Why School Counselors Should Buy File Folders in Bulk

File folders are one of those supplies that I buy in bulk. I started small… I bought a 100-pack at Target. But now I go for the Costco-sized box because I use file folders for everything. Aside from the obvious file sorting, I use them for hands-on student activities that make any counseling activity easy to assemble and inexpensive to make! Keep reading to find my 4 favorite ways to use file folders for school counseling activities:

Use all of those leftover file folders for fun school counseling activities! Build your own games, check-ins and more with simple file folders. Make counseling games, counseling lap books, counseling centers, and calm corner check ins to get your school counseling students engaged in classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling sessions, or individual counseling using your file folder counseling tools. -Counselor Keri

School Counseling Activities & Games with File Folders

Folder Games

When I started in my first counseling position, I had no materials and no budget. Anyone relate? I found a catalog in my school mailbox with counseling board games, but they were anywhere from $30-75… way out of my price range. After scouring our local thrift shop and coming up empty, I decided to just make my own games. All I needed was some colored shapes to make the board and some discussion cards.

I assembled my games inside a file folder so that I could fold them up and easily store them with all of the materials clipped inside. It worked like a charm! Now I make new file folder games for just about any topic. These fit perfectly in your file cabinet or on a shelf because they take up basically no space and they’re easy to set up and pack up.

File Folder Games

Lap Books

Lap books are the perfect reference tool for students on any topic. Inside and outside the file folder, students have psychoeducational material, self-checks, sorting activities, and more… all inside one file folder. If you’re not familiar with lap books yet, be sure to check out this post where I explained what they are and how to use them.

Use all of those leftover file folders for fun school counseling activities! Build your own games, check-ins and more with simple file folders. Make counseling games, counseling lap books, counseling centers, and calm corner check ins to get your school counseling students engaged in classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling sessions, or individual counseling using your file folder counseling tools. -Counselor Keri

Lap books work great with individuals or small groups. I know many counselors who use them in classroom guidance. The lap books do take some time to assemble, so if you have a solid 45-minute block, this might work for you too. No matter how you’re using them, lap books make a great takeaway for students to reference after sessions and share with families.

Counseling Lap Books

Feelings Check-in

For students who need a personal regulation station or for a space-saving calm corner tool, a file folder check-in can be a great option. Inside the folder, students can choose the feeling they have right now. Then, they can choose a strategy they will try. Feelings and strategies are attached to the folder with Velcro dots, so it’s easy for students to quickly select and reset options as needed. They fit in desks without much hassle or can be kept on a table or clipboard wherever your calming area is.

Calm Corner File Folder 

Sorting Centers

Centers or stations are my go-to activity for classroom guidance lessons to promote engagement, and file folders make a lot of the activities so much easier to organize and manage! If students are sorting something, like healthy vs. unhealthy choices or types of bullying, the folder will contain pockets and cards. Students will just open the folder, sort the cards, and then reset for the next group. It’s a great way to keep the materials organized during busy centers!

Use all of those leftover file folders for fun school counseling activities! Build your own games, check-ins and more with simple file folders. Make counseling games, counseling lap books, counseling centers, and calm corner check ins to get your school counseling students engaged in classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling sessions, or individual counseling using your file folder counseling tools. -Counselor Keri

School Counseling Center Activities

So if you aren’t already, start saving all those extra file folders! Folder games, lap books, check-in tools, and centers are all great hands-on tools to get your students engaged in your classroom guidance lessons, small groups, or individual counseling sessions! They take up hardly any space at all and are fairly inexpensive – so many possibilities! Let me know in the comments sections which of these you’ve tried and how you’re using file folders to solve your school counseling problems!

Use all of those leftover file folders for fun school counseling activities! Build your own games, check-ins and more with simple file folders. Make counseling games, counseling lap books, counseling centers, and calm corner check ins to get your school counseling students engaged in classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling sessions, or individual counseling using your file folder counseling tools. -Counselor Keri

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