Learning is not always easy for every child. Some children pick up on subjects with such ease it’s scary. But there are other children that need the extra help. Some learn quicker, easier when they are learning in a fun way. But others that thrive in a structured strict setting. I have always wanted my children and now my grandchildren to love learning. When I became a preschool teacher at a Christian learning center that was my motto. Make Learning Fun! I did this by incorporating learning file folder games into my curriculum. The most important ones were the Sight Words File Folder Games, I honestly believe they became the backbones to my class learning to read.
As a preschool teacher, it was the most rewarding job I have had. My class was made up of children that just missed the kindergarten age cut off, or would be turning 5 within a month or so. We had a very structured curriculum that included a bible song and verse, (one that I got to pick out) as well as all the skills taught to kindergarteners.
As a teacher, you learn within the first few weeks of school, that not all your children are at the same level. Not only that but you also become aware that some learn through different outlets. I noticed that some of my class learned the bible verse and song quickly, I honestly believe it had to do with the “fun” behind it. We got up we moved, we sang, some of the songs we did hand movements.
Let’s face it we all love fun! If it’s something we enjoy, we want to do it and look forward to it. In hopes of creating a fun learning class, I created file folder games for every subject they would learn. They worked too! The children couldn’t wait for “free play” or “quiet time”. Over 97% of my class would ask to play the file folder games. Little did they know that by playing those games they were learning too! The point of the story is that I am using these same learning tactics with my granddaughter Elizabeth. She’s in kindergarten and struggles with reading. I don’t want to see her dislike learning because of her struggles. I recently created some file folder games for her and wanted to share them with you. But firest let me explain what a File folder game.
File Folder Games – Making Learning Fun!
What is a file folder game? They are learning tools, created with a file folder, made to feel like a game. You can create a file folder game to help teach anything from words to colors, they can be matching games, or teach your child to button, zip, or tie. They are fun quiet extra learning fun for your child. File folders can be easily stored, transported and did I mention a fun learning tool?
File folder games usually have the following:
Two Game Boards (the insides of the folder)
Manipulatives (games pieces)
File Folder Games Basic Supplies:
File Folders, Regular School Folders (with or without pockets)
Glue or Spray Adhesive
Laminating Machine (makes them durable)
Colored or White Paper, Premade Cutouts, Construction Paper
Markers or Pens
Directions: Simple Color Teaching File Folder Game
Print, draw, cut or use premade cutouts as the main game board pieces. For example drawn crayons and color them the colors you want to teach or cut the shape of a crayon from colored construction paper. You can also use premade cutouts, the Dollar Tree usually has tons of them.
Next glue these to the inside of the file folder, then create a cover for the file folder game. Name it Color Matching with a large crayon. Next, you’ll need to create the manipulatives or game pieces. You can make crayons cut from colored construction paper and add the color word to it. This way you’re teaching the color and what the word for the color looks like. You can also make your child’s favorite thing the different colors and they have to match them. Ex: Blue crayon on the board game, gets matched with a blue car.
After you’ve gotten the game board built, the cover in place and all the manipulatives done you can laminate them. Put the manipulative pieces into a Ziploc bag and store with the file folder game. They can easily be stored in a plastic bin, on the shelf or on tables. Now that you’ve gotten the basic concept of a file folder game, I am going to share the Sight Words File Folder Games I made for Izzy.
Sight Words File Folder Games
Construction Paper, or Cardstock
Laminating Machine and Laminating Sheets
Circut Machine with Circut Access
Printer, or Hand Draw
Sight Words (your child has learned and a couple new ones to get them ahead of the game)
Sight Words File Folder Games
Step 1: If you’re using your Cricut to create the file folder game for the Minnie click here, for the ice cream click here, and if you’d like to use the pumpkin one click here and here. This will include the files for the board pieces, manipulatives, and the sight words. You’ll need to change the name on the large shaped to your child’s name.
If you’re going to make the file folder game by using hand-drawn, printed or premade cutout pieces. You’ll want to draw, print and cut the pieces out then write the sight words on them. Remember you’ll need the game board pieces and the manipulatives. Once you’ve created all your pieces you’ll move to the next step. Ex: Minnie Mouse head with the sight word, gets matched with the bow that has the same sight word. Pieces needed Minnie head and bows for each sight word.
Step 2: Using glue attach all the game board pieces to the inside parts of the file folder game. You’ll also want to attach the front cover pieces as well. Then laminate the file folder. If you have a smaller laminating machine you can cut the file folder down the center and trim off the edges. Once you’ve laminated the file folder, using duck tape, or washi tape put the two pieces of the game together and add the tape. See images for a visual of what I mean.
Step 3: Laminate the manipulatives and cut them out. Place them in a Ziploc bag with the file folder game. Give to your child and watch the fun learning begin!
Sight Words File Folder Games
Let the fun begin!
Elizabeth loved her games, the best part is she was really having fun and learning at the same time. I have a good feeling about how much progress I think she’ll get from these file folder games. I made all three listed above and she played with each one last night. She even took the mininie one with her so she could play while she was visiting her dad this weekend.(shown in the image above)
Create Sight Words File Folder Games for your child and watching the fun learning begin! I will be creating more file folder games for the girls and sharing them here on DM.