Are Flashcards good for children?
Yes! Flashcards are great for any child to learn new subject words, as well as for letters, numbers, colours, shapes, phonics and times tables. Flashcards enable you to chop up what needs to be learned into smaller chunks that can be focussed on. For example, if your child knows number 1–6 and 8–10 but keeps getting stuck on 7, you can pull that out. Or if your baby is learning new words, you can simply grab five cards to start with and then increase the amount when you think your baby is ready. Flashcards enable you to work at the pace of your child, and within whatever time or place restrictions you have.
What age do you start using Flashcards?
You can start with babies as young as 6 months if you wish, but you will see start to see results (so it feels more worthwhile) at around 18 months. At this age, toddlers are beginning to notice the world around them more and will likely to saying a few words. Eager to learn, they will pick up new words just from everyday speech. But using Flashcards enables you to spend some quality time entertaining them, and encouraging learning through play.
How do you introduce Flashcards to toddlers?
Simply pick up pack of Flashcards, choose a few and show them. Depending on their age and language skills, you can tell them what each object is, and describe each object – both the Flashcard picture and how you might relate to this object in real life. For example, for a Car Flashcard, you could say: This is a car. This car is blue. We drove in Mummy's car to the shop today. The car has a horn that goes beep beep. A car has four wheels – 1, 2, 3, 4. The list is endless, but the more you talk, the more your child will pick up.
Are Flashcards good for learning new words?
Yes, Flashcards are excellent at helping young children to learn and memorise new words, and the relationship between the word or number and the picture. The real trick is to use this as a springboard and extend the learning to context and reinforcing how all of the new words are used in sentences and language. How? Simply by using the words in sentences and recognising the objects outside of the Flashcard usage. Walking past a numbered door? Ask your child what number they can see. Having a strawberry for snack time? Ask your child to talk about the strawberry in sentences – my strawberry is red. My strawberry tastes yummy. I like eating strawberries. Give your child examples and they'll soon learn to use their new vocabulary.
What are the disadvantages of using Flashcards?
Flashcards are a tool for introducing new words and ideas. If a child only ever uses Flashcards, then they may perhaps just be memorising words, rather than learning how to use language. New words, however they are learned, simply need context and reinforcement to become a part of our everyday language. With this in mind, if you focus on Flashcards that, for the most part, show words that are part of your every day life – e.g. Home, Food, Vehicles – then you will use the new words anyway. For example, if you show Flashcards for carrot, sofa and tree, for example, it's most likely that these words will form a part of your everyday language, so your child will hear the new words being used.
Should I buy or make Flashcards?
This is totally your choice. There are some excellent printable and tutorials online if you want to make Flashcards, and you could even cut squares of card and draw your objects. It all depends on your available time and artistic skills!
How often should you use Flashcards?
You can use Flashcards as much or as little as you like. It's probably best to use them for around 10 minutes at a time, or until your child has had enough and is losing concentration. Just make using them fun and the learning will naturally follow.
Are Flashcards good for preschoolers?
Absolutely! Flashcards are good to use with all young children, depending on their learning needs. Preschoolers are likely to use Flashcards for new words, numbers and shapes. Reception schoolchildren may use letters and alphabet Flashcards and phonics Flashcards to aid their early reading skills at school. Year 1 and Year 2 children can use Times Tables Flashcards to practise this new maths skill. With all Flashcards, it's simply best to reinforce the Flashcard learning elsewhere to make sure that your child is learning rather than memorising.
What are the benefits of using Flashcards?
Flashcards have many benefits, with the most obvious being building vocabulary. But Flashcards for kids can be so much more! Flashcards enable your child to make connections. For example, on a countryside walk, show your child a cow or sheep Flashcard alongside the actual animal. Use the cards to play Animal Noises. Play matching games with the cards and your child's toys or books. Recognise colours, shapes and numbers – count the cows, what colour is the sheep, is the cow's trough like a square or circle. Flashcards are there to start the conversation – where you take it is up to you! Furthermore, language skills will help to widen your child's world, understand differences (a black-and-white animal could be a cow, dog or cat) and build their confidence.
Do Flashcards help with speech?
Repetition of language in a parent's voice is all a child needs to begin their speech journey. So you can work with Flashcards, read books, have chat about your day, tell them what you are doing – anything really. When a child's speech development stage is ready, it will happen. But it's important to not feel pressured or pressure your child. Relax, make it fun and simply provide opportunity for them to hear speech.
If at 2 or 3 years old, your child is saying very little, it is possible that there may be a speech delay. It may be perfectly fine and right itself in time, but if you are worried, speak to a health visitor or GP.