They’re simple, compact, and easy to make. Find out why file folder games are the ultimate hands-on activity for your classroom.
What Is a File Folder Game?
What is a file folder game? The name says it all. A file folder game is a game that fits inside a file folder. You open the file folder to find the game board, game pieces, and instructions. All the components are made out of paper, so they lie flat.
Why File Folder Games Are Perfect for the Classroom
File folder games have several things going for them:
Are you tired of consumable worksheets? File folder games are entirely reusable. All you need to do is make them the one time, and you can play the game repeatedly.
File folder games can last for years (doesn’t that sound amazing?) particularly if you laminate the components.
If storage is a premium in your classroom, file folder games take up minimal room. You can store dozens in a single magazine file box. Regular board games can’t compete with that.
We all know that hands-on learning is best for boosting student engagement. File folder games tick that box. Who doesn’t love to learn while playing?
You can make file-folder games to work with any subject and practice multiple skills. They are extremely versatile. They can be your new go-to activity in your lesson plans!
How to Use File Folder Games in the Classroom
File folder games have numerous uses in the classroom.
Every teacher needs activities that students can do independently. File folder games are perfect for independent practice. Once the student knows the game’s rules, he can play it without help from you.
Learning centers are the most engaging when students have new activities. File folder games can easily be swapped into centers for reading, math, science, and history.
When a student finishes early, what can she do? Play a file folder game! Everything fits neatly at her desk, and she can play quietly while she waits for her classmates to finish.
File folder games can practice much-needed skills like writing, sequencing, counting, and more. They make excellent intervention activities. Students will love the extra practice since it involves play!
What You Need to Make File Folder Games
File folder games are easy to make. Here is what you’ll need:
- File Folder Game Printable Template
- 8.5 x 11″ manila file folder (any color)
- paper or cardstock to make the board and pieces
- tape, glue stick, or stapler
- plastic zipper baggie to hold any small pieces
- optional: laminator and laminating sheets
- optional: hook and loop dots or sticky tack
Here are the step-by-step instructions:
1 – Print your file folder game template. Games can reinforce multiple skills and have a variety of themes. I have games on identifying shapes, following directions, sequencing, and matching letters and numbers. Students will love the themes (e.g., penguins, Christmas desserts, trees, and cookies and milk).
2 – Optional step: Laminate the paper elements.
3 – Cut out the paper elements.
4 – Attach the cover to the front of the file folder with tape, glue, or a stapler.
5 – Optional step: Add sticky tack or velcro to the game board and/or game pieces so they will attach when played.
6 – Place the game pieces in a zipper baggie and tape or staple the baggie to the inside of the file folder (or the back if there is not enough room).
7 – Attach the directions and game board to the inside of the file folder.
8 – Play the game!
File Folder Games for the Classroom
File folder games are inexpensive, reusable, and versatile. They are the perfect hands-on activity for your classroom. Your students can play games and learn at the same time; it’s a win-win!