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Not too long ago my husband, girls and I were having a late breakfast at the Cracker Barrel. The food was taking a little longer than usual and Lela and Niara were getting bored. They had already played with the toys in the front of the store and the board peg game on the table.  Finally, I got out pen and paper and they started playing ‘school’. This kept them occupied until their food arrived. I told Khari that I wished there were little activity books that were age-appropriate and educational that I could toss in my bag and keep with me for occasions such as these. It would be a win, win, win situation: they could practice skills, have fun, and allow for some peaceful adult time (ahhhhh). Little did I know that such a thing does exist!

That night I searched the internet because surely I am not the first mommy to think of such a thing, and that is when I discovered File Folder Games!!!

Ok, here’s the scoop:

What are they?

So if your brain works like mine you are probably  wondering…what exactly are these? Well it is exactly what it says…a game glued to a folder. The reason why I like them is because they allow the girls to use their hands and manipulate pieces to solve problems. So it is great for hands-on, tactile learners.

They come in every imaginable subject and across a variety of grades.

Who are they for?

Folder games are for any child really but you will mainly see them geared towards the elementary aged student. Lela (5) and Niara (2) enjoy these games because they can play them independently and can work at their own pace.

How do I use them?

Using the folder games is simple. The first time you introduce a game to your little one be sure to go over the rules and the concept (matching, counting, etc.).  Be sure to spend time modeling how to care for the game, including making sure all of the pieces are together and putting it away in its ‘home’. After the child understands how to play the game let them have fun with it!!

I have found that they are a great way to reinforce skills/content that I have introduced. I do not want my children to get frustrated (it is a game and games are supposed to be fun) so I make sure the game is something they can do on their own.

These file folder games also make great gifts. This year the girls will make them and give to their friends for Christmas.

Where can I get them?

To my delight the internet has tons of resources for file folder games. Simple type in the search engine ‘File Folder Games’ and then enjoy scrolling through all the bounty that appears. One great website is file folder fun. They are like folder game experts and have a ginormous amount of free templates and ideas.



But I settled on scholastic’s file folders which comes in a book. I decided to go with scholastic because it was colorful (I am a color girl!) and it came with 12 different games. Assembly was also easy. From start to finish it take 7 minutes to put together one game (I timed myself). I also thought it was affordable and well worth the $14.99 I paid for it. Another great thing is that they come in different sizes: full and mini. I like to take the mini books with us on our outings—they so come in handy!

Terrific Tips:

  • Have all materials gathered before assembly—it speeds up the process!
  • I use brightly colored, sturdy file folders—they add to the fun!
  • Double-backed tape works wonders!
  • If you can, laminate the games—they will last longer!
  • Make the games a part of the plan—when planning out a unit find games that will support what the child is learning. Traditional school parents, chat with teachers about upcoming units of study or areas where your child needs more reinforcement and use the folder games that way!
  • Store your folder games. My philosophy is: I make it once and they need to last so Lourdes can play with them. This way our inventory grows and grows. I keep the regular sized folders in a file drawer separated by subject and level. My mini folder games are stored in a larger index card box, they fit wonderfully in there!
  • Great Websites:

I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to tell me how it works for your family!

Chantel-LaVonne / The Muse