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.
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.
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.
5 Ways To Incorporate Flashcards In Your Daily Routine To Improve Child Development
Flashcards have been used in classrooms around the world as an effective teaching tool for years. Teachers like them because they’re easy to use and helpful – but it’s not just teachers who can help kids learn through the use of flashcards. Parents can get in on it too!
How do you use flashcards for kids, including daily routines flashcards? We’ve outlined some ideas for using flashcards in your everyday life to improve your child’s learning!
Flashcards: What Are They?
Parents may recall using flashcards when they were younger as a way to memorize facts or study for tests. Today, they’re an effective learning tool that helps kids to form a deeper understanding of the world around them.
The information on the cards has a learning concept on one side and the answer on the opposite side. Flashcards are often grouped together to represent a collection of information that you’re teaching your child or helping them to remember.
Should You Use Flashcards?
Many parents want the home to be a place of continual learning for their child outside of preschool or school, but may not be sure how to do it. Flashcards are a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your child as you learn together!
Flashcards are learning tools for all ages! Even toddlers and younger kids can use them as a way to learn more about the world. When they’re introduced and used appropriately, flashcards are a very effective way to reinforce the information that your child is learning through everyday activities at home.
What Are the Advantages of Using Flashcards?
Flashcards can help build confidence in kids – but the advantages don’t stop there! They help kids develop their visual memory, identify objects and begin making associations at a fairly young age.
Flashcards are popular as a learning aid because:
They Stimulate Visual Memory
Flashcards are visual aids. They can make it easier for kids to learn new concepts or reinforce what they’re learning about a particular topic. Studies have found that kids who use flashcards grasp topics faster, as they work to enhance memory when a child sees an image from a flashcard. They quickly remember what they’re learning because the brain tends to absorb visual information at a faster rate.
They’re Easy To Take With You
As a parent, you’re often on the go. Flashcards are the perfect portable learning tool since you can take them with you anywhere! They’re easy for kids to handle too.
They Increase The Pace Of Learning
If you want to help increase the speed at which your child learns concepts, then flashcards are the way to go! Big concepts can be broken down into small, more digestible segments through flashcards which can help increase the rate in which children learn.
You can use flashcards to help teach just about any subject, from shapes and colors to foreign language or math. That’s because it doesn’t matter what subject you’re teaching – flashcards take big ideas and break them down into smaller parts that make it easier for children to learn.
In the grand scheme of learning, flashcards are very cost-effective – especially considering how much a child learns from them!
How Often to Use Flashcards
You may be asking yourself, “Should I do flashcards every day?” As a parent, you naturally want to ensure you’re not overwhelming your child but also using flashcards frequently enough to work.
The answer to this question may not be as simple as a yes or no. You do want to use them frequently because it’s a dynamic way of teaching children that requires repetition in order to be effective.
If you don’t want to overwhelm your child, then it’s really all about how to present flashcards to them. Is it fun or is it a chore? If you work to make it fun, then it may be something they want to do each day!
Fun Ways to Incorporate Flashcards In Your Daily Routine
Now that we’ve covered what flashcards are and why they’re beneficial to use, it’s time to understand how to seamlessly make them a part of your daily routine with your children. When used the right way, this simple yet effective learning tool can be used in a variety of ways!
Some of the best include:
Using Flashcards For Simple Math
You can go beyond simple flashcards with numbers to create a fun game for your child. Take flashcards with two different categories of something on them and place them side by side. Next, take two bowls or two bags and ask the child to put the cards in the right bowl or bag. This type of exercise – in which a child works to sort and classify something – is a fundamental math skill and helps to hone their ability to clearly recognize patterns and groups of numbers. Eventually, this will strengthen their problem-solving and multiplication skills. You’re laying the groundwork for success! Once they’ve mastered two categories, consider increasing the level of difficulty by adding more.
If you have flashcards with pictures on them, choose a handful and arrange them in any order you choose. Ask “what is on the flashcard?” in order to help establish a pattern in your child’s mind. Then, take one of the cards away and see if they can repeat the pattern without all the pictures there. This is a great way to stretch your child’s memory and teach them skills that use visualization. If that’s too easy, add more cards to the game.
Incorporate language learning into your everyday life by attaching flashcards of different objects around your home to that object! Depictions of items on a flashcard often aren’t lifelike, so attaching it to something real can help kids make that connection. If that doesn’t pique your child’s interest, bring the real-life object to your next lesson and have your child pick out the card that matches.
Interaction And Communication
Tap into your child’s love of playing pretend and set up a shop stocked with flashcards! It can be a market or a pet shop – something your child has an interest in. Pretend to be the store owner, ask what they want to buy and have them describe it. If your little one is more take-charge, switch roles and describe to them what you want to buy without saying the name. Not only does this work with flashcards, but it’s also a great way for your little one to practice conversation skills!
Work On Presentation Skills
Ask your child to choose a few flashcards from a set, then have them make up a storyline from the cards. If they’re having trouble beginning the story, start them off with a couple of sentences or tell your own story first to show them how it’s done. These stories can be as simple or as complicated as your child wants them to be – just let their creative juices flow!
