How To Use Phonics Flashcards

Phonics are the foundation of reading. They help children to understand letter sounds, which makes them very important for young minds and a big emphasis in the early years of a child’s education.

Phonics may seem like uncharted territory for a lot of parents. After all, most parents aren’t professional educators and even though they too learned phonics at one time, it was long ago and likely not easy to remember! However, gaining an understanding of phonics and how to teach it is important for parents who are invested in their child’s educational future – which is where educational flashcards come in handy. 

Flashcards make learning phonics (and teaching it) simple and fun. Still, many parents wonder how to use phonics flashcards effectively. So how do you teach phonics with flashcards?

We’re here to take the guesswork out of supporting your child’s learning. There are many things you can do at home to help bolster your child’s studies in preschool and school, including the use of phonics flashcards to help lay the groundwork for lifelong reading and learning. Let’s dive in!

What Are Phonics Flashcards?

To understand phonics flashcards, we first need to understand what phonics are. To put it simply, phonics help a child understand the relationship between the sounds of language and the letters that represent those sounds. Using flashcards to support phonics learning will help a child to learn simple concepts like letters, then the sounds of those letters and combinations of them, which ultimately become sight words.

Sight words are words such as the, and, and is that children see repeatedly when reading. The idea is that by being able to pronounce sight words fast without sounding them out, reading more complicated things will become easier over time. The second nature with which you’re reading this article, where you just know the words you’re reading without really having to think about them – that’s all thanks to the phonics and sight words you learned as a child.

reading book to baby
Image by Picsea on Unsplash: How do you make phonics flashcards fun? The same way you make any activity fun for kids – keep things interesting and exciting!

How To Use Phonics Flashcards

When you’re working with a child on their phonics, it helps to follow guidelines, like those that come with a set of phonics flashcards from Strong Minds. You must present things in certain stages to make it easier to teach them other things later. You’re laying the groundwork, which is a careful process.

You don’t want to simply sit down and start presenting flashcards one after the other to your child. Let’s be honest: that’s not fun for anyone. This is why you need to incorporate activities that can make phonics flashcards interesting and fun for both your child and you!

Physical activities are a great way to engage a child in learning. Try something like a phonics hunt, where you spread phonics flashcards out with letters facing up, then ask your child to go find an object in your home that begin with that sound. This activity encourages a child to explore, repeating the sound in their heads as they search for something suitable to bring back to you.

Recognition activities are also a great way to present phonics, since learning them is just as much about building recall of the letters as it is about the sounds. To do this, all you have to do is get magnetic letters or letter tiles and match them with the flashcards. 

Image by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels: Why are flashcards effective in phonics? Because you can use them in so many ways that pique your child’s interest. 

Finally, if you have kids, you know they love to touch things. You can harness this curiosity with more tactile phonics activities and sensory play. One of the best ways to incorporate phonics with a tactile activity is to create a sand tray. Fill a small tray with fine sand (this is usually the easiest to find, but you can also use anything your child is interested in such as rice, slime, jelly, or even small pasta shapes). Take one card at a time and have them trace the letter in the tray, saying the sound as they do so. This repetition helps to encourage their recall and improves their confidence in recognizing letters and sounds. 

As you embark on this phonics journey with your child, it’s important to remember that everyone learns at their own pace and in their own way. What helps your kids truly learn is finding things that work for them.

Featured image by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

5 Ways Flashcards Speed Up Children Learning a Second Language

Educational flashcards are deceptively powerful. They might seem pretty simple, but when used correctly, they promote something in the brain called active recall – the process of retrieving memories. It involves regularly testing yourself throughout revision so that your brain retains the information.

So, do flashcards help with language learning? Yes, they do! Flashcards are actually one of the best ways to go about learning anything, new languages included. 

The brain’s neuroplasticity is highest in the early years. Most child prodigies in music, for example, started playing under the age of 10. Learning a new language will be far easier during these formative years than starting from scratch as an adult. You can take advantage of this educational prime time with your kids by using effective devices like flashcards to start learning.

Read on as we explore the ways flashcards speed up children learning a second language.

1. They leverage the picture superiority effect

The picture superiority effect describes a phenomenon where the brain makes stronger connections when pictures are paired with words. When you consider how we’ve evolved, our brains have been trained to store information tied to visual elements in the wild for survival. This is opposed to studying with words alone, which we’ve evolved to use purely as a communication device.

