I know a current trend, especially in homeschooling, is lapbooks. I think they are great. I wish someone would come to my house and put them together for me.
When I was teaching, one thing I used quite often was File Folder Games. I only taught one grade, so I simply went out and got a Pre-K File Folder games book and had my assistant and student helpers assemble them for me. These games taught great skills like matching, colors, numbers, opposites, one to one correspondence, etc.
I still have several of the games that were made while I was teaching as well as some from this book that I picked up a couple of years ago for Big Brother:
I really liked this book because all the games are planned out and in full color. All you have to do is cut and paste.
I continually try to find things for Little Sis (2) to do while school is going on. She is quite demanding of my attention and very weepy if things don’t go her way. She is generally a very pleasant child, but for some reason she has not caught on to our family’s vision for homeschooling! I pulled out a few simple file folder games the other day and let her explore. It turns out, she’s really good at and excited about these games.
Big Sis (4) is also a big fan of the folder games. I have been trying to give her more hands on activities as she is getting bored with what we’ve been doing in school. I am also trying to give her more self directed tasks so that I can give Big Brother my full attention when I am working with him.
Another game I’ve made for Big Sis involves tracing Sight Words with beans. This is an idea I picked up from Pinterest. I put the cards and beans in a zip lock for Big Sis to pull out and work on when she likes. However, she is really more interested in the beans than in the words.
Sight Word Practice
Big Brother also really really enjoys the file folder games. As I mentioned earlier, my collection of games is very limited to preschool as that is what I taught pre- children. I started looking online and trying to think of things we are currently working on. I plan on making him some more games (Facts about the US, Science related, Language Arts, etc), but this is what I have put together so far.
Another idea from Pinterest:
And this is one that I made for him to practice math facts. He really doesn’t like sitting down to a page full of math problems, but if it is in a game form… he’s all about it. The ornaments have the facts on them and he has to match them with the right answer found on the tree:
I cleared a shelf next to our homeschool area and placed age appropriate games in labeled boxes. I showed the kids where they could find their own box to play games. This is a great cure for “mom, I’m bored” and “what else are we going to do today.”
Elementary, Preschool and Toddler Busy Boxes
Some other activities I have in the Elementary Box include Dinosaur Bingo and a Magic Treehouse Activity Book that I picked up.
In the Preschool Box, I have lacing cards from Laurie, a couple of clothespin games I picked up from Pinterest as well as her file folder games.
In the Toddler Box, I have just file folder games with very basic skills, but I will probably add some other little games soon.
Assembling the games is a bit time consuming, but totally worth it in my opinion. I HIGHLY recommend laminating or covering your games in contact paper to make them last. As I was putting games together the other night, I thought about the fact that they have to last through at least four children… maybe more… only time will tell.
Here are a couple of great sites for finding file folder games:
Christian Preschool Printables
I hope you found this post helpful!
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