File Folder Games: Learning Centers Kids Can Do At Home

11:00 AM

Looking for something fun for students to do at home to reinforce the skills you're teaching? I have just the thing for you. Allow me to introduce my favorite type of independent work activity: file folder games!

I've always loved offering academic work centers for students to practice their skills. The problem is that we can't just send all of our classroom materials home with students... well, not unless we're okay with some of them going missing. Let's be real. Some kids barely remember to leave the house with shoes on (or is that just my own kids?). We can't assume they'll be able to keep track of our classroom materials and remember to return them to us.

And then there's the fact that we would need enough learning activities to send to all of the students' homes instead of allowing them to share or take turns in class. Normally we can set up centers activities somewhere in the classroom so students can take turns completing them. But if students are home, that's just not going to work.

So activities involving pricy toys or learning sets wouldn't be a great option to send home because teachers would go broke replacing them. The perfect learning center activities for home would need to be either a) inexpensive, or b) something parents can make at home. Or better yet, both.

If you follow me on TPT, you might have noticed that I have a thing for file folder games (if you don't follow me on TPT, well go ahead and do so right HERE). File folder games can be used in so many ways. With many schools going virtual, there's never been a better time to try them out.

What Are File Folder Games?

File folder games are activities made out of... you guessed it, file folders! They usually consist of some sort of template and some moveable pieces. They're great for basic skills like matching, identifying, sorting, and collating, but can be used in lots of other ways too. You can buy them HERE or make your own.

The PROs and CONs to Using File Folder Games

File folder games and be prepped and sent home with students for pennies. Hopefully students will return them to you, but if they don't, no big deal. File folder games are inexpensive activities and once they're laminated, they last FOREVER. I still have file folder games I made 15 years ago. Talk about a wise investment.

If you're concerned about germs on shared materials, no worries. Once they're laminated, you can just wipe them down. Good to go!

If there's a drawback to using file folder games, it's the prep time. They're not exactly print-and-go activities. You'll need to do some cutting and pasting, but once you do, you'll have them for years. If you have class parents or teaching assistants eager to help out, they can help you with some of the assembly.

But trust me, you'll get your time/ money's worth out of your file folder games. You don't even have to buy them. You can make your own and save even more! But if you'd rather save some time by purchasing a ready-made file folder game, I have tons to choose from right here. 

The one shown in the photo is free by the way. Click HERE to get it! Check out all my freebies HERE.

I'll be writing step-by-step instructions on how to make a file folder game on my blog HERE so stay tuned for that. When you make your own file folder games, you're able to tailor it to your students' needs. You can personalize it even more by including characters or themes they like. For example, a child that loves soccer may enjoy completing a file folder game with that theme.

But if making a file folder game from scratch isn't something you have time for, no worries. I have tons of file folder games in my TPT shop. You'll still need to prep the pieces, but you'll save yourself the time of creating the whole thing.

I have file folder games for all types of skills and themes. I have file folder games for every month, season, and even a big yearly bundle. If you like file folder games, I think you'll find what you're looking for in my TPT shop. And if not, shoot me an email at and maybe I'll be able to create what you need.

Whether you're just learning about file folder games now or have been using them for years, I think you'll find them a fun alternative to worksheets home with students. Why not send them home with a file folder game instead? You'll save on paper by reusing the same activity.

Here are a few of my favorite file folder games, available on TPT:

Follow Christy from Exceptional Thinkers (that's me!) on Teachers Pay Teachers, social media (links below), or the Teaching Exceptional Thinkers blog. I can't wait to connect with you!

Follow Exceptional Thinkers on TPT for freebies, sales, and new resources.

Keep teaching. Keep learning.

~Christy from Exceptional Thinkers

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by Christy from Exceptional Thinkers

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