Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Flashcards with Toddlers

This may be a boring post {for many}, however, one of the questions that was asked of me from the "ask me anything" post {I know, forever ago}, was about learning and our use of flashcards. Only fitting that the day after I plant the seed about my homeschooling dreams, that I talk about one of our favorite learning tools, flashcards.

So, learning.

It is something that, as a parent, we hold very near and dear to our hearts. The process of teaching our children and then watching them soak it in and master a certain skill, letter, animal, or concept and read it back. Lets take it a step further and have them actually apply those skills to real life. Rewarding It is so interesting and so gratifying to be on the other end. To see your children not only learn, but to enjoy doing so.

We have never been "strict" in our learning. I never want to contain my child and force her to do anything she did not want to do. I wanted to make sure that there was a routine set in place, but not one in which my daughter would dread or complain about. The best way for me to incorporate what I would like to call school time {in other words, learn as you play time} was to first introduce flashcards.

Flashcards have been a daily part of our "school time" since Elliana was about 6 months old. They were the first thing that I introduced to her at a young age and the one of the many things we still take out to this day. Initially, we just started out by showing the flashcards, having her feel those flashcards, and continue to repeat repeat and repeat the words.

We have about 12 different sets, containing over probably 400 cards. Repetition. Sensory. Colors. Shapes. Numbers. ABCs. Animals. Each flashcard providing a list of learning opportunities. We could spend a couple minutes on one flashcards just discussing how many objects are in the picture. Discussing all the different colors. Talking about the sound that the animal makes. What the animal likes to do or eat. How they are unique. By around 20 months old, she had mastered all of them, and we could zip right through them in a matter of minutes.

Flashcards were a great foundation and opened up so many various learning opportunities. We then focused on alphabet sounds and learning what sound each letter made. The flashcards allowed us to play with this a little bit, as we would exaggerate the first letter of every word when we would talk about them. And she could actually visualize it more and put the sound to the letter. After Elliana mastered this, we have now turned to spelling. I never really thought we would be spelling at age 2, but we are, and it is super fun. So far she can recognize these words and spell them out loud when asked: mama, papa, elli, cat, dog, fish, milk, ball, bed, bat, boy, hat, box, at.  Other words that she can recognize {but not yet spell}: mouse, house, apple, can, run, red, girl, go, no, not. Those are just some that I can remember off the top of my head. I know it isn't much, but I just discovered her desire to spell a couple weeks ago, so this has just now been our main focus.

 I cannot wait to see where we go from here.

There are many other tools that we have used in teaching Elliana. I have written a brief post about this in the past, but at the end of the day, I believe that you do not have to own every puzzle, flashcard, magnet, and anything else out there to stimulate those little brains. I believe they are great tools, and children definitely love to see and feel things when learning, but I also believe that the most important tool that you can give a child is just simply showing them the world and talking to them through it.

That is the key right there. Talking and playing with them.

You can throw them out there, you can show them the zoo, you can give them the tools, bunless you are right there with them, conversing, interacting, playing, then what good will all that do?

So not only do we get to have fun with our children, but we also get to teach them something. I have to remind myself to use EVERY opportunity available. As we are getting dressed in the morning, while we are eating breakfast together, going out for walks, and any other little day-to-day tasks. We use those times to practice what we've learned. Repeating days of the week, spelling different words, and so forth.

You know, it's one of the greatest rewards of parenthood. Watching our children learn, and more importantly, learn from us.

And I am definitely looking forward to all the learning opportunities ahead of us.
Some great resources online:
Alphabet Crafts
Alphabet Tracing
Alphabet Coloring Pages
Alphabet Worksheets

Flashcard link: My First Touch & Feel Picture Cards: First Words (MY 1ST T&F PICTURE CARDS)


  1. You said that flashcard with tooddlers is boring. So I can introduce for you another useful app. It is Superflashcard which helps you easily create multiple-choice questions.

  2. Great post! Was the "my first touch" ones you started with?

  3. We love flashcards too! KP is so good with them. We have the 3 letter and 4 letter ones that are sort of like a puzzle and after about 1/2 a day with those she was able do them w/o my help and I couldn't believe it! I agree, they are a great learning tool!

  4. Interesting! For the 6 mos ones, did you make them yourself or buy them from somewhere?

  5. We do flash cards too. She loves them... When she's in the mood. Three is a tricky age :)

  6. One of my proudest moments was when my 16 month old ran up to me with her flashcards and started naming things off without prompting - baby, car, ball, apple, etc.

  7. we have those same worksheet you sourced at the bottom! :) we love flash cards too! I seriously am such a firm beliver whether you are homeschooling or not or at home, the most learning right now comes from us & at home. You can send your child to preschool & learn but if you arent carrying it out at home alot doesnt stick! as a former 3+ years as a preschool teacher I know that for sure! your such a great momma, I love that your so invested in her education!

  8. Thank you for sharing, you are a supermom. How do you plan on homeshooling and working nightshift. You rock.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing these links. I am hoping to reintroduce some structured toddler time this summer and these will be some great tools to start with!

  10. Flash Cards for Toddlers MyKidsFlashcards offers educational language teaching flash cards as resources for kids, children, parents and ESL teachers of preschool, kindergarten, primary and secondary education. We offer more than 60+ card sets for language learning of English, Spanish, German, French, Pinyin or Chinese. Our flashcards provide high quality images with easy and clear illustrations. The pictures are easy to understand for all ages. Teachers can use the card sets for kindergarten level up through to high school students.


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