Let Flashcards Light the Way
For many years, teachers and parents alike have used flashcards as a way to help learners retain information and actively recall it. Flashcards help build connections in your child’s brain! Flashcards are also easy to use and easy to bring around, serving as a valuable resource to teach your child a variety of concepts.
With flashcards, your child can boost their language skills, improve their ability to tell stories, help them memorize and grow their vocabulary. Plus, they’ll be proud of what they’re capable of learning and get the opportunity to flex their creative muscles in the process. It’s win-win!No matter where your child is in life, no matter what they’re learning in school, and no matter how busy your family may be, finding the time to work with flashcards each day has many benefits. So, what are you waiting for?
What’s the first thing you hear when you bring up the topic of math with most school-aged children? We’d be surprised if you said you got many positive responses. In fact, it’s pretty rare to hear the words ‘I love math’ very often.
It’s fairly typical of kids to strongly dislike math from an early age, usually because they struggle with the basic concepts and don’t have the math foundation they need to build on as they journey through school. This is greatly concerning, especially as almost everything in life has elements of math. Even the most basic of activities, from playing games to managing their social calendars, requires math calculation.
As parents, the good news is that we can prevent this stigma and encourage a positive perception! This can be done from a relatively early age, long before your child enters the preschool gates or puts on their first school uniform. The foundation we parents lay regarding math – and our child’s approach to early learning – goes a long way towards a healthy education.
Did you know that the period from birth to five years of age is when the brain is the most receptive to learning? When a baby is born, its brain size is a quarter of its intended adult size. This increases at lightning speed (nearly) over the course of three years to 80% and 90% by age five. During this time, your child’s brain constantly absorbs information – creating memories that aid the learning process.
According to a study conducted in 2013, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, better number sense in infancy (six months) can ensure a stronger mathematical ability at 3 years old! That’s fantastic when you think about it, as this means exposing our children to math from a VERY early age can have dramatic and positive effects on their development.
This brings us to the benefits of math flashcards and their ability to help your child develop a strong foundation in the numerical world. As you can see, learning the foundational basics of math during these formative years can promote a strong understanding of math principles for your child to build on in the future. However, when taught using math flashcards, the results are even better!
How Does Math Development Work?
To understand how math development works, you must first understand how the brain learns. Our brains are made up of billions of neurons called nerve cells – commonly called brain cells. Each brain cell has an appendage that links it to the next, called a dendrite. Dendrites link and synapses pass electrical currents from one cell to the next.
When the synapses are repetitively stimulated, permanent informational pathways develop. These are often referred to as neural patterns, which allow learned information to be transmitted quickly. Therefore, encouraging the development of these neural pathways using math flashcards definitely improves and hones your child’s math skills!
What Are Math Flashcards?
Math flashcards, like language flashcards, are small colorful cards used to teach basic math concepts such as counting, numerical recognition, and more. The best math flashcards usually depict a number at the top with a corresponding picture or pattern below. This visual aid, coupled with the written number, is excellent for teaching young children identification and recognition skills.
How Do Math Flashcards Aid Development?
You’re probably wondering how math flashcards work. And the truth is the concept is actually very simple. Using math flashcards to enhance your child’s learning and development promotes metacognition and active recall, which are vital brain processes required for learning.
In addition, enhancing the brain’s ability to recall mathematical concepts using the best math flashcards provides a firm grounding and understanding of the basics required for further learning. We utilize the power of repetition in our set. We provide the same number three times, using three different images (or contexts) to help children get a more natural grasp on association, rather than just memory.
As your child uses math flashcards more frequently, neural pathways will develop, encouraging the information to move from short-term to long-term memory. Long-term memory is like the storage or filing system of the brain, and is used to store information the brain doesn’t want to forget.
What Are The Benefits of Math Flashcards?
Like most flashcards used for early learning, the benefits of math flashcards on the brain are quite interesting.
Below are several positive ways math flashcards affect the brain.
· Enhances Metacognition
Metacognition is also known as self-reflection or performance assessment. In other words, the ability to assess your answer compared to the solution on the flashcard. Questions like ‘did I get the right answer?’ or ‘was I nearly right?’ can be used to judge their ability and progress when learning. Using the best math flashcards can help your child develop metacognition skills, creating solid neural pathways (learned memories).
· Boosts Active Recall
Active recall is stimulated when your child looks at the math flashcard and tries to associate the numerical number with the picture or pattern below. These again create informational pathways that promote memory and efficient learning processes. In addition, math flashcards are used repetitively, which stimulates memory recall and aids with information retention.
· Promotes Spaced repetition
When compared to a single math lesson, spaced repetition as a learning method is far more effective – and there’s research to prove this! Spaced repetition involves short, interactive training sessions that occur with breaks in between. It explains why math flashcards are so effective when teaching your child because they can be used in short bursts. For example, using math flashcards to teach your child to count sequentially in repetitive intervals will be far more effective for their long-term memory than one lesson.
