File Folder Activities & Games for Young Children

By Melissa Gagnon
Laminate your file folder activities so your child can write on them and wipe it off.
Laminate your file folder activities so your child can write on them and wipe it off.

"Mom, I'm bored" is a common and dreaded saying uttered by children as early as preschool-aged, especially on long car rides or rainy days. Next time you hear your preschooler complain, have some file folder games and activities ready to beat the boredom. These activities are easy to store and they provide quiet distraction for those time you need to keep your little one busy.

Math Activities

You've counted the signs along the road, the cars that drive by and the wheels on the big trucks. It's no surprise that your preschooler will stay occupied when given a chance to put his math skills to use. File folder activities that teach counting, sorting and patterning are age appropriate and engaging for young children. Make counting folders with seasonal themes such as snowmen or umbrellas. Make rows of like items your child can count. Create a file folder full of different shapes that your child can sort or create patterns with. Adding felt to the back of the shapes and lining the folder with felt will help the shapes stick in place. If your child like to practice writing his numbers, laminate a number tracing sheet and attach it to the inside of a folder.

Memory and Matching Games

Your child is able to "read" you a bedtime story from memory and can beat you hands-down in a game of concentration. Build his memory skills and grab his interest with file folder games that require good memory skills. Almost any printable object- animals, numbers, letters or even photos can be used to make a memory game, just include two of each item in the folder. For matching game ideas, consider matching upper and lower case letters, baby animals with their moms or numerals with the correct quantity of items.

Literacy Activities

"How do you spell cat? Can you make he letter G for me?". Preschool-aged children are learning about letters and words and often show interest in creating their own writing. File folder activities that promote early literacy skills are fun for kids this age.Traceable, laminated alphabet sheets can be used over and over for kids learning to form letters. Matching animals or other objects with their beginning sounds is a good beginning for learning about spelling and phonics. Letter identification and alphabet sequencing activities can be done using cut out letters and arranging them in order of the alphabet on the inside of the folder. Make the letters big and easy to handle and identify.

Science Games

Your preschooler may already be a budding scientist. Do you have a collection of bugs in a bucket in your kitchen and a mess of sticky goo stuck to your couch? Children love to investigate and explore. Science file folder games can help your child explore concepts such as temperature, weight and identification. Create a folder that has two pockets, one for hot items and one for cold items. Have your child sort pictures of different items into the proper pockets. Vary this idea with the concept of weight. Have your child decide if an object will sink or float and test it later when you can go outside! Place pictures of different vegetables, plants, insects or fruits in a folder and ask your child to identify each one.

About the Author

Melissa Gagnon began writing professionally in 2010. Her expertise in education, research and literature allows her to write knowledgeably for various websites. Gagnon graduated from Gordon College with a Bachelor of Science in English and education. She then attended Salem State College and completed a master's degree in teaching English as a second language.