Everything About Flash Cards for Kids

Flash Cards For Kids
Photo by insung yoon

In a world of smartphones and iPads, are flash cards relevant enough? As we know, children are more used to visual learning than ever before.

Flash cards have been in existence since the early 18th century. And It has always been a very reliable and helpful learning tool for kids; it made learning more accessible, as well as assimilation.

It was one of the most versatile tools for learning before smartphones came into the picture.

What Are Flash Cards For Kids?

Flash cards, also known as index cards, are mostly rectangular-shaped cards, and they tend to bear helpful kids’ information on both sides, and each side can be flipped.

Any side might contain a question, and the other side might have the answer to that question. Pictures can also be included on flashcards to help kids with their visual knowledge. 

Flashcard information might include vocabulary, alphabet, numbers, procedures, formulas, and spelling. Flashcards are used in classrooms or in private studies. It is an active recall tool that gives long-term memory knowledge.

The Ancient History of Flash Cards

The history of flash cards is challenging to trace. Flash cards have been in use since the 1800s and 1900s. It was reported to have been very expensive during that period, and students from poor homes could not afford them.

Later on, flashcards started getting distributed to everyone in most schools, including poor students in schools. This was due to an influential book by a man named Joseph Lancaster.

The book was about the effect of cards on education. This made flash cards more popular as their value was then recognized.

Books were since then been written in the form of flash cards. One of the books that were first reported in the form of flash cards included a book titled “reading disentangled .”

This was one of the first written flash cards for kids. The flash card had drawings and its first letter to teach alphabet reading and phonetics to kids.

Later, in early 1923, flash cards had already become a widespread tool used by a lot of people in different countries.

And the word also first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary. Flashcards advanced as time went on. It was used to learn a wide range of things, from phonetics and spelling to mathematics.

Students also started producing flash cards to suit their needs. From there, flashcards became an integrated part of learning sessions.

The Modern History Of Flash cards

Flash cards can still be traced up until the present day. The only difference is the fact that technology has taken over everything, including the use of paper flashcards.

Technologies like phones, tablets, and computers have become the primary learning tools. Paper Flash cards have started to go into extinction. But, on the bright side, technology has given new functionality to flash cards.

Kids now can use flash cards on apps on their phones, tablets, and computers. Some flashcard apps that students can use include the Brainscape app, Quizlet, StudyBlue, e.t.c. Technology’s impact on flashcards has helped optimize learning.

Benefits Of Flash Cards For Kids

Flash cards Make Study Efficient

Flash cards are visual aids that allow spaced repetition. They make it easier for children to learn and visualize new facts. Students tend to remember what they see when they are taught something new or a new subject, which helps kids study information repeatedly, thus, enhancing assimilation.

Active Thinking

Search has shown that actively thinking helps the brain grow. Thus, information that was required through active thinking tends to stick to the brain more than information that was not.

When kids use flash cards for a question and answer session, the act of them putting much effort into actively thinking of the answer to a question makes it a possibility that they would remember those answers later on better than those answers they required from rechecking their flashcards.

The advice is to give your kids enough time to try to recall the answer to a question before showing them the answer.

Active Recall

The repetition allowance flashcard gives information to stick better in the brain. Also, flash cards with diagrams help trigger kids’ memory. Therefore making it easier for them to help recall what has been studied.

√ Flashcards for kids in the time management aspects allow kids to study within a short period as it makes assimilation faster and easier.

Other great people in history, such as John Stuart Mill, mentioned in his autobiography how flashcards helped him learn one or two things in life, including Greek, at an early age. It also helps with quick revisions just before tests or exams.

School Excellence

Research has shown that kids who use flashcards do better in school than those who don’t. In some schools, questions for exams or tests are usually hinted at by teachers. Noting those questions and studying them with flash cards makes passing an easy peasy. And this gives them a focus when studying.

Interest In Learning

Most Flashcards for