A study titled “Picture Recognition Improves With Subsequent Verbal Information” explores this learning mechanism used also with flashcards. As the paper states: “Subsequent yes-no recognition tests for the pictures demonstrated better memory for those pictures that had been followed by descriptive sentences.” 

The illustrative pictures on Strong Minds flashcards are a reliable way to start strengthening connections in your child’s brain to help them learn a language.

2. They use mnemonic devices

A mnemonic device is anything that develops a mental association between two pieces of information. A common example is ROYGBIV, which refers to the colors on the light spectrum.  

Flashcards use associative imagery to achieve the same result. They support mnemonic memorizing by connecting the visual representation and the meaning associated with it. By using eye-catching images with key phrases, good-quality flashcards make for effective mnemonic devices when learning new languages.

rainbow chalk drawing
Photo by Alex Jackman on Unsplash: What is the best way to teach a child a second language? Let’s find out!

3. They’re simple (which the brain likes)

How can flashcards help children? Another advantage of flashcards that appeals to both the brain in general and kids of younger ages is simplicity. 

When overcomplicating learning, it’s easier for your brain to fall into the trap of the illusion of competence. The problem arises when you’re studying, but not taking much in, and you begin to think you know more than you do.

By having just one piece of information on your card, you encourage active recall, rather than just recognition. It’s easy to conflate the two and assume that you’re learning, but not actually be able to retrieve the information when you need it.

To avoid this, flashcards keep things simple and allow those associations to form by taking it one phrase at a time. If you try to put four points to remember on one card, your child is a lot less likely to remember all four than if you were to include one point per card. It creates a binary right/wrong result rather than a spectrum of success, which is easier to skip over information with. 

Flashcards are also presented in a simple, usually rectangular space. This shape, combined with expressive colors, is effective in retaining attention. Vocabulary study is made up of micro pieces of information that can be randomized, making the learning flow of flashcards the perfect tool for studying a language.

three young children
Image by Charlein Gracia on Unsplash: Can a child learn two languages at once? Learning at a young age is easier than any other.

4. They engage the brain

How is language taught by using flashcards? The random order in which flash cards present information prompts the brain to engage spontaneously. This is in contrast to more linear, lengthy formats like lectures. 

Flashcards help build neural connections between the meaning of a word, its phonetic value, and its spelling. Try calling the answers out loud and incorporating movement into flashcard sessions, which keeps the information refreshed in your child’s memory.

5. They store information through controlled repetition

How do children learn a second language? One word: repetition. Repetition is key for effective learning, which flashcards naturally support. Memories are prioritized by usage, and since our brain uses up to 20% of our body’s energy, it will discard information that it thinks we don’t need in order to conserve power. 
Flashcards keep information fresh in our brains and convince it that we should hang on to that data. The speed at which feedback is delivered is another advantage. Your child doesn’t need to await test results to find out how they’re doing – flashcards provide immediate pointers on where they might need to focus their attention.

How do you teach a second language to children? With engaging flashcards!

Additional Tips For Using Flashcards Effectively

Learn Gradually and Take Breaks

Downtime helps the brain process and store information. Schedule your lessons with enough breaks for children to come back refreshed and ready to build on their knowledge. The Center for the Advancement of Teaching describes how resting is one of the most important factors in creative problem-solving and learning new things.

Play Games

What is the best way to teach a child a second language? By making it fun! Gamification is a great way to engage younger children. By turning a lesson into a game, they’re more likely to look forward to learning and stay stimulated throughout the process. You could also offer prizes to the winner to encourage kids even more.

A few popular examples of games you can play with flashcards include:

  • Scavenger hunt: For this game, simply take a selection of flashcards and stash them around the house. Then give the child a verbal or written cue to head off and find the right one. Once they’ve found the cards, they win. For Spanish language flashcards, you might as them to find “bread”; the child should return with the card that says “el pan”. If you’ve got multiple kids playing, you can turn it into a competition.
  • Flashlight hunt: This is the same as the scavenger hunt – but in the dark!
  • Tic-tac-toe: Play against your child and pick either ‘X’ or ‘O’. Create your own tic-tac-toe board and take turns solving flashcards. If you get the correct answer, you can play your move, until somebody hits three in a row and wins.
  • Beanbag toss: (If you don’t have any beanbags, you could toss a cuddly toy or something similar instead.) First, spread the flashcards around the floor with enough space to target them individually. Then have kids toss the beanbag/cuddly toy onto a card and solve the problem. If they answer it correctly, they can collect it, and the child who has the most at the end of the game wins.

