How to turn inexpensive file folders into games and lapbooks for your homeschool. Flamingo Feathers Podcast for special needs homeschooling.
Podcast

The Humble File Folder: A Homeschooler’s Favorite Tool | Episode 16

 File folders...

They are inexpensive and easy to find. And yet this simple piece of folded cardboard is easily one of my favorite tools for my homeschool.

In this episode, you'll learn how to turn plain file folders into games that will grab your kids' attention and reinforce new skills. And learn how to turn file folders into lapbooks. Test your kids' comprehension on a subject and give them pride in their new knowledge by using lapbooks!

What is a File Folder Game?

Simply put, it's just games attached to the insides of file folders. This makes for simple storage in a file box!

You can create a file folder game for just about anything and any grade level. You can have game pieces that go along, or you can laminate them and have your child use a dry erase marker.

Primary arts of language file folder games
My first grader using the Primary Arts of Language File Folder games

I personally like to laminate my file folder games to make them more durable. They don't fit through my personal laminator, though. So I laminate the 8.5"x11" before I glue it to the inside of the file folder. And then I laminate all the game pieces. Thus far, my file folder games have held up through 8 kids and are still going strong!

I also use zipper baggies to hold the game pieces, and I label the name of the game, the age level, and the number of pieces on the baggy. This makes it quick and easy to be sure that I have everything I need for my kids to play independently.

I also mentioned in the podcast two curriculums--All About Reading and Primary Arts of Language (PAL). I went into more depth about these two programs on a previous podcast episode. All About Reading is a well known program for dyslexics, and Primary Arts of Language is what we are using now with our first grader. PAL relies heavily on the use of File Folder Games, and it comes with everything you need to make the games. My son is currently LOVING this program!

Primary arts of language
Playing the PAL puppy dog letter sound game.

 

Other Resources for Making File Folder Games

There are many websites out there that offer file folder games that you can print and assemble yourself. The main one I used to use is no longer around. But here are some others that I have used and recommend. A lot of them offer free and paid options.

What is a Lapbook?

While I guess you could hold your lapbook in your lap, I really don't understand the name. (If you know why it's called a lapbook, let me know!) A lapbook is a collection of drawings, writings, graphics, photos, or whatever else you've put together on a particular subject. Think of it as a portfolio.

For our kids, any time they do any copywork, coloring, labeling of a diagram, dictation, craft, etc. regarding a certain topic, I will compile them into a lapbook. This is a great way to test kids on their knowledge of a subject without well....the test. Perfect for kids with learning disabilities and special needs!

Not to mention, my kids take great pride in showing all their work to grandparents and friends. When they do, they are reviewing their knowledge without even knowing it!

My Favorite Sources for Lapbooking Materials

  • Knowledge Box Central: We primarily use these lapbook resources for our Apologia science books (although if you buy the elementary Apologia workbooks, there are lapbooking items in that as well.)
  • Homeschool in the Woods: Oh my! My history loving heart loves these beautifully drawn graphics and the accompanying lessons. These could be a full history curriculum if you wanted!

Here are some examples from lapbooks we've created before:

Do you make lapbooks with your kids? Show them off! Email me photos of your lapbooks and I'll feature them on social media and an upcoming blog post!

 

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