Inside: Use these creative activities to make flashcards for toddlers fun and exciting!
Flashcards get a bad rap.
Who doesn’t remember sitting still, looking at the flashcards our moms held up, and then putting them in the “right” and “wrong” pile?
It’s no surprise that they’ve fallen off the radar!
Flashcards are a fantastic tool, however. They are portable, efficient, and versatile. It just turns out we grew up using them in the most boring way possible.
Here is a “flash mob” of seven new ways to use flashcards for learning with your child!
Flashcards For Toddlers and Fine Motor Fun
Fine motor skills are important to develop at a young age.
Mastery of the small muscles in the hands is the precursor for good writing, cutting, and self-help skills. These flashcard activities do double duty and help practice the fine motor skills as well!
For this activity, you will need some spring-loaded clothespins and a little preparation.
To practice colors or shapes, use a sharpie, colored clothespins or glue pom poms to color one flat surface of the clothespins to match. For letter or spelling word practice, write the uppercase or lowercase letter of each letter on individual clothespins.
This is an excellent activity for quiet, individual learning practice. After a brief demonstration, most children can take the basket of clothespins and the cards, and pinch each pin onto the correct card. Load the entire kit into a small container or zip top bag, and it is instantly portable!
Flash Card Puzzles
Get out your scissors!
To make quick flash card puzzles, you will need a set of picture flash cards with the letters or numbers below the picture. Cut each card in half.
To create an easier set, cut each card into a unique shape; for a higher difficulty level, cut them all the same.
Want to implement some self-checking? Simply place different stickers on the back of each card where you will cut, and the child can flip over both sides to be sure the halves of the sticker match.
Flashcard Fun for Active Children
Many children are kinesthetic learners. That means they learn best by moving. Try these three variations for your active children.
A Flashcard Relay Race can be especially useful if you are working with a classroom or group of children.
To set up – Designate a starting line, then across the room put two sets of magnetic letters, colored bean bags, or even matching sets of flashcards across the room.
To play, shuffle the cards, hold up (or for pre-readers, call out) the item they need to dash to get.
You can mix up the way they have to move, such as hopping, walking backward, crawling, or even rolling! When they get back to the finish line, the “winner” adds their piece to their team’s pile to keep score. The other team must put their piece back. This activity is especially nice as you can modify it to fit the temperament and needs of the group.
Flashcard Scavenger Hunt
The Flashcard Scavenger Hunt is an excellent way to practice without needing any preparation at all.
Simply pick up the deck of flashcards and shuffle. Choose the top card, and then ask your child to find an item with the same color, that starts or ends with the same letter, or the number of items on the flashcard. This can even be a way to make clean-up time both fun and educational!
For older children, perhaps who are trying to memorize spelling words or multiplication tables, sidewalk chalk can make flashcards fun!
First, you need to write the answers on a large, outdoor surface like a driveway or sidewalk. Then, shuffle the flashcards. For spelling words, have them move to each letter in the word. For math problems, have the numbers written out.
Get creative with the movements as well! Jumping, leaping, hopping, bear-crawling – the only limit is your imagination!
Flashcard Activities for Game Lovers
Playing games is more than just fun – it provides a load of essential social skills! When your child plays games, they practice taking turns, sharing materials, compromising, and learn how to win and lose gracefully. Flashcard games combine the best of both worlds!
For this activity, you will need
- A set of flashcards
- As many paperclips as you have cards
- A piece of string
- A magnet (that you can attach to the string in some fashion.)
Attach one paperclip to each flash card. Using the magnet tied to the string, children can “fish” for the cards.
To make it more challenging, divide the cards into pairs such as uppercase and lowercase letters, and have them fish for the matches. Another variation is to have them get the cards in order, or find the letters in their name. They can “throw back” any card that doesn’t match!
Test your child’s memory with this classic game.
You will need two sets of flashcards and a flat playing surface. Cards are shuffled and dealt face down in a grid pattern. Keeping the cards in place, each player takes turns flipping the cards over two at a time, keeping them in place.
Make a match? Keep the pair and go again! For more advanced learners, have two different sets of cards. For example, a picture and the written word can make the game more challenging.
Do you have more ways to make flashcards fun? Don’t forget to leave your ideas in the comments!
Discover 5 tricks to finding joy in your daily life with kids.