on one side. Place clip art pictures on the other. Have your child draw lines to match the letter with the beginning sound of the picture.
- Place blends on one side (sh, fr, tr, etc.). Place clip art pictures on the other. Have your child draw lines to match the blend with the beginning sound (or ending sound) of the picture.
Spelling (Kindergarten/1st grade)
- Create cards with common patterns (oa, ip). Write words on the file folder that use the patterns, but leave the pattern blank (g__t, b___t, fl__, s__). Have your child match the card with the correct pattern to the word that uses that spelling.
- Create several sets of individual cards with vowels on them. On the file folder, write several words with the vowels missing (c_t, d_g). Have your child place the correct vowel in place of the missing letter (depending on where your child is developmentally, you could make the words more difficult).
Most of these should only take a few minutes to make and create a few minutes of learning fun for your child.
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