What is better than being able to create fun educational activities with file folders? Yes, you read that right, file folders. File folder activities are super easy to create since all the hard work is done for you. They are as easy as cutting out the pieces and gluing them onto file folders. It can’t get much easier than that, right? The extra pieces that don’t get glued to the folders are placed in a small zippered plastic bag for safe storing. I attach the bag to the file folder with a binder clip when they’re not in use so that nothing gets separated or lost. The games/activities are ready to use within a few minutes. So where can you find FREE file folder games?
If you have a child who is beginning preschool or even attending preschool through 3rd grade, you can find math, science, language arts, history and even Bible activities at filefolderfun.com. There are so many activities to choose from that will help develop essential skills that your little ones are learning in school. I like the fact that these activities are not only very easy to create but they are a perfect for a quick skill review. If you don’t want your child to forget everything they have learned during the summer these activities are a fun way to practice without feeling like you’re doing math or language arts drills. These activities are actually very portable too, they are great to take with you while traveling this summer.
Since I know a little one going into preschool soon I found activities that were focused on preschool/kindergarten level skills. I had extra file folders laying around the house so I didn’t need to purchase any. The only cost I had was lamination. I chose to laminate them so that the folders and activities can be used repeatedly.
I printed out ten preschool and kindergarten activities. Depending on the skill level of the child these activities can be implemented both at preschool and kindergarten levels. The activities I selected focus on categorizing hot & cold items, counting, patterns, colors, the alphabet, phonics and beginning reading as well as shapes. I wanted to select a variety of subjects since they were easy to create.
|Simple Shapes Sorting Game|
I chose two activities that focus on shapes. The first activity, Simple Shapes Sorting Game, has children matching the basic shapes of a circle, triangle, rectangle, and square. What sets this activity apart from other shape activities is that they use pictures of real objects that children have seen or will find around their house, neighborhood or while traveling. Kids will be able to relate to the objects, thus helping them to make the connection between the object and shape. It opens up the opportunity for parents to encourage their children to find tangible objects that match the correct shape.
The second shape activity, appears to be more advanced but believe it or not this skill is tested in Kindergarten so it’s wise to help familiarize children with this type of analytical thinking prior to being exposed to it during testing. The Tangram Game helps children to develop problem-solving skills. The child needs to place the correct sized shape in the picture to accurately create the picture. There is a more advanced skill version with just a border for the object and no outlines of shapes within the object, they call that the shadow cards but I didn’t print the shadow cards out. I felt if the child can do the outlined version that is enough and when they get older if they are up to the challenge then I’ll print out the shadow cards. Note: The parallelogram drawn inside the illustrations are actually reversed compared to the colored piece you are meant to use to fill in the illustrations. The following illustrations are the ones that are affected by the reversed parallelogram-the flower, turtle, fox and the boat. I simply made an extra parallelogram and colored it a different color so each illustration can be filled in properly.
|Count Clip Cards|
The four math activities concentrate on counting skills, sequencing, addition and number identification. Even though the Count Clip Cards are on filefolderfun.com they technically are only flash cards not a file folder game. Each card contains a certain number of sea animals and three numbers to choose from. It helps children to learn how to count by counting the animals and identifying the correct number that correlates with the number of animals counted. I used clothes pins to mark the correct number which also helps to develop fine motor skills.
The second math activity involves counting cupcakes! Counting Cupcakes is such a fun way to count cherries and then match with the applicable number. The directions for this activity for some reason is combined with a similar activity on the website so they don’t coincide with this activity. I created my own directions. I placed the numbered cupcakes on the folder and then used the cherry covered cupcakes as the pieces to match with the number. This way when I decide to use the cupcakes to teach sequence I am able to have the child put the cherry cupcakes in the correct numerical order. It’s a little more challenging to do instead of placing the numbered cupcakes in order.
|Ice Cream Game|
The third math activity uses another child-friendly food which involves matching the number of ice cream scoops with the cherry that contains the matching number. I glued the ice cream cones from the Ice Cream Game to the file folders and then had the kids match the cherries. I had to be a little strategic on placing them to assure I was able to fit them all on one folder.
|Counting Buttons Activity|
The final math activity not only involves counting and matching the correct amount of buttons with their matching number but it also introduces the concept of addition. The Counting Buttons Activity does involve some reading so if your little ones don’t know how to read just yet you’ll have to read the cards to them otherwise it’s a great way to have them practice their reading while playing this activity. I do like that the activity combines two different skills to practice such as reading and math.
|Dinosaur Color Match Game|
The next two activities involve colors and patterns. The Dinosaur Color Match Game is a fun one for those little dinosaur fans in your house. I glued all of the Brontosaurus’ onto the file folder and used the Stegasaurus’ as the piece to match the Brontosaurus. Each dinosaur is a different primary color, all the main colors are included such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, gray, and brown. The colors aren’t as exact and as bright as I was hoping. It could perhaps be my printer but I wish the colors were a tad bit more accurate. The red isn’t a bright fire engine red it’s more of a red-orange color.
|Busy Bees Color Matching Game|
The Busy Bees Color Matching Game is a bit more advanced since their bodies and the flower petals are combining the use of two colors. Kids may need a little help since some color combinations use similar colors. As an example, the red and green combinations are quite close to the orange and green colors. The red and orange don’t differ in color as much as I’d prefer. You might need to help your little ones distinguish the difference. Again, it might be my printer but I’d just be aware of that issue before using this activity.
|Hot & Cold Game|
A really fun and simple way of introducing children to science is helping children to categorize items that are either “hot” items or “cold” items. The Hot & Cold Game opens up the possibility to allow children to recognize what items are hot and which ones are cold by doing a little experiment. As a parent, you can bring the items to life by having your children feel the difference between hot and cold.**Caution** I DON’T recommend hot items I suggest using warm items. As the website suggests, create a sensory station where your child can touch cold items such as an ice pack, frozen vegetables, ice water, etc. Warm items such as a bag of rice, warm water, a heat pack that is warm, etc. As I have cautioned, the filefolderfun.com website also cautions to NOT allow your children to touch hot items, ONLY allow them to touch warm items.
|Alphabet Animals Game|
The final fun folder game I made was the Alphabet Animals Game. If you have a little one at home that loves animals this game will for sure be a hit with them. The animals are cartoon-like and very kid-friendly. It’s a good game to help teach children the names of the animals but it also helps them to learn what letter the animal’s name begins with. It begins to introduce your child to spelling. It’s a good game to play with your child if they aren’t sure what the name of the animal is or what letter it may begin with. You can help guide them to the correct letters.
The games are fun to play and easy to create and implement. This set of games that I chose is easily adaptable to fit the skills of your child. They are great to use at home or while traveling during the summer months. The games are compact and do not require much storage space. I love the ideas that are posted on filefolderfun.com and the ease of creating them. The only expense for all of the activities, if you already have file folders, is the lamination. If you don’t happen to have file folders I have seen them sold as a package at the dollar store.
If you’re looking for fun educational activities for the summer then you need to check out filefolderfun.com. Take advantage of the FREE resource and create those fun file folder games for your little ones.
If you are looking for other fun educational activities for the summer be sure to check out Preparing Your Kids for Preschool & Kindergarten, Fun & Affordable Activities, and Easy Homemade Activities.