How to make your own flashcards

How to make your own flashcards

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I know flashcards don’t have to be expensive, but it can be fun to make them yourself and/or with your children’s help. I made alphabet and number flashcards, one through 12, for my preschoolers. They weren’t fancy, but they did the job.

Here is how I made my own flashcards:

Make your own flashcards

First, decide what paper you want to use. Do you want to use sturdy posterboard, index cards, construction paper? Do you want full sheets of construction paper, or do you want to cut the pages in half? I used full-size sheets.

Decide images on flashcards

Next, do you want to cut pictures from a magazine, use stencils, use stickers, or draw your subjects? It can be like a scavenger hunt paging through old magazines to find pictures. For example, you could find pictures of cats if the letter is C or if you had a specific number like five. In the past, finding catalogs and magazines to clip was easier, but if you’d like to use them, ask grandparents and older relatives for their old magazines. Or ask at a clinic for magazines being discarded or replaced.

Using stencils can be fun for your child. He or she can trace them and even color them if you want. This works on their fine motor skills.

If your child draws the pictures, you have a treasured piece of useful artwork that will bring smiles years later. You might want them to draw on a separate piece of paper and cut the artwork out to paste on the flashcard paper, just so you have the proper number for that numeral.

With numbers, you may just use the numeral, but you might consider the word beside it, if you are making the flash cards for early readers.

With letters, I found pictures of different items that started with that letter. For the letter F, please remember the fff sound and use fish instead of ph in phone, although for telephone, you would use the letter T, but you get the idea.

Consider making tactile flashcards

If you want to add tactile cards, add glue over the letters and numbers and sprinkle glitter. Then your child feels the letter if he or she traces it with her finger. Cutting numbers out of sandpaper also makes a fine tactile card.

Over time, my construction paper flashcards faded and wore on the edges, but I used them for all five of my kids.

In addition to flashcards, over the years we made announcements and other cards. Such projects count for math or reading but also art. Children take pride in their contributions. I think our baby announcements for our third son made an impression coming with the artwork of his older brothers.

Have you made your own flashcards? What tips can you add?

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