File folder activities

As I mentioned in my post with examples of task boxes, people with autism tend to be very visual thinkers. File folder activities, like task boxes, provide visual structure and allow repeated practice on skills and concepts. File folder activities take up much less space, so I prefer them for "flat" activities. For students who are at an object-level of recognition/communication (i.e. don't associate a photo or drawing of an object with that actual object), task boxes are probably more appropriate but for a student who recognizes and understands pictures - file folder tasks are great.

Online sources for file folder activities (some are free printable, some are to purchase):

Other ideas to make your own:
  • Use flashcards 
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  • Cut out shapes
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  • Cut out pictures from workbooks/worksheets


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  • Little stickers for counting (for this particular one I used number stickers meant for mailbox numbers)
  • For this one I just wrote letters on index cards for students to practice spelling their name

    • This one uses library pockets to sort boardmaker pictures according to their short vowel sound
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        I write the skill addressed on the tab of the folder, clip the baggie with the pieces inside the folder, and store them in a plastic container.


        7 Responses to "File folder activities"

        Daisy (visit their site)

        To make a file folder activity tactile, consider Wiki Sticks. They're thin, waxy, and would work well if you're working with basic shapes.

        Neigenuage (visit their site)

        This is a really neat site! I've only had a chance to glimpse and skim here and there, but it looks very helpful. I was just looking in "How Do I Teach This Kid" by Kimberly a. Henry, and getting ready to email my friends what items to save me. Instead of typing everything out, I just googled "autism task box items," and there popped your link. I look forward to reading it more in detail. Keep up the great blog (and the photos are a wonderful addition to your text!).

        MNicoleM (visit their site)

        Daisy - great idea! I love wikisticks :-)

        Neigenuage - Thanks, I hope you do come back and that it is helpful.

        Nicole (visit their site)

        Another way that I store file folder games in in a magazine holder or rack.

        I make lots of folder games for my students with Autism that you can print (free) at

        Thanks for all of the hard work on your website! I've sent it to the other teachers at my school.


        MNicoleM (visit their site)

        Nicole - great ideas! Thanks for sharing my website - I hope it's helpful for someone. Your site is great as well!

        Jen N. (visit their site)

        I too have numerous file folders for my students with severe autism. I store them in 2 separate decorative cardboard boxes (got them at Walmart) and labeled the boxes "Math" and "Lang. Arts". This way, depending on how I am using them, they are at my disposal yet do not take up much space since I do not have much storage in my classroom.

        Nichole (visit their site)

        I use file folders for my students also. I have several crates for storage. I attach a progress chart to some of them and the adult in the area can check and mark the chart. At report card time, the chart is done and I can add to the student's IEP. I am always looking for new file folder ideas.