A lot of moms are so good at making every day into a learning experience for their kids. I’m amazed at the ideas out there to build their brains. I’m a confessed Google addict, so I’ve found some educational games that my kids love: file folder games. They’re just what they sound like. The pieces fit neatly in a pocket you paste onto the front side of a manila folder, and the game board is inside. (There are books of these games, too, ready to cut out and glued into a folder.)

I’ve seen them for toddlers up through fourth grade. Some of them are for two players, but a lot of them can be played solo. My toddler loves the matching games (match the scoops of ice cream on the pieces with the scoops of ice cream on the board), and my kindergartner gets into the two-player games (that is, any competition — period). If you’d like extra practice for a specific skill of your child’s, like phonics, a search for “free phonics file folder game” on the Internet may turn up one of these and make some fun practice time or even quality time if you play together.

I keep a gaggle of these in my pantry, and they’re an educational answer to “I’m bored!” or a healthy preoccupation while I make lunch. Plus, since I just print them, cut them out, and glue them up, it’s easy to come up with different games as their skills develop. Here are some links to some of my kids’ favorite free file folder games … and of course, there’s always Google.