I Love Flashcards!
Flashcards are awesome! They are a cheap tool that can be used in a variety of different ways and for a variety of different subjects, all you need is imagination. Without imagination flashcards can be B-O-R-I-N-G.
Flashcards are a staple homeschool tool that I have used for all of my children. The way that I use them for each child is a little bit different depending on their individual learning style. But seriously, I have used the same set of alphabet flashcards, that I bought at Walmart for $3, for every child.
The cool thing about flashcards is that they can appeal to all different learning modalities (If you are wondering what a learning style or modality is you can read about it in my post, “How” is My Child Smart). Flashcards can be used in a visual, auditory, tactile and even a kinesthetic way. As I said before, all you need is imagination!
1. Include a Treat
Kids love treats. Treats can be a great motivator for engagement. Treats don’t always have to be candy. A treat can be anything that your child loves to consume or use. The definition of treat is “anything that affords particular pleasure or enjoyment“.
I also like to use treats that are small in size or quantity so that I can keep continual engagement throughout the activity by giving small portions as we go. This helps to keep their attention focused for a longer period of time.
I am not against sugar in small quantities, so my go to treat is usually small candies; M&M’s, Skittles, Reece’s Pieces, or Jelly Beans. But you could use anything small such as, stickers, raisins, high-fives, nuts, beads, goldfish crackers, 1 minute of screen time, etc..
2. Play a Game
Kids also love games, games = fun. To make their learning a game all you need is an objective that requires a skill, a set of rules, a treat for their successful attempts (see #1 above), and you to cheer them on. Some games that work really well with flashcards are,
Question and Answer
Remember anything goes when you use your imagination to make learning with flashcards a game.
3. Make the Flashcards Interactive
Kids just want to touch! This is a great time to let them touch. Put the flashcards in your child’s hands and let them do most of the work as you guide them. Ask them to point to the flashcard touching it with their finger. Have them turn the flashcards over. Ask them to sort them by hand and put them into piles. Have them pick the cards up or place them down in a certain way. Children remember something better when they have been able to touch it.
4. Test their knowledge
Kids want to show you how much they know. It’s validating for them to be able to perform for you. They thrive off of your words of affirmation about what they are good at and what they can do. They also like to hear your words of encouragement for the times that they fall short and don’t quite know the answer. Celebrate their accomplishments, celebration = fun.
Testing is also helpful for you as the teacher because it gives you a clear idea of what they have already learned and what they still need to work on. This will help you to keep future flashcard fun more of a challenge.
This post contains affiliate links.