I am calling this a "Mom Project" because it requires more ahead of time prep than most of my usual activities. As a teacher I loved file folder games because once they were taught, they could be used as independent activities. The purpose of this file folder game is to match the butterflies that are alike (working on matching/visual discrimination skills).
Materials Needed: colored or white cardstock (I didn't have any white cardstock...otherwise I would've used it), scissors, simple butterfly pattern, markers, tape, and a plain file folder
1. I began by using my butterfly pattern and then I copied it and put six per page. Then I printed out the blank butterflies onto the colored cardstock.
2. Next I decorated the butterflies with markers so that there were two of each type of butterfly. I tried to use a variety of patterns, shapes, and colors.
3. Cut out the butterflies.
4. Attach some background cardstock to the inside of the file folder (using glue or tape). (When the file folder is laminated, sometimes the tape looks weird... but I was lazy tonight).
5. Attach one of each type of butterfly to the inside of the file folder (using tape or glue).
6. When you play the game with your toddler, place the matching butterflies next to the file folder. With younger toddlers you will want to use fewer butterflies to make the activity less visually overwhelming.
7. If you plan to re-use this activity again and again, take it somewhere like Lakeshore Learning
and laminate it (they have pretty good deals on lamination).
8. You can also add velcro to the pieces once they are laminated... so that they are easier to match. For now, I'll just have my little guy lay the butterfly pieces on top of their matches.
Language Building Activities:
This file folder activity provides many opportunities to strengthen language skills and develop vocabulary. The patterns, colors, and shapes you choose to use will guide your child's conversation. As you play with them, talk about each butterfly and the patterns, shapes, colors you see, you will serve as a great model for them to follow. Stringing phrases together or building simple sentences, like, "I see a blue checkerboard butterfly" (and having your child repeat or create their owns sentence) will also strengthen language skills.
Reading the book New Tricks I Can Do! by Robert Lopshire was a fun way to start building language prior to this activity.
We plan to read it again after we do this game tomorrow. It introduces words like plaid, striped, spotted, speckled, etc. that my son didn't know ahead of time. It also can review basic colors and shapes.
By adding more intricate patterns, colors and details you can increase the difficulty of this activity. For older children you could also write simple words or letters on each butterfly and work on letter or word discrimination. The possibilities are endless!
This activity was inspired by many of the file folder games I have made using the Kindergarten File Folder Games Book by Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company.