Flash Card Games

We play a number of different flashcard games to teach letters, numbers, and sight words.  Here are some of the games my daughter has really enjoyed.  All the pictures and videos are of sight words because that is what we are currently working on but all of these games can be played to learn letters, numbers, colors and shapes as well.

Jump To-
I make a circle of mats on the floor and my daughter stands in the middle on a mat.  I tape one flash card to each mat.  We are currently working on sight words so I put down four she knows and two new ones or ones she is having difficulty remembering.  Then I call out a word and an action. Examples- "There, Jump" "Little, Sit" "Up, Spin"  My daughter loves doing the different actions and now yells out the action she wants to do after I say the word.  I love this activity because it is a fun and active way to get her learning, playing and it uses up some of that energy.  I love learning games that also work gross motor skills.

Add on- Have your child sit in the middle with some toys.  Tell them to put a toy on each word as you call it out.

Beginners- Lay 3-6 cards in a straight line on the floor and tell your child to stand on the word (letter, number, shape, etc.) when you call it out.

Intermediate- Create a path of words (etc.) across the room and add a couple forks that lead in different directions.  Call out the word and have your child step on it.  Guide them across the room on one path and then have them start over and take them on a different path.

Advanced- Help your child set up the path across the room like above but instead of calling out words for your child let them call out words for you to follow.  This builds recognition of the words (etc.) you are working on but also builds critical thinking skills as they plan how to get you down the path they want you to follow.

Spelling version- Make pathways out of letter cards that spell out that weeks spelling words.  Have the child start at the beginning and say a spelling word out loud then step on each letter of the word as they spell it out loud.  When they get to the end have them say the word again.

Add-on- You can add things like jumping to, swimming to, crab walking to (etc.)

~Works gross motor skills. 
~ Encourages your child to follow/give directions

Label Game-

Make flash cards naming objects around your house (bed, door, TV, table, toys, etc.).  Attach a small piece of Velcro to the back of the card and to each object.  Collect all cards and then work with your child to read each card and then encourage them to attach the card to the correct object.  At beginning your child will need a lot of help reading words, identifying objects, and learning how to attach the cards to the objects.  With practice and age your child will learn to attach the cards and eventually will recognize and read the cards. 

I love this game because we could play it as soon as she was able to run around.  It encourages learning the names of household objects that you are already trying to teach toddlers.  For the older child it encourages learning to sound out and read common words.

Add on- My daughter likes to play this game using a timer.  She tries to see how many objects she can label before the time goes off.  Bonus- she is practicing counting and is starting to learn about length of time (I did 5 words in 3 minutes but 12 words in 8 minutes because it's longer- in the future I see this becoming a fun simple math add-on).

Just Flash Cards-

Some kids, like my daughter, enjoy flash cards and will just flip through the cards for practice.  I know that most kids will not find this kind of thing fun so follow your child's lead.  If simply flipping through flash cards does not hold their attention try the more active games.

I used a cork board and thumb tacks to make a flash card holder for the wall.  My daughter and I make sentences and she practices reading.


  1. Laurie8/27/2012

    My niece was having a hard time learning her letters so I bought 2 sets of letter flashcards and we started playing abc go fish. It will only work for a little while because once they learn all the letters they can cheat by looking at the animal on the back...but that just means the game worked!

    1. Go Fish! is a great way for kids to learn their letters. My mom has a set of Go Fish! cards where you have to match the upper and lower case letters. They all have the same back so they cannot "cheat" as they get older and the cards can be used for a memory type game as well.