File Folder Games
I love file folder games! They are fun to make and easy to conform to your theme or topic. There are many different themes that you can use to create file folder games. Here are some examples of math and science concepts that can be introduced and an example for each:
How to make a file folder game: You just open a file folder and glue one set of items on the inside. Then, you laminate the other set of items (you may want to glue the paper one's to cardstock or old cereal boxes first) and glue an envelope onto the back of your folder. Put a cover page and instructions on the front and lable the tab for your own use. Laminate the folder and slit the envelope on the back. Put in a file box (I like "show-offs") and allow the children to work on them during free time or for small group or portages.
One to One Correspondance: You can easily allow the children to work on one to one correspondance. You can buy a coloring book and make two copies of a page and color and cut out the pictures. Glue one set inside the file folder and laminate the other set. Then, allow the children to work alone at matching up the corresponding pictures.
Number Sense and Counting: This one can be like one-to-one. Just make several copies of each picture or draw them. I found a Richard Scarry counting book at the GoodWill for 10cents and cut the pictures out of it. Then, glue like five cars in a row on your folder and five cars on a piece of cardstock to make a matching card. Then continue with each number that you would like represented and laminate and cut out your cards so that they can take the cards from the back pocket and place them with the corresponding number on the folder.
Logic and Classifying: This is good one for living and non-living. Separate your folder into two sections by drawing a line down the crease of your folder. Then, write "Living" at the top of the left half and "Non-Living" at the top of the right half. Find pictures of several living and non-living things such as shoes, plants, animals, and household furniture for the children to classify.
Comparing: You can use colors to reinforce this concept. On the inside of the folder, glue "splotches" of different colored construction paper or some paint buckets with different colors of paint dripping from them. Then, color and cut out several pictures for the colors that you want to reinforce. All of the paint cans or splotches do not have to be represented. Have the child compare the items and separate them by color.
Parts and Whole: For this, get a picture of a doll, a chair, a cat, and an apple. Cut the arm off of the doll, a leg off of the chair, the tail off of the cat, and slice the apple in half. Then laminate the arm, leg, tail, and half of the apple. Glue the rest onto the inside of your file folder. You can either work with the child and ask him/her what it is without the extra pieces or allow them to put it together themselves.
Shape: You can use different shaped pieces of paper and glue them to the file folder. Then, you can collect pictures of items that are that shape (a clock for a circle, a box of cookies for a rectangle, etc) and laminate them to use as manipulatives. the children would pile the shapes over the one that they represent.
Spatial Sense: You may have to work with the child or allow the children to work together on this one. You can have pictures of household furniture on the inside of the folder and a paper doll manipulative (or each childs picture) to put on, under, beside, and above each item. You can give the child directions or have another child in the class give him/her directions.
Ordering: This would be hard as a file folder game. You could cut out cards with dots or pictures on them to represent the numbers 0 - 5 or 10. Then, allow the child to put them in order.
Patterning: You can use buttons for patterning.Round buttons are probably easiest but shaped ones would be fun, too. If using round buttons, just cut out small construction paper circles with two x on them in several colors to resemble the buttons. Then, glue them on the inside of the file folder in a short pattern. Allow the children to access the button collection to work on the activities.
Graphs: Another fun one... You can program a universal graph and just add velcro to the classification part of the grid. For example, you would make the grid by drawing a line down the center of one of the halves of the folder and then about 6 horizontal lines evenly spaced down the same side of the folder. ++. Then, you would laminate the folder. After that, put sticky-backed velcro on the top two sections. When you want to add the criterion, you would write it on a strip of cards stock, laminate it, stick on a piece of velcro, and velcro it in the appropriate place. Here are some ideas:
Living Room and Kitchen (pictures because they cannot read) and then cards with pictures of living room and kitchen items for them to classify.
Two colors and then cards with items of those two colors
Anything else that can be classified. You can also make it harder by building a larger graph to hold more criterion. The chidren can also poll classmates using these grids and cards with thier classmates names and pictures on them.
*** If you need to glue your pictures to cardstock before laminating them, do not use a glue stick. When you cut them out, they will separate from the cardstock. Instead, use a spray glue found at home supply stores and they may also have it at Wal-mart.