If you’re looking for an effective, relatively easy and engaging way to teach your child, then look no further than flashcards! Teachers love using flashcards when introducing new information to kids. Flashcards are easy to use and have been shown to help students commit the new information to memory via active recall – which makes them a very popular learning tool. Many parents have also experienced how simple flashcards are to use at home, even from an early age. They’ve found a lot of success getting their little one started on the road of lifelong learning.
There are many ways to use flashcards to teach your child. Read on to find out more about how to teach your child to use flashcards as well as other burning questions you may have about this popular teaching tool.
How Do I Start Using Flashcards?
Before you start using flashcards, first find the balance between how much you should teach your child at home and what they’re learning at school.
To answer this question, rely heavily on your parental intuition. If you enjoy learning together with your child, then it would be a natural progression to begin using flashcards at home to bolster information they may be learning at school. Plus, it can work to bring you and your child even closer together and strengthen your bonds!
On the flip side, if you feel like working with flashcards at home may put a strain on your relationship or cut into crucial family time, then you may want to examine if flashcards are the right avenue. Remember that no matter what age your child is at, the most important thing isn’t what they already understand, but if they are eager to learn!
What Age Should You Start Using Flashcards?
This is another scenario where your intuition plays a major role. If you feel as if your child is receptive to it, then you can begin with simple flashcards as young as six months old. At this point, as long as they have good head control and vision, you can begin introducing flashcards in short intervals. Research has shown that simply exposing young babies to these types of activities helps to stimulate them visually and boost their cognitive development.
The time between six months old and six years old is when your child will learn the most rapidly, so any time within that window is great to introduce flashcards when you feel your child is ready. If you want to wait until they are toddlers, find flashcards that are visually engaging – so, choose something with bright colors for children that tend to be more visual learners!
How Do You Introduce Flashcards to Toddlers (And Beyond)?
Once you’ve chosen flashcards that will appeal to your child, it’s time to introduce them. Remember, if you’re starting in the toddler phase then they may not have a long attention span, which is why you should start small and grow from there.
Show your child each card by introducing the side with the picture first and then the word – making sure to say the word to them correctly. They will work to make the connection between the sound and the picture, which the brain will then store in long-term memory for future recall.
Don’t flip through the flashcards quickly when you start. Instead, make sure to go through each one and say the word associated with it. You don’t have to show them the word because, with toddlers, it’s going to be all about the sounds at this stage. You may want to focus on only a small set of cards at a time until your little one has grasped them. Repetition is encouraged – it’s key to effectively using flashcards with your child!
Have Some Fun!
Most kids learn best when they’re incorporating fun into learning. After all, kids tend to learn a lot through play! You can make flashcards a part of that play, too. You may want to consider these strategies based on the age of your child:
You can make a bingo board with the words you’re learning on it, or pictures from the flashcard. Call out the word and find the picture or word that corresponds to it. Most kids love a rousing game of bingo!
Bean Bag Toss
Take the flashcards and lay them out on the floor. Have your child throw the bean bag and then identify the card that it lands on!
Seek & Explore
Use the flashcards to help your child explore the world around them. Ask them to find things in your house, at the park or beach – whatever environment you’re in – that match what’s on the card (i.e. ‘Red’ – find something red, the letter ‘M’ – find something that begins with the letter ‘M’, the number ‘4’ – find four of something).
You’re well on your way to helping your child learn for a lifetime. Why not make flashcards a part of that learning?
Featured image by Eyes for Ebony on Unsplash