Color Themed File Folder Activities

As we are getting ready to start another school year I always like take some time and prep new materials and get things set up for the upcoming year.  There is always so much to do as we start off the school year that if I have some material and lessons ready to go at the beginning it makes my life easier.  I created 2 large File Folder sets which target Color and Shape concepts.  File folder activities do take some time to prep but once you make them you can use them over and over again and with different students so I think it’s worth it.  For teachers you can use file folder activities during direct instruction time but they are also great to have at independent workstations or set up at a station for paraprofessionals to help the students complete.  As a therapist, I like to use file folder activities at the end of my sessions if I have a few extra minutes before the session is done or if the activity I planned flops I can grab a file folder activity if needed.  Especially when I travel between classrooms and even school buildings file folders are easy to bring with me and I can always have a couple different file folder activities each week to pair with my theme/lesson.  I like to have plenty of activities in my speech bag and file folders don’t take up much space!  This week I wanted to share about activities included in the Color File Folder Activities.  This set of file folders includes 14 different color themed activities.  The activities vary in level so you can use with various students depending on their skill set.

The first 4 activities focus on the student matching colors.  For these the student is matching both like colors and items.  These help students work on their visual discrimination skills, attending to a task, and increasing their attention span.  These tasks include matching the same color circles, squares, Popsicles, and cars.

If you are using these tasks during direct instruction time with your students you can model those color concepts as the student matches them.  You can also use it as a receptive language task.  Hold up to 2 colors and tell your student which color to take.  For example “find purple”.  Then when your student selects the purple Popsicle they can attach it to the board.  Then work up to selecting the correct color from a visual field of 3 or 4 Popsicles. 

You can also use these activities to work with your students on naming and/or requesting items based on color.  Hold up the red car and have your student verbally or with an AAC system indicate “red” or “red car”.  Once the student requests the item by color, give the student the picture so they can match it to the board.

The next 4 file folder activities the students are still matching the color but the task is more challenging.  For the first 2 sets, the student has to match the correct color circle to the color of the umbrella or snail.  Again, you can do this receptively and have the student select the color from a visual field of 2+ circles.  Then they have to find the correct item to match that color circle.  If you are working on those expressive language skills have them name the color they need to match with those umbrella or snail pictures.      

For the other 2 sets, the student is given the color circle and now has to find either the animal or food item to pair with that color.  If the student is working on finding something pink for the food matching, they can either attach the watermelon or the grapefruit picture next to the pink circle.  You can also cover up one side of the board and just have the student do one side at a time if looking at both sides is too difficult for the student.  There are the same colors on each side of the board.

There are different ways you can expand the activity when working with the students.  If you are doing the animal color sort you can also work on them identifying either color or animal concepts.  You can say “find the blue animal” and the student can either find the bird or butterfly.  Then the student can attach the animal next to the blue circle.  You can also say “find the squirrel.”  After the student identifies the squirrel you can have them find which color circle it matches too, you can also ask “what color?”

I really like the next 4 sorting activities because I always have students working on this skill.  For these sets the students need to sort the clothing items or school supply items by color.  If sorting by 4 is too difficult at first you can just use one side of the file folder and have the student first work on sorting 2 colors.  The student can work on sorting the school supplies by just green and black.  Then work up to sorting by all four colors. 

Again, if you are using this during teacher time or therapy keep modeling those color concepts.  If you are sorting by 4 colors you can tell the student what color to select or even the color and item to select.  For example, “find the green dress”.  Now the student needs to identify both the color and clothing item.  Lots of ways to change and expand the activity depending on your student’s skill level.

The final 2 activities, the student has to match the correct color to the written color word.  This is more challenging but I did provide extra prompting by pairing the color with the written word. 

If you are interested in these task you can find them on TPT with the link – Color File Folder Activities 

I’ll be sharing about my Shaped Themed File Folder activities in my upcoming post but I attached the link if you want to get started on making those too!   Shape File Folder Activities


  1. I would love to use your folders to help my great grandchildren their shapes colors and patterns

  2. Hi Pam, great to hear! Hope these are helpful! Thanks for reading 🙂


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