Some flashcards are too flimsy to withstand the danger zone of playing children – but Strong Mind’s ultra-durable design ensures your purchase will be child-proof from lesson one to fluency!

What is the best way to teach a child a second language? Flashcards can play a strong role in learning bites of information from an early age.

Keep it colorful

You should always pick colorful flashcards over plain white ones. Using colorful flashcards creates connections in the subconscious that aid learning. Colors can be used to indicate things like parts of speech or grammatical gender. Colorfully illustrated flashcards not only increase the rate of learning, but also help you to keep things organized.

Let the students be the masters

The Feynman technique is very effective for the brain to remember things. When you teach others what you know, it forces the brain to recall the information and explain it in simple terms. This reinforces the knowledge within your own mind so you can recall it for personal use. 

To use the Feynman technique, have your child simply go over what they learned today a few hours later or the next day, as if they were teaching you. If you can incentivize them to do this every day, it’ll get the job done – but even better, if you can have them motivate themselves, it’ll create a flywheel of growth. 

Go for the gold standard

As with any product, flashcards are produced across a spectrum of quality. By choosing flashcards that are made with learning efficiency in mind, you can be sure you’re investing in the best tools to help your child learn and grow.

Even premium flashcards are a highly cost-effective learning tool – and in order to get the most out of flashcards, you need quality. The sensitivity of mnemonic devices we mentioned above means connections will be formed much more easily if the visual cues are more attractive. 

Speed Up Your Child’s Language Learning With Strong Minds Flashcards

If you’re ready to equip your child with the huge life advantage of learning a second language, Strong Minds provides the tools necessary to make leaps and bounds in a matter of days. Our high-quality language flashcards for kids are durable and captivating, and can be ring-bound to customize your lesson.

We’ve helped countless children already and can’t wait to add yours to the growing list of super-learners! We stock both educational and Spanish flashcards. Head over to our store to unlock your child’s potential today.

Featured image by Karolina Grabowska on Unsplash

Spanish Flashcards: Help Your Child Learn A Second Language

Learning a new language isn’t easy, but flashcards are an excellent way to introduce your child to the task.

You could have plenty of reasons to start: overseas relatives, an inherent desire or a new way to productively spend time at home. No matter the reason, it’s a great choice to build such a valuable and enriching skill as early as childhood. By the time they’re ready to go out and explore new countries, your child will be a balanced and bilingual communicator of the globalized world!

What Are Spanish Flashcards?

Flashcards are an effective way to teach your children any new language. If you’re new to flashcards, they’re really quite simple: they’re a double-sided card bearing information to aid memorization. Each can feature a combination of text and pictures to illustrate a word or phrase. When deciding which flashcards to go for, consider the ones that work best with your child’s style of learning as well as the subject matter relevant to your level.

The cards use an elementary and age-old learning technique to assist children in learning and remembering information. It also helps youngsters in exploring, assessing and developing a passion for learning. It won’t be long before your child is soaking up knowledge and applying it in the long term.

Since educational flashcards have been used in education for many years, they’re an excellent tool to boost memory. They’re frequently used to introduce new subjects, including languages. You can easily begin to get used to the basics of any new subject, including languages, by including flashcards into your personal learning journey.

For example, when learning Spanish, flashcards could be small material with a word, picture or question on them that teaches the word or phrase. One side of the paper contains a Spanish word, and the other has the meaning or translation of the word. Although small, we make every inch of our flashcards count. We keep our packs both value-dense and beautifully illustrated so that there’s never a dull moment in your learning sessions!

child holding Rr flashcard
Image by Werner Pfennig at Help your child learn a second language with flashcards.

How Do Spanish Flashcards Work? 

Flashcard learning is a comprehensive strategy for developing a child’s cognitive and critical thinking skills. This is because it builds the groundwork for fast recollection of information from images. This configuration serves to boost both of a child’s cerebral hemispheres. It’s also linked to enhancing their learning capacity by assisting children in processing information in a pleasant and fascinating way.

When holding up a flashcard, it’s intended to elicit a quick reaction from the learner. For example, if you want to teach a certain word, you’ll use a flashcard that has both the word and its matching image. When you flip the card over, you’ll see the meaning of the word. This makes the pairing of image to word even easier.

