Monday, 26 May 2014

Using Flash Cards as a teaching tool

Flash Cards

Flashing cards have become one of my main strategies of introducing and teaching vocabulary, new concepts, maths and different themes. The reason why I choose to use flash cards is because they are easily available in the market, easy to make and most importantly, you can expose many different vocabulary and themes to your child in a very short time.

Simply choose several sets of cards and flash to your child very quickly. Flash and say the words. If it’s numbers, then flash the number or dots and say “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7…”. You don’t have to worry that you are going too fast. In fact, children have very short attention span. So 1 card per 1 -2 sec is fine. The challenge is, how fast can you flash and say the cards. Actually, it’s all about practice. I have flashed the cards for the past 7 years to my children that I can memorize the cards.

How many cards you flash depends on how long you can hold your child’s attention. Increase the number of cards flashed slowly. Don’t worry if your child runs away, bring him back and continue. Once he is used to the routine, he will want to look at the cards. You can always buy new sets of cards to attract his attention or simply rearrange your cards in different sequence or rotate the sets that you have.

1) Start simple. I started out just doing dot cards from number 1 to 100. In this case, you can concentrate on flashing the cards and simply counting from 1 to 100. 

2) Keep it short and sweet. Keep it to maximum 10 minutes for older children. Maximum 5 minutes for younger ones.

2) Better to keep your cards in the same sequences and you will find that your child will recite the cards when he is old enough to speak. My children know the cards so well that I can simply flash and they will say what the card is.

When to start?
I started flashing these cards to my eldest daughter at age 4 because that was when I was introduced to the flash card method.

However, for my second and third child, I started them at about 5 months old when they could sit up, propped by pillows or in a Bumbo chair. I love this stage because the child cannot move away. Captive audience. 

Where to get these flashcards in Singapore:
My flashcards are collected slowly over the years. You can find them in bookshops such as popular. But most of my cards are bought from the Shichida’s method when my children were attending. However, flashcards can be found in many different places selling children’s books or even Kiddy Palace. For those themes that are not too easy to find, simply make them yourself. 

Examples of the flashcards I have: 

Flash cards for babies age 0-6months


Example of Flash cards for children: 
Mandarin: I cut these out from a poster.
Body Parts
Sun  number dots


Alphabets A-Z
Theme of Business
Flags of the world

Common words
Solar System

Solar System

Musical Instrument

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