Most people are of the belief that children simply need to learn through play and don’t need images on a flashcard drilled into them. However, there is definitely a place for toddler flashcards and they can play a role if used in a fun and interactive way.
Just holding up a flashcard and reading a word to a child isn’t much fun for anyone and quite honestly, no one is likely to gain anything from the experience. Instead, bringing their world into the learning experience or making it interactive for the child makes it more fun and much more like play which is how children learn.
Examples could be pointing out objects in your home to the pictures shown on the flashcard or asking your toddler to point to the objects or even find them for you, ask them to bring you objects that match the colour shown on the flashcard – this creates a level of interactivity, making it more of a game and giving the child their independence to provide the answer themselves.
HOW CAN FLASHCARDS BENEFIT YOUR TODDLER?
If used correctly and your toddler/preschooler reacts positively to flashcards the benefits can be amazing:
- Improve cognitive development
- Increase awareness of the world around them
- Improve fine motor skills
- Stimulate thinking for themselves
- Increase confidence
But flashcards may not be for every child as, like adults, every child is unique in every way including the way in which they learn and it has been shown that there are 4 types of learners.
THE 4 TYPES OF LEARNERS
It may not be apparent at a very young age which learning style your child favours the most but as they grow knowing their preferred method of learning can be a great advantage when choosing what learning resources will be the most effective at helping them to flourish
- Visual – needs images to explain ideas, prefer pictures over words
- Auditory - learns best when information is spoken either by an adult or by reciting themselves, require things to be talked through
- Read/Write – prefers to see things written down, process information by writing notes
- Kinesthetic – “hands-on” learning, process information best by carrying out actions, by practising and recreating.
ARE SOME FLASHCARDS BETTER THAN OTHERS?
That very much depends on the type of flashcard but the points below should be considered when making your purchase:
- Size - too small, the child may lose interest
- Colour - too dull, may lose interest; to colourful, too overwhelming
- Interactivity - can the flashcards be used in an interactive way
- Durability - are they too flimsy so the could be easily damaged
WHAT FLASHCARDS WOULD BE GOOD FOR MY TODDLER?
This depends on the age of your child and what milestones they are working towards and also what they are starting to show an interest in. I strongly believe learning in the early stages should be child-led and if your child shows an interest in a particular area of learning then definitely encourage that area.
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