· Encourages Confident Learning
Math can be quite confusing, especially to little ones just learning to grapple with numbers. Math flashcards allow information to be separated into proverbial bite-sized portions that can be learned separately. As a result, they can focus more frequently on math concepts they find challenging rather than those they’re confident with. This optimized learning technique encourages memory performance and recall, much like active recall and spaced repetition.
Are Math Cards Appropriate For Preschoolers?
If babies as young as six months old benefit from math, it stands to reason that math flashcards are appropriate for preschoolers. In fact, the earlier you start with the flashcards, the better it is! Math flashcards can be used in many fun, engaging activities and when these stimulate a natural thirst for learning, it’s a win-win situation encouraging them to want to learn more.
An excellent attribute of the best math flashcards – like the ones we offer – are bright, colorful designs, pictures and patterns. These can be used to create an interest in the world of numbers and how they influence everyday life.
Benefits of math flashcards for preschoolers include:
· Creates an interest in math
· Builds basic math skills
· Increases confidence
· Encourages independent thinking
· Promotes problem-solving skills
· Engages active recall/memory skills
· Improves active recall
How To Use Math Flashcards Effectively for Preschoolers
Math flashcards, like language flashcards, are fun interactive tools used to improve memory skills in the early years and later as your child journeys through school. Research has shown that learning through play is “essential for a child and lays a foundation for learning.” Using math flashcards coupled with play-based teaching methods is excellent for teaching young children the basic concepts of math!
At this point, you might be researching how to introduce math flashcards to your preschooler? Or, if you want to get started a little earlier, you may be wondering “how do you introduce math flashcards to toddlers?” In both instances, the process is quite similar and involves a few simple steps.
Select the math flashcards you wish to use and sit facing your child. As you show your child the flashcard, say the number on the card. The picture below the numerical number will usually illustrate the number. For example, a flash card showing the number 3 might have three rainbows depicted below. Say the number and then count the rainbows, pointing to each one as you count.
This targets proper identification and recognition of each number, and helps with language development!
With practice (repetition is key) and maturity, your child will start remembering the information. Now you can start asking them to repeat the numbers you say. Another great tactic is to ask them to ‘help’ you count the number of items they see in the math flashcard picture.
Once your child has grasped the concept (this will take time) and begins recognizing the numbers, you can ask them to tell you the number associated with each picture shown. Alternatively, you could ask them to count out the items in the images on their own. Practice is key!
As your child’s confidence develops, hold each math flashcard up for your child to see and wait at least 3 seconds. This allows your child time to look at the card and consider their answer. If they provide the right solution, place the card to one side. If they give a wrong answer, put the card at the bottom of the pile to review again. At the end of the flashcard session, spend some time studying the flashcards they struggled with.
Remember to include lots of praise, encouragement and FUN in every math flashcard session!
How To Include Math Flashcards Into Your Daily Routine
Incorporating math flashcards into your daily routine is easy and fun. They’re a great learning tool – whether you use them to label the number of bowls you have in the cupboard, to help with homework or in fun interactive games.
Here are some things to remember when using math flashcards to motivate and encourage your child’s basic math skills.
Keep each session fun, interactive and entertaining
Remember the concept of spaced repetition and take regular breaks (often less is more!)
Ensure your child is rested before each session – tired children don’t learn very well
Top up the tum and brain with a healthy snack, boosting brain cells encourages learning
Remember to praise, reward and encourage – use high fives, hugs or a little treat as an incentive!
Fun Interactive Math Flashcard Games
We’re often asked by parents “what is the best way to use math flashcards”? Or “how do you use math flashcards for kids”? The answer to these questions is this: by incorporating as much fun and entertainment as possible! Even silly, made-up flashcard games can positively impact your child’s math skills!
Although the same can’t be said for all flashcards, don’t be afraid to toss ours around and get active – they’re built to withstand the liveliest of learning activities, day in, day out.
Below are two examples you can use to get your math flashcard sessions started:
This game can be played by two or more and requires a full set of math flashcards. Sit facing your child and divide the flashcards into two equal piles. Give your child one pile and keep one for yourself. Then place the first card face-up on the table, and ask your child to put their card next to it. Every time your cards match, it’s an opportunity to yell ‘snap!’ The trick is to go as fast as you can to aid the unconscious absorption of information by the cerebellum (part of the brain responsible for memory). It’s also great fun and an opportunity to develop active recall, memory and cognitive function!
Hunt The Number Down
You can play this game with one or more children. Select a math flashcard and hold it up for your child to see. If needed, help them identify the number by saying or counting out the items depicted in the picture. Then tell them to collect the same number of items from around the room or classroom. As they become more confident, allow them to hunt the correct number of objects without assistance. Every time they get it right, they earn points towards their favorite treat or activity.
Our math numbers flashcards feature gentle yet eye-catching illustrations and a kid-proof build. If you’re looking to reliably engage your child with math and get a head start with flashcards, we’ve got you covered. Each set even comes with a sturdy ring binder for customizable lessons!
As a parent wanting to learn how to help your child learn numbers, you can’t go wrong with math flashcards. Not only are they a brilliant way of introducing basic math concepts to your child, but they’re also super convenient and portable. Remember to keep each flashcard session fun and upbeat, as this will ensure your child remains engaged and ready to learn!