Ahhh… the perennial question! How do I make flashcards fun for my kids? Most people simply hold up a card and see if the child knows the answer and move onto the next one in the stack. From experience, this type of “game” does not last very long. The “fun factor” is pretty much non-existent. However, it does not take much planning on your part to make flashcards more exciting. Trust me. It is easy.
Here is how to make flashcards more fun:
All you need is a toy/game/tool that has multiple pieces and have your child “earn” a piece by answering one correct flashcard. The more cards he/she answers the more pieces he/she gets! It actually makes the game more exciting because the child does not just immediately get all of the pieces to it! This earning method slows the game down and makes the child really focus on the goal of the game.
What are we playing right now?
My kids’ favorite is this stacking chairs game. The children get one chair for each correct flashcard. The object of the game is to stack all of the chairs without them falling. If the chairs fall down, the children have to start over again. My children find this game incredibly compelling and love answering the flashcards to get chairs.
Factors for Success:
1. Don’t let your child play this game outside of the flashcard time. It should be played ONLY with flashcards and put away all other times.
2. Make sure that the game is something fun. It does not have to be the most expensive toy out there — but it needs to be compelling.
3. The toy needs to have enough pieces for your child to be able to build/create/finish it within 10-40 flashcards. Don’t pick a game or toy with hundreds of pieces because then your child will lose interest in having to answer so many flashcards to get the pieces.
4. Have a few of these games ready to go so that in case your children show the slightest sign of being bored with it, you can tuck that one away and bring out a new one. You can then break out that old game at a later point and it will keep its “game life” a bit longer. Never let your kids get bored with a game because then it will always be labeled as “boring” in their heads.
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Founder of The Language Playground