Spanish flashcards are the appropriate method for learning Spanish words and phrases. When properly used, they aid in memory retention and improve the capacity to recall information later.

By exposing your child to a variety of vocabulary items and ideas – such as pronouns, numerals, and, in the case of Spanish vocabulary (for gender forms) – flashcards may also open the door to a deeper grasp of how the language functions.

After understanding the benefits of learning a second language for children, you’re probably wondering, “what is the best way to use Spanish flashcards to learn a second language?” Spanish flashcards will bridge that gap for you, and help your child learn a second language like Spanish more effectively!

How To Use Spanish Flashcards

It’s important to know how Spanish flashcards work to maximize their use in teaching your child. Understanding how Spanish flashcards work will help you teach your child more effectively.

Before we get into the method of teaching children with Spanish flashcards, there are things to consider when introducing Spanish flashcards to toddlers:

Size Of Spanish Flashcards

The size of the flashcards should be decided by the number of children being taught. The flashcard should always be large enough for all children to see, identify and remember. Ideally, all flashcards should be the same size and form.

Font Of Flashcard Text

Important details should be underlined in the text, and written in a legible font. For instance, rehearse the word’s sound by writing the first letter in a different color, like red. Put the word on the back of the flashcard so that learners must remember what the image on the card represents, rather than simply reading the word when they glance at it. 

Laminate Your Cards

Laminate your flashcards to save time and avoid having to reproduce them after being worn or damaged. Laminated flashcards are resistant to bending and crumpling, making it simple to play any game imaginable by laying them on the ground or passing them about! Strong Minds’ durable cards cater to active kids who like to get handsy when they learn – you’ll never need to worry about spillages and tears!

child with parents and tutor
Image by Gustavo Fring at Bring Spanish flashcards into your daily routine.

Using Spanish Flashcards

When teaching kids, there are several ways to use educational flashcards. Figure out which flashcards are best for the child being taught first and start by arranging the flashcards in the proper order. 

When dealing with youngsters, keep in mind that each interruption might result in the lesson slipping into distraction. With enthusiasm and – perhaps a little exaggeration – create some engaging ways to present the image to the child.

One way to do this is to play some fun Spanish music, as music helps to recall memories and other events. Pair the card with stimulating motions or noises, or anything that grabs their attention. Have them spellbound one way or another, and keep things light and imaginative!

Make sure the word is said loudly and clearly, and have the child echo it back to you a few times to practice your pronunciation. Make sure they pay close attention to your pronunciation before asking them to repeat. When uttering a word in front of more than one child, it’s not always possible to understand what you’re saying or they may not be keeping up, so be mindful that all participants are following along.

It’s also important to ensure that practice is steady and consistent. You could practice with the child every evening, or pop up the flashcards with games during the day. Repetition is key: you’ll need to present the information to the child many times for it to begin to stick. 

A good way to teach a preschooler is to play games with them. Look for the best Spanish flashcards for kids and use them to play around with the kids. Play games with the child to motivate them even further! Flashcard games are great to hold kids’ attention and encourage them to speak out loud.

Play Flashcard Games

Below are three flashcard games they could play:

Slap the Floor 

A timeless classic. The children can access the cards once you’ve spread them out on the ground or hang them from the board. They should strike the word with their hand as you yell it!

Bean Bag Toss 

Lay down the flashcards face down on the floor for the bean bag toss. The bean bag is thrown, and the child calls out the flashcard it falls on.

Give Me

This one’s simple. Simply scatter the cards around the floor with the learner(s) on standby. Then ask for a specific card, such as the bus, train or cat. If all goes to plan, they’ll spring into action and seek out your request before eagerly slapping it back in your hand with a grin. This one works best when they don’t have pictures to help them out! With the kid-friendly sizes of all our cards, they should have no problem handing them over.

children being creative
Image by Ksenia Chernaya at Be creative with flashcard games!

Games can be a great way to put some juice into your learning session and gamify the experience! There’s nothing kids love more than games, and if you can blend that into their learning you’re almost always going to have better results. 

Flashcards are indispensable in learning languages, especially for children. Use them effectively to maximize your child’s learning of a second language. 

Why Should You Learn Spanish?

Learning a second language is very beneficial. Spanish in particular opens up your children’s world, being the fourth most spoken language in the US, as well as the second most studied language in the EU. Having a second language like Spanish in their toolkit will open many doors and possibilities in their future!

Spanish is not difficult to learn as a second language, especially if your first language is English. Many terms in English, Spanish and other European languages have Latin roots. Since so many English terms, particularly scientific and technical terminology, share the same etymology, learning Spanish can help English speakers to not only increase their vocabulary, but also better understand the words in their own tongue. 

The alphabets are the same, so it doesn’t take as much time to learn as other languages with their own alphabets. Most Spanish words are also phonetically spelled, which saves time learning difficult and perplexing spelling rules and increases the likelihood that pronunciation will be accurate.

The Magic Of Learning A Language On The Brain 

Studies show the best time to learn a language is during the first 10 years of life. When a child is exposed to familiar sounds, the brain starts to develop the necessary neural network to adapt to them. 

As the child learns new words and sounds, that network grows and ferments. Anything from interactions with family and friends to media like films and songs can begin to develop their native tongue.

Learning a second language has further effects on the way our brains function. The practice enables language acquisition to function as a mental exercise – building our mental acuity – and this aids in the development of a healthier overall system upstairs.

person writing spanish on chalkboard
Image by Leonardo Toshiro Okubo on Unsplash: There are numerous benefits to learning a second language.

Children’s brains concurrently acquire a crucial skill called classification as they learn new knowledge. The brain organizes incoming information and stimuli into groups so that it may more quickly locate them when needed. Kids who have been exposed to a second language are particularly adept at classification. It’s necessary to be able to access a different vocabulary and syntax depending on the situation while using several languages. This fascinating ability extends to other schemas as well.

Learning a second language alters the brain’s anatomical structure. The relevant brain areas get stronger as a result of their functions in learning; this is mirrored in the growth of gray and white matter. There’s an ever increasing number of children learning multiple languages, according to The Guardian.

There are many benefits of learning a second language, as bilingual children are found to have:

  • Enhanced mental acuity
  • Better grasp of intellectual topics, more inventive and creative thinkers
  • Improved knowledge of the local language

Dive into the world of fun and learning with Strong Minds Learning Labs, and browse our range of beautifully-designed Spanish flashcards! Our choice of 144 cards help children learn all things Spanish from math, language, shapes, colors and the alphabet. The durable design is made to endure session after session in great condition. Let’s start your kid’s journey to Spanish proficiency today!

Language Flashcards: Help Your Child Learn Alphabet & Vocabulary

From the moment you hold that precious bundle in your arms, to the day they take their first step, say their first word, and enter the classroom, your child’s brain is continuously learning. Literally from day one, the sights and sounds your child is consistently exposed to play a critical role in their development, particularly their language development.

As a parent, you may have heard of speech and language milestones. These are stages at which your child is able to hear, understand and express themselves using language to communicate. The language babies learn and eventually use is generally that of their parents, but it can be any language they are exposed to up to the age of six months. This is because, by six months, babies have already learned to recognize the sounds of their own native language.

Typically these milestones are linked to specific age groups. For example, at birth, your little one will respond to factors such as pitch, stress, and the pace of your voice. Then, as they mature, they learn to recognize the spoken word and, at six months, should start to coo and babble, showing they are beginning to learn a language.

The ability to learn language is already present at birth for every baby. In fact, some neuroscientists say babies start learning sooner, from within the womb. According to a study by Kathleen Wemke published in Current Biology 2009, an unborn fetus can memorize and recognize the sound and pattern of the language spoken by its mother and replicates this when crying! Of course, your child won’t enter the world with a full set of vocabulary– that takes time as the brain matures. However, this ability to learn is most pronounced during your baby’s early developmental years, when your child’s brain develops at its fastest rate.

From the day a baby is born, its brain quadruples in size over the first five years. Although, at birth, a baby’s brain is only a quarter of its intended adult size, this doubles in the first year and reaches nearly 80% of adult size by age three. By age five, its brain is 90% fully grown. During this period, your child absorbs information like a sponge, which is why learning the fundamental basics of language during these formative years is so important.

How Does Language Development Work?

All brain cells have appendages called dendrites that link to other brain cells. The point at which each dendrite connects is called synapses, and it’s here that electrical signals pass one brain cell to the other.

