Friday, June 22, 2012

Pocket Folders for File Folder Games

File Folder Games are supposed to be in file folders. Right? Uh, no. Every file folder game has manipulatives that go with it. You place them in a baggie and stuff them in the middle of the file folder to store them. Right. Except my children have to move the file folder back and forth from the table, and the manipulatives seem to always fall out and get mangled. Most of my file folder games also have multiple games to be played on them, which means multiple baggies to fall and get mangled. SO...I started using pocket folders instead.

I get them at the back-to-school sales for anywhere from .10 to .01 depending on the store. So sometimes they are even more economical than using file folders. If you are used to doing file folder games, then this is pretty much review.
I laminate all my games pieces. 
The first thing I do is turn the folder inside out. Just like file folders, they are pretty cheap, so sometimes they have to be manhandled into submission.

Then I use spray adhesive on the back of my first game board. I like the Craft Bond because it's repositionable for a while. Which I sometimes need. Spray outside or in the garage with cardboard underneath your item. This stuff is horrible to try to get off, puts sticky all around and kinda smells. It just takes a VERY light coat. 

I center the game board upside down inside the folder and stick it back against the fold as snuggly as possible, then put the top down slowly, smoothing from the fold edge as I go to keep it neat inside.

 It ends up like this...

Then I spray the second board and center it on top of the first one, lift the back, snug it up against the fold again, and close the back over slowly, pressing it down from the fold.

 To look like this. 

To dress up the front and back, I add coordinating pieces of scrapbook paper. You don't have to. Since it looks like I will be teaching up to my death bed, it is worth the extra effort to me, as they will be in use for many years. 

Cut the scrapbook paper to size, spray the back and adhere. You can leave the sides a little long and trim later if you aren't good at getting a precise fit. But remember, the spray adhesive IS repositionable for a little bit.

If you don't use a background paper, it will look like this.

This Ants at the Picnic has 7 games, and 3 are also in Spanish, which makes 10 games total, so each set I place in a snack size baggie, use my label maker to identify, and while they will fit just fine down in the pocket, I like to stand them up so I can easily pick out which game I want a particular child to play, depending on the skill set I want them to be working on. The labels are placed on the INSIDE of the seal so that they won't get peeled off easily by normal use and wear.

I can put the Spanish manipulatives on the back pocket, or have easy ones in the front pocket and the more advanced ones in the back pocket. It's nice to be able to sort them out like that. 

No more lost or mangled manipulatives! WOO HOO!

New to file folder games? Check out my post on making them!

Tags: teacher, preschool, kindergarten, daycare, childcare, chi

Not looking to make your own? I have several available in my TPT store.
Tags: child care, daycare, homeschooling, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, file folder, file folder game, preschool file folder games, tutorial, math, language, shapes, colors, alphabet, numbers, counting, reading, centers, center work, teaching


  1. I like this idea but was wondering if you've come up with a way to easily see what game it is when it's with all your other games. With file folders they have tabs which stick up past the pages but with these folders you don't get that. Do you find it a problem or time consuming to have to flip through all your games to find what you're looking for?

    1. Excellent question! My file folder games are filed with my themes/skill sets, so I do not have any issue with it. For the ones out, they are in a bin that the children can easily flip through and see the front cover. I imagine it would depend on your set-up, but stick-on file labels would be an option and could be color coded. My FFGs are color coded as well - red for Christmas, green for St. Pat's Day, black for Halloween, etc. to make it a little easier to sort out if I have a variety out for some reason.