Flashcards are a great way to help young learners visualize new vocabulary. These versatile tools can be used both in the classroom and at home to help children practice language. We believe in making learning fun and engaging, so rather than drilling kids by flipping through the cards, try playing games and doing different activities to keep their interest high.
Here are a few simple and fun activities you can do with the mini flashcards. All of these activities are easily adapted to be used with various ages and group sizes.
Spread cards on the floor or table face up. Name one of the cards and the child places his hand on top of that card. If playing with just one child, slowly move your hand towards the card and the child must try to touch the card before you do! If playing with more than one child, the children can race to touch the card. Whoever touches the card first gets to keep it. To remove competition from the game, have one set of cards for each child.
Spread a group of 5-10 cards face up on the floor or table. Review the cards together with the child. Tell her, “Close your eyes,” and take away one of the cards. Next, say, “Open your eyes,” and ask, “What’s missing?” The child tries to guess which card is missing.
Make a fishing rod by attaching a magnet to a piece of string and then tying the other end of the string around a chopstick, unsharpened pencil, or ruler. Attach a paper clip to each mini card and then spread the cards out on the floor. Make a “pond” around them with a hula hoop or long piece of rope. Now it’s time to fish! Say, “Can you catch a ghost?” The child can try to catch the ghost by connecting the magnet to the paper clip. Each time you catch a card, name it. At the end, count all of the cards you have caught.
Print out two sets of cards and play a simple memory game. Choose 10 pairs of cards (you can use more or fewer to make the game more difficult or easier). Spread them face down on the floor or table. Turn over any two cards and name them. If they match, you can keep them and take another turn. If they don’t match, turn them back over and it is the next player’s turn. Continue until all the cards are gone. You can also play word matching to practice reading. Make a set of mini cards of just the words, and match them to the pictures.
Place the mini cards in a pile face down on the table or floor. One person takes the top card, and without showing it, tries to elicit the word from the other player without speaking. For example, if the card is “rabbit,” pretend to be a rabbit by hopping around the room. Or, if the word is “lion,” pretend to be a lion by making a mane with your hands. If the other player can guess the word, it is his turn to take a card.
Hide and Seek
Hide several of the cards around the room while the other players close their eyes. After all of the cards are hidden, ask, “Where is the snowman/candy cane/present, etc.?” Advanced students can practice prepositions of place, “Is it under the book? Is it on the table? Is it in the drawer? etc.” Or just search and find the cards together. Switch places and try again!
Do you have mini flashcard games you like to play with your children or students? Please share in the comments below.