When the synapses are stimulated repetitively, it forms a permanent neural pattern or pathway that allows information to be transmitted quickly and aids the learning process. So it makes sense to say that repeated positive learning experiences can significantly enhance your child’s brain development and language skills. That’s why playing repetitive language flashcard games makes so much sense!

child learning at desk
Photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash: How do you use language flashcards for kids?

What Are Language Flashcards?

Language flashcards, like any other flashcard, are small colored cards used to improve language skills. Language flashcards typically have a picture or shape on one side with the associated word or alphabet letter represented above or below.

How Do Flashcards Help The Brain?

As a parent, you’re probably asking yourself, how do language flashcards work? The answer is simple. Using language flashcards for early development aids the brain’s active recall process, enhances metacognition, and as a result, increases your child’s confidence levels.

Furthermore, boosting the brain’s ability to recall information using some of the best vocabulary flashcards will improve your child’s understanding of their language. And, make it easy for them to apply this acquired knowledge when needed.

Lastly, the more your child uses language flashcards, the more likely the information will move from their short-term memory to long-term memory, where it’s stored and remembered.

What Are The Major Benefits Of Flashcards?

 The benefits of language flashcards can be seen in several ways. These include:

Flashcards Engage Active Recall

When your child looks at language flashcards, they engage in a mental process called active recall when trying to think of the correct word or alphabet letter. This creates strong neural pathways (neuron connections) that aid with memory. In addition, the constant repetition when using flashcards creates multiple memory recall events, which helps with language retention.

Flashcards Engage Metacognition

Metacognition, also known as the act of self-reflection, involves asking yourself how the answer you gave compared to the answer on the flash card. Did you know the answer? Were you partially right or totally wrong? Using some of the best alphabet flashcards or language flashcards can help your child develop their metacognition skills as they learn to judge their performance based on the number of cards they remember. Using metacognition skills creates permanent memories and provides positive learning outcomes.

Flashcards Improve Memory Performance (Spaced-Repetition)

Spaced repetition or spaced learning is where learning sessions occur with intervals between training. Short bursts of training, according to research, are considered a more effective way of learning than one single lesson. This is what makes learning with flashcards so effective. For example, using flashcards to teach your child language concepts such as the alphabet, in short, repetitive lessons promotes long-term memory formation, which is more beneficial than trying to instill this information in a one-off lesson.

Confidence-Based Repetition

Flash cards also allow information to be broken down into manageable chunks that can be separated and reviewed individually. This means that children can focus on the concepts they aren’t confident in more frequently and review those they are confident in occasionally. This learning technique optimizes and improves memory performance, similarly to spaced-repetition.

example of alphabet flashcard
Image by Vix MSF from Pixabay: Example of a language flashcard used to help children learn the alphabet and how to read basic words.

Are Language Flash Cards Appropriate For Preschoolers?

 As a parent, you may wonder whether this form of learning is appropriate for children of preschool age, and the answer is a resounding yes! Engaging your child in fun, early learning activities stimulates and motivates a natural self-curiosity that encourages them to learn more. Furthermore, introducing language concepts using things they enjoy, such as toys, patterns, or colors, is an excellent way of getting them interested in the world around them. This is especially true when appealing and vibrant language flashcards like the ones in stock at the Strong Minds store are used.

Benefits of language flashcards for preschoolers include:

  • Improves visual memory
  • Creates awareness of their surrounding environment
  • Improves meta-cognition
  • Engages active recall and develops strong memory skills
  • Stimulates independent thinking
  •  Encourages identification of objects
  • Enhances confidence
  • Helps confidence-based repetition
  • Improves their motor skills

How To Use Language Flashcards Effectively for Toddlers

As you can see, language flashcards are a fun, playful way of maximizing repetition, which is powerful for improving memory skills. As parents or educators, you know that learning through play is important for young children. Therefore it makes sense that using language flashcards alongside playful teaching techniques can be an effective, interactive teaching tool.

Of course, using language flashcards to teach kids of school-going age makes sense, but how do you introduce language flashcards to toddlers? This is a question many parents raise when researching what is the best way to use language flashcards.

Below we have collated some basic steps you can use to introduce language flashcards for early development in your toddler.

Step One

Our language flashcards depict the letter or word at the top with the associated picture below. Select an age-appropriate set of language flashcards and sit facing your child.

As you show your child the flashcard, repeat the word or letter accompanying the image. This targets proper language development in young children. Remember, repetition is key.

