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Easy Indoor Games for Kids

File Folder Math Games

Save these file folder math games to play again.
Save these file folder math games to play again.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

File folder math games are quick and easy to make with colorful markers. And because kids make up the games and the rules, they can play their way. Cover these easy indoor games for kids with clear adhesive paper, and they will stay clean to file and play over and over again!

What You'll Need:

  • Manila file folders
  • Colorful markers
  • Index cards
  • Clear vinyl adhesive paper
  • Small toys or coins
  • Die

Step 1: Pick one file folder to use for each game. Open the folder, and draw the game board on the inside, placing squares around the outside of the folder.


Step 2: Choose a corner square as the starting point for the game. Label it "START," and then number the rest of the squares around the board in order. Label the last square "FINISH."

Step 3: Fill in most of the squares with different math problems. Figure out the answers to each problem, and put each answer on a separate index card so players can check their answers as they play.

Step 4: Make the rest of the squares penalty squares. During the game, anyone landing on a penalty square will have to go back a few spaces or start over, for example. (You get to make up the rules!)

Step 5: Decorate the board by drawing colorful pictures or designs with markers, write the name of your game on the file tab, and then cover the board with the clear adhesive paper.

Step 6: Use small toys or coins for game pieces.

Step 7: Once you've developed all the rules and the object of the game (for example, to be the first to get all the way around the board), play the game with a friend by rolling a die to determine how many squares each player will advance.

Step 8: C­reate as many different board games as you want, maybe one for addition problems, one for subtraction, one for multiplication, and one for division.

Step 9: File your games with the index cards inside, and you're ready to play again another day.

Go to the next page to discover how kids can make and play a modern version of a 4,000-year-old board game.

For more great math exercises and math instruction, check out: