‘Flashcards’ is one of those few learning tools that can help toddlers and adults too. Simple revisions and improvisation to the content of flash cards can help children of all ages. Children can learn reading and other concepts in a much better way using flashcards.

Flash cards work with children for various scientific reasons. Annie Murphy Paul, a senior psychology journalist has highlighted from a research that use of flashcards is a robust learning technique that supports a child who intends to take tests. You can read more about the learning techniques she has identified here. However, for a parent, it always helps to understand how flashcards can be used for children of different age groups.

How do flashcards help as a learning tool?

Flashcards help in activating active recall. This is a something that most children need to hone at times of pressure and test. When children are encouraged to use flashcards on their own, they are let to self-reflect on the answers. This sort of self-reflection helps them develop the sense of sense evaluation without discounting any influencing factors. When children use flashcards, they are also deal with building self-confidence.

Flashcards are designed based on a learning concept called ‘spacing’. This behavior of learners, where the learner captures a fact or concept through spaced events helps in retaining the information for a longer period with very little effort. Educators and teachers can dig deeper into how flashcards are effective through this report – Optimising Learning Using Flashcards: Spacing Is More
Effective Than Cramming

Choose which among the following suits your child and explore how flashcards can help your child.

  1. Flashcards for toddlers (0 to 6 years)
  2. Flashcards for primary school children (6 to 10 years)
  3. Flashcards for secondary school children and teenagers (11 years onward)

Flashcards are effective only when combined with consistent repetition. Repetition is key to learning. You can access various resources that help in using and creating your own flashcards from the directory of learning tools that we have created.

Why are flashcards used as a learning tool?

Flashcards come with a lot of benefits. They have been used as learning and study tools by people of different ages. Some of the benefits are –

  • They can be created at home with very little assistance. They very affordable and cheap to buy.
  • They can be reused anytime.
  • Easy and handy to carry while travel.
  • Flashcards can be gamified and used in multiple ways.
  • It helps children stay focused on the learning concept.
  • They encourage repetition and hence aid better learning.

How to make flashcards?

The size of flashcards is inversely proportionate to the age of a child. As the child grows, the size of flashcards starts shrinking. The material you would need to create flashcards all by yourself are –

  • Matte finish cardboards with a thickness of 1 mm
  • Gloss finish cardboards – 9 x 9 inches with a thickness of 1 mm
  • Marker pens – preferably permanent markers
  • Blue, black, red and green gel pens – avoid sparkle pens
  • List of categories you want to introduce to your child – you can encourage your child to come up with the list.
  • Printer.
  • Relevant images or sketches

Gloss finish cards work best with younger children and matte finish works best as pocket cards which can be carried along with you and used on-the-go.

If you choose to use flashcards for vocabulary, then prepare a list of words you would want to learn. Add only the word on one side and its meaning and usage on the other side of the card. If you are able to recall the meaning after looking at the word, then you can keep the card out of the stack. If you are unable to recall the meaning then, retain it in the learning and read through the meaning available on the other side. These cards could be created by yourself or your child at home. You can also use mobile apps or digital resources that provide such ready-made cards. Here is one such source you can use http://www.flashcardmachine.com/.

You can apply a similar method to learn other concepts like the periodic table, facts of flora and fauna and more.

Games associated with flashcards.

Memory Game

This is one of the most popular forms of gamifying flashcards.

  • Choose a category of flashcards.
  • Place a set of flashcards on the floor with response facing upward.
  • Give students one minute to memorize the cards.
  • In groups, give them two minutes to write as many of the names as they can remember.

Riddling with flashcards

  • Choose a concept that you want to riddle.
  • Share a set of clues that can be associated either with the word or image.
  • Let the child guess which card you are hinting towards.
  • Using the clues you offer, the child has to pick the card.

Try these games and let us know how they worked. If you have any games associated with flashcards that should be included here, share your comments below.

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