Kindergarten File Folder Games

Kindergarten girl

Children learn while as they play with kindergarten file folder games. These great little teaching tools are effective, fun and inexpensive.

What Are Kindergarten File Folder Games?

File folder games are learning tools, mounted inside file folders. Images are attached to one side of the folder, and the other side contains cutouts that children match to the images. It's best to use folders with internal pockets, so you will have a place to store the cutouts. The games are capable of teaching much of the same subject matter as flash cards and worksheets. Ideally, children will have a variety of file folder games from which to choose, and many classrooms have a rack or cabinet dedicated to these games. File folder games are used for preschool through elementary grades, but because of their experiential nature, kindergarteners seem to have a special affinity for them.

Where to Find File Folder Games

Kindergarten file folder games are versatile for teachers, as well as students. With a little imagination and a trip to a crafts store, you may create your own games from scratch.

An extensive selection of free file folder games is available through File Folder Fun, a website hosted by Christian homeschoolers. All you have to do is down-load, print and assemble the games. The same group hosts a sister site, Christian Preschool Printables, offering free Christian-themed file folder games and other crafts. Despite the website name, many of the games are appropriate for kindergarteners.

File folder games for kindergarten may also be purchased through Amazon.com or My File Folder Games.

Using File Folder Games

There seems to be no end to the permutations of these simple little games. You can use them for practically any subject you need to teach.

Math Example

Teach children to count money with a file folder game. On one side of the file folder attach pictures of items a child might like to buy and include a price. For example, an animal-shaped eraser might cost 12 cents or a balloon, 15 cents. Next, cut out ten images each of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Help the child to count out the correct amount of coins to pay for each item.

Reading Example

To teach beginning reading skills, design a file folder game around two-letter words. Cut out brightly colored flowers, write a word on each and attach the flowers to one side of the folder. Cut out stems and leaves with the same words written on them. Have the child match the appropriate stem to each flower, and discuss each word as the child does so.

Science Example

Use a file folder game to help kindergarteners differentiate between items that sink or float. On one side of the folder draw or attach a picture of a swimming pool. Cut out images of several common items, such as an ice cube, a fork, a beach ball or a leaf. Ask the child to place each item on the surface of the pool if she thinks it will float or at the bottom of the pool if she thinks it will sink. When you play this game, you may want to have an actual bowl of water and the items available to test if the child isn't sure.

Social Studies Example

Help children explore other cultures with file folder games linked to holidays. For St. Patrick's Day cut out twenty shamrocks, then draw a heart inside each one. Give each child one crayon at a time and ask him to color two hearts in the same color. Next, let the children color outside the heart any color they choose. On one side of the folder, attach ten shamrocks, each with a different colored heart. Have the children match the remaining shamrocks based on the color of the heart. In conjunction with this game read a story or show a cartoon about driving the snakes out of Ireland or about the luck of the Irish.


Kindergarten file folder games may be played with children in groups, which builds team-working skills, or as a one-on-one activity. Some children may also like to play the games alone during quiet time.

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Kindergarten File Folder Games