photo of 2 life skills file folder activities on student desk, text reads 6 free life skills file folder activities

Share for your fellow special educators!

As a special education teacher with an autism classroom, you know that teaching life skills is essential for your students’ future success. Many of your students may struggle with daily activities that neurotypical individuals may take for granted, such as shopping, using public restrooms and understanding community signs. That’s why I want to share with you 6 FREE life skills file folder activities that you can use in your classroom to help your students develop and practice these critical life skills. (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO GRAB ALL OF THESE FILE FOLDERS FOR FREE!)

1. Bakery Match

This file folder activity helps students identify common bakery items they might find in a grocery store bakery, such as cupcakes, cookies, and bread. Students match pictures or words to the correct bakery item on the file folder.

bakery match free file folder activity

2. Dollar Up

This activity focuses on teaching students how to make purchases at a store using the “dollar up” method. The file folder has pictures of toys and their prices, and students practice rounding up to the next dollar to ensure they have enough money to make the purchase. For example, if an item is listed as $4.34, then the student will know that if they give the cashier $5.00 then they will be able to afford the item (we can work up to the concept of taxes later). When teaching this skill, students need to have a good understanding of number order and when generalizing this skill out in the community they should be taught to wait for change.

dollar up file folder for special education

3. Shopping from a List

This activity focuses on teaching students how to read a shopping list and find the items that they need at the store. This is really helpful to use when prepping for a Community-Based Instruction trip to the grocery store.

shopping from a grocery list free file folder activities

4. Bathroom Sequence

Next, this bathroom sequencing activity teaches students the steps involved in using a public restroom, including washing hands and flushing the toilet. This is an extremely important life skill and safety skill that is needed when going out into the community.

5. Safety Signs Match

This activity teaches students the meaning of common community signs, such as stop signs, crosswalks, and handicap parking signs. Students will match sign to sign or match the sign to its meaning. This helps to understand what these signs mean when they are walking down the street or riding in a car.

safety signs match free file folder for life skills

6. Sort by Store

This activity helps students understand where to buy common items, such as food, clothing, and school supplies. Students will sort the pictures into the categories toy store, grocery store and clothing store.


By using these FREE life skills file folder activities in your autism classroom, you can help your students develop the essential skills they need to navigate daily life successfully. These activities are also a great way to make learning fun and engaging for your students. So, don’t hesitate to incorporate them into your lesson plans and watch as your students gain the confidence and independence they need to thrive.


More Life Skills Practice

Want to try this FREE Life Skills Morning Work for a week and see if you and your students enjoy it? If you do, then check out the YEARLONG LIFE SKILLS MORNING WORK BUNDLE!

6 FREE Life Skills File Folder Activities
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