One of the easiest ways to help children memorize important information like math facts, sight words, and even foreign languages is through the use of flash cards. Unfortunately, what seems like it should be a piece of cake can end up being a battle zone because there are some children- like mine- who hate them.
With a passion.
I can’t say I blame them. Sometimes…many times…well-meaning parents, who are truly trying to help their kids, fail to recognize when they’ve taken a potentially beneficial activity and turned it into a snooze fest for the sake of “education.”
And let’s face it. There are some pretty darn cute flash cards out there. Why wouldn’t our kids be elated to use them? I’ll tell you why.
They’re boring. What can be interesting about sitting at a dining room table, or some other setting, monotonously spouting off answers to a litany of cue cards?
Not even my 82 year old mother would find that amusing.
Even though, on the surface, flash cards seem like something to stay away from, I do see value in them. Like I said, they are a great way to memorize. The question is simply how to go about doing it.
A few months ago, I thought up a game for my kids to play with me, and, yes, it revolves around flash cards. Since it’s been such a big hit, I thought I’d share it with you today.
How to Play
This game is for two or more players (and someone old enough to show the flash cards). Age doesn’t matter, because even if the questions are too hard for younger children, if they play enough, they’ll begin to pick up more advanced material in the process.
- Any type of flash cards- math, spelling, science, foreign language, etc.
- Inexpensive prizes (optional)- stickers, pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, etc.
All children who are playing sit down side by side in a line. An adult or older child will start on one end of the line and show them a flash card. If the child answers correctly, they get to keep the card. If not, the child next to them has an opportunity to answer. If they get it right, they keep the card. If not, the child next to them can try. Repeat this until you go completely through the line. In the event that no one answers correctly, the adult gives the answer and places the card back in the pile. This continues until there are no cards left. Everyone then counts their cards. Whoever earns the most cards is the winner.
- It doesn’t matter whether a child gets an answer right or wrong. The next question still goes to the child sitting next to them.
- If a child yells out an answer out of turn, their next turn is forfeited, and even if they were correct, they do not get to keep the card. It simply gets placed back into the pile.
As an added bonus, I’ve created some adorable flash card templates for you to download for free. Simply print out the templates and fill in whatever you’d like on the flash cards, such as math facts, spelling words, science terms…anything you’d like. Enjoy!