Step Two

As your child gets older and remembers the information, when you repeat the word, ask your child to copy the words or letters you say. Providing a visual cue stimulates both visual and auditory learning.

Step Three

Once your child recognizes the words or sounds (this will take time and practice), you can progress towards asking them to produce the relevant word or letter according to the picture depicted.

Hold each flashcard so your child can see it clearly, and wait for approximately three seconds. You won’t need a timer, just count to three in your head. This gives your child three seconds to consider the flashcard and provide an answer. If they answer correctly, place the card to one side in the ‘right answer pile’. If their answer is incorrect or they don’t give an answer, place the card in the review pile.

Once you have finished going through the language flashcards, you can review the incorrect flashcards again. Remember to include lots of fun and encouragement during each flashcard session, as children retain information better when they don’t realize they are learning!

When your child has mastered the flashcards, you can practice them occasionally to ensure they remember the information. Then, as your child develops and progresses, you can use language flashcards with written words to help teach them to read and write.

kids learning together
Image by 14995841 from Pixabay: There are key steps to follow when aiming to teach children using flashcards.

Typical Language Flash Card Activities For Preschoolers

An important aspect of using language flashcards is the actual flash rate. Using a flash rate of 0.5 seconds per card when showing your child the flashcards ensures the information is unconsciously absorbed by the cerebellum (part of the brain that controls cognitive function, memory, reasoning, and language). Maintaining this fast pace during each flashcard session improves your child’s ability to identify and understand better.

Here’s how language flashcard activities boost a child’s early learning development.

  • Object search – identification and name recall
  • Days of the week and months of the year – memory and recall
  • Colors – identify colors in the surrounding environment
  • Alphabet – repetition helps with memory and language development

How To Include Language Flashcards Into Your Daily Routine

Language flashcards can be used to teach almost any topic relating to early years development. They’re also easy to use in any setting, home or school, and can be incorporated into playtime or homework time to help easily develop their memory and classification skills.

Below are some flashcard tips to keep things interesting and engaging because a motivated child is an attentive child!

  • The vital thing to remember when using flashcards is to keep each session fun and interactive.
  • Take regular breaks between flashcard sessions, spaced-repetition is crucial.
  • Ensure you provide rewards and praise for a job well done. These could be free rewards like high-fives, hugs, or your child’s favorite activity.
  • Keep those brain cells pumped with a healthy snack before a flashcard session.

Fun Interactive Ways To Use Language Flash Cards

 Often we are asked by parents and educators what is the best way to use language flashcards? Our answer is always the same– in any fun way imaginable! Because language flash cards are super versatile, they can be incorporated into many activities. To illustrate how to do this, we have provided three examples below.

Naming Game

Stick the flashcards to the items they relate to in the home or classroom. Whenever you use the item, point and say its name. This will help your child with memorization and identification skills.

Flashcard Bingo

This game is perfect for small groups of two or more. Set out 6 to 12 flashcards in a row and give your child a set of stickers. Then call out a word, and if your child spots it in their group of flashcard pictures, they can put a sticker on it. The first person to tag all their flashcards is the winner and gets a treat.

Speedy Gonzales

This language flashcard game is great for improving fluency. Select a group of flashcards your child is familiar with and include one or two that are new. Then stand or sit in front of your child with a space between you. Show each card quickly to your child and ask them to answer as fast as possible. If they don’t answer or get it wrong, move on to the next card – speed is the key here. Toss each used card over your shoulder for added fun and dramatization! You needn’t worry about your cards wearing out – the durable design of our flashcards enables kids to be kids when learning. Get physical, keep things fresh and never worry about needing replacements.

child holding flashcards
Photo by Atikah Akhtar on Unsplash: Flashcards can help children learn and retain information in several ways.

Incorporating language flashcards into your child’s everyday activities significantly and positively impacts their learning and language development. However, remember to be creative and fun during each flashcard session to ensure each learning opportunity is beneficial and doesn’t become a drag! Lastly, every child is different and therefore responds differently to learning. Always follow your child’s lead. For example, if they don’t respond well to flashcards, trying another way to supplement their language knowledge is also a great idea.  

Head on over to the Strong Minds Lab and check out our stunningly illustrated range. Our free ring sets let you switch up your decks to keep the learning rolling. Unlock the power of knowledge for your child today and pick the pack that suits your style!

Featured image by Anilsharma26 on Unsplash