Folding paper in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on August 28, 2010

in Language Arts, Mathematics, motor skills, Quick Tips for Preschool Teachers, Shapes and Colors

Folding paper is a great way to help young children work on those fine motor skills as well as a way to give children guides for processes like writing, sorting, and counting.

This little one spent time coloring a picture this morning and when she was finished, she decided she wanted to fold it up and put it in her cubby.

I watched as she worked to fold her paper. She rolled and unrolled the paper…

She stacked, folded, rolled, unrolled, repositioned, and in the end her papers were folded or rolled in all sorts of directions.

I love to watch children as they naturally gravitate towards wanting to fold their papers. As this little girl continues to develop her skill she will be quite proficient at using the folding process as a way to extend learning.

Folded paper can be used in the learning process in others ways. I often teach the children how to fold paper to form four squares. Long edge to long edge and short edge to short edge.

Once the children finish folding their paper, they will now have four spaces designed by the folded creases of their paper.  We can use those four spaces for sorting, counting, and sequencing.

Another type of folding I like to use is to fold the paper into long lengths. Short edge to short edge once. Then folded again.

Now our paper has long four long spaces divided by the crease in our paper. We can also use these long spaces for activities such as writing, creating patterns, cutting, and counting.


Remember that when sorting, patterning, and counting, always start with simple concepts that are very clear. This pattern above would be more complex because it has many different shapes and colors but I am sharing it to give you the basic idea of how to use the folded paper.

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Promoting excellence in early childhood education at home and in the preschool classroom!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Scott August 28, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Great ideas for folding and for moving drawing, gluing, painting, or writing into a different realm without a lot of extra materials. Thanks, Deborah.

2 Teacher Tom August 29, 2010 at 11:36 am

I’ve never thought to use folded paper this way. What a simple, perfect idea!

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