written by: Kendra Dahlstrom
• edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom
• updated: 9/11/2012
Preschool folder activities use basic file folders and other simple supplies. They are cheap, easy to put together, fun, and educational for preschool students. Here are three basic folder games meant to teach number and letter concepts.
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Preschool folder activities engage students and combine fun with learning. They aren't difficult to make, and cost very little money. The best part about folder games, however, is easy storage. They fit in file folders and slide right into file cabinets. Preschool teachers use them on rainy days, but parents can use them just as easily. Although there are many different kinds of preschool folder activities, these focus on two main categories: letters and numbers.
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Letter Match Folder Activity
The letter match game helps children recognize capital and lower case letters. This game works better with a pocket file folder, but a standard file folder works as well. Write the first 13 letters of the alphabet (A through M) in capital letters down the left and right edges of a piece of plain white printer paper. Space them out evenly. Of course, these preschool folder activities should interest young children, so fun colors and designs on the letters work well. Laminate the paper so it lasts longer. Then, write the lowercase letters (a through m) on 13 clothespins. Each clothespin gets one letter. This activity has children match lowercase letters to the uppercase letters by clipping the clothespin to the matching letter. Then, store the whole game in a pocket file folder. Once the children master the first half of the alphabet, make a new folder activity with the letters N through Z.
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Number Matching File Folder Activity
Preschool folder activities cal also be used to teach basic concepts like colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. This game focuses on counting and number recognition. Like the letter matching game, this activity uses a similar clothespin theme. On a white piece of printer paper, draw a vertical line down the center of the paper, and equally space 5 horizontal lines to make 10 total blank rectangles. In one rectangle, draw or paste one apple. In another rectangle draw or place two birds. Put three pencils in another rectangle. Continue increasing the number of each picture in the rectangles until you reach 10. Of course, choose your own pictures and objects to fit your students interests. Then, write the numbers one through ten on ten different clothespins. Have the preschool children count the matching pictures in each rectangle and clip the corresponding clothespin to the space.
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Letter Sounds Folder Activity
Once children master the names of each letter, they can move on to learning the sounds each letter makes. The letter sounds game is one of the preschool folder activities that helps children associate pictures with their corresponding letters. First, open a file folder. Split the left half of the folder with a vertical line. Then, split the right half with a vertical line as well. Now you have four equal sections. Write one letter at the top of each section. The children will work on four letters at a time. Then, find pictures, no bigger than 3 inches, or draw pictures to correspond to those letters. For example, if "A" is one of your letters, draw an apple, an alligator, an ant, and a astronaut on a sheet of paper. Cut out all the pictures for each letter and have the child place each picture under the corresponding folder letter.
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Activities such as those described above not only help children learn and entertain themselves, they also give parents and teachers a chance to accomplish other tasks without interruptions. While this article only lists three basic folder activities, there are countless ways to use the clothespin concept with shapes, word recognition, and colors. Use your imagination to come up with more preschool folder activities specifically catered toward your own students' needs and interests.