Saturday, July 10, 2010

Say No to Flash Cards?

From what I've been reading, it seems like Play and Learn does not go hand in hand with Flash Cards. Or rather advocates of Play and Learn do not approve of Flash Cards.

I embrace the Play and Learn philosophy but I've also been doing Glenn Doman inspired flash card programme since they were 5 months old. I wasn't very consistent though, I tried to do thrice daily but was only able to do at most twice daily, usually taking a break during the weekends. And I improvised the way the cards were flashed from the original programme. I used lesser cards. And I never test. My intention of showing the flash cards is to expose them to words, just like the way we expose them to images.

I used the flash cards in 2 ways:

Rapid flashing of word cards. 
I start with 10 cards, adding 1 new card each day up to a maximum of 25 cards and I will retire the cards that have been flashed 15 times or when I think they are starting to get bored with the cards. I was having problem keeping track of the cards with the original GD programme, so I simplify it to what I feel I can keep up with. I'm not sure if the programme is still effective this way but it's alright for me since my intention is to expose to words, not so much of memory training.

Flash cards with pictures
I also show them flash cards with pictures. I will usually show the side with the words first, then the side with the picture. If it's an action word, we'll do the action and I will sing a song/rhyme if there's any relating to the word.

Now that they are older, I'm thinking of doing away with the rapid flashing and focus on utilizing the flash cards in other ways. Some of which are what I'm already doing:

  • Word cards to be used together for words/object introduction
  • Words cards to be pinned on wall for words introduced for the week
  • Matching Games - Match the correct word card to the picture card.
  • Labelling Games - Get your children involved in the labelling after introducing the word.
  • Make your own cards (not the type and print kind) - Older children who can draw can make their own cards. For younger children, making the cards together with them would be good. (unless your children are like my boys who wouldn't stop snatching the marker from you.)

I think Flash Cards is a good learning tool and can be incorporated into Play and Learn. I'm still looking for more interesting ways to use Flash Cards.


  1. Oh you just got to think outside the box a little more to incorporate the play:) So for example...

    Swat that bug: Set out bug cards - shout out the name of a bug and the child swats the card with the correct bug on it!

    Move like this: Hold up some action cards and the child moves like the action in each card.

    Traffic control: Let your child use a little car and a home made road. Hold up different traffic sign cards and the child demonstrates what to do with the car on the road.

    What does this animal say: For each animal card you hold up, the child makes that animal sound.

    What is in your house? Invite the child to go around the house matching household picture cards to items in your household. Try it with Spanish or sign language cards too!

    I could go on and on but I am sure you get the idea. You just have to see the cards as a way to stimulate movement, communication, action, and fun! I hope this helps!

  2. Thanks Deborah! You just got me out of my box! :)


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