Friday, August 6, 2010

Homeschooling: File Folder Games

Yesterday I worked on some file folder games for the upcoming school year. I've always wanted to make some, but most of the ones I found online seemed to be pretty pointless ... until I found this site.

File Folder Fun has oodles of free printable file folder games that will keep your kids busy (and happy) for hours on end. I plan to use them primarily when I'm teaching one child and the other is finished with his/her work. Judging from the reaction of my kids last night ("Mommy, can I play one more game? Can we play with these tomorrow?"), these will work as good behavior treats, too! :)

How effective are they? Well, I'm completely sold on the concept after my son played with just one of them last night. It's the Chick-n-Place folder that focuses on place value. In the past, he's had trouble with trying to write 156 like this: 10056. He always wants to put those extra zeroes in for the hundreds. Well, this particular file folder game limits him to just three digits. At first he was stumped and asked me how to do it. I was tempted to tell him, but I decided to let him figure it out for himself. All I said was, "You can only use three numbers. Think about it." And he did. In less than a minute, he had figured it out by himself. Success!

If you browse around on the site, especially looking at the pictures of the games other people have made, you can see that the sky is the limit as far as how creative you want to get with decorating these folders. There are colored and patterned file folders you can buy, small colorful die cuts from Dollar Tree to make them look professional, and on and on.

But they don't have to be complicated if you're like me and trying to make more than a dozen of them before school starts at the end of the month ... and trying to keep them as low-cost as possible. I chose to use plain heavyweight file folders we had gotten for free at Staples sometime last year. They're very sturdy, and I found that the printable patterns decorate them very nicely! I also printed the patterns in black and white onto colored cardstock to save my more expensive color printer ink.

Just a quick design tip: I've been using some Dollar Tree pocket cards (like library pockets) to store the little manipulatives for each game.

So, which ones am I making for next school year? My kids will be in kindergarten and second grades, so I'm making these:

Some Odd Pumpkins
Squirrel Stash
Turkey Feathers
Alpha Animals
Pumpkin Phonics
Space Rhymes
Five Senses
Working 4 Peanuts
Dino Bones
Krafty Koi
Monkey Money
Skipping to Oregon
ASL Alphabet

If I get those done and still have time left, I may go back and add in some that my daughter can work with right away. I chose most of these to reinforce concepts we'll be learning this year, but my son can easily play around with the "younger" ones right away.


Shore Girl said...

Thanks for the link, Christa...I'll be checking this out. We've used games every year -- it never hurts to make learning fun and enjoyable!

BeckyK said...

Thanks for the link suggestion. I teach preschool three mornings a week. I'm going to check out this site.