You will find them in just about every early education classroom in the country… because they are GENIUS! I’m talking about file folder games. I whipped up three of these during nap time this morning… so they don’t take long… but they do take a slight bit of effort (especially if you want them to look nice). The ones I made teach matching concepts.
– File Folders
– Clear Laminate (Unless you have access to a laminating machine. This is kind of like the stuff we always got in trouble for covering our textbooks with. I found it with the shelf liners in the housewares section at Walmart.)
– Velcro Circles (Or squares… or none at all… but Velcro makes things stick in place and easier for kids… plus, Velcro is super fun!)
– Images that match/convey your concept (I used stickers for some and cut out farm images from flashcards I found online. The ones I printed were a full page each… so I reduced them until NINE fit on a single page… and then I printed it twice.)
– Plastic Baggies
1. Label your folder. (I suggest labeling the front and top of your folder with the concept and theme. Ex: Old McDonald Matching)
2. Glue/stick one of your matching images on the file folder. (Repeat for all images.)
3. Laminate the second matching images. Cut these out.
4. Laminate your folder. (Make sure all of your images are attached first!!!)
5. Place the HARD side of your Velcro on your game pieces (the loose pieces).
6. Place the SOFT side of your Velcro on your game board. (You can either put the Velcro ON the images or BESIDE the images. Use your best judgement… or send me a picture, $5 and I will tell you where to put the Velcro.)
7. Be sure you put a soft piece of Velcro at the bottom (center) of your folder and a soft piece at the top. This will help your folder stick together and keep it from flopping around. (This is optional, but highly recommended.)
8. Game pieces can be placed in a plastic baggie.
The number of images will vary, based on the age/ability level of your child. I have a seven piece game that seems to be suitable for a two and a half year old… but if I gave her the 16 piece game board (I don’t even know what I was thinking) it would be a sh*t show… complete with tears of frustration… so we will save that one for later. (You want your child to succeed… not feel like a failure… come on people. Oh, unless you are a “tiger mom” in which case, your file folder games for preschoolers should only include trigonometry.)
If you need some ideas, you can match things like colors, animals, shapes… etc. If you have older kids, you can match pictures to words and things like that… or do math problems… or counting. The possibilities are endless!
You don’t have to be crafty to figure out how to do this… and it doesn’t take too long (unless you suck with a pair of scissors or can’t figure out how to use glue or tape).
Play the game WITH your child the first couple of times (at least) until they are able to understand how to play it alone. Once your kid masters the game, put it in a bin in their room. They can play these games quietly if they wake up early or can’t sleep!
You: OMG, YOU ARE A GENIUS!
Me: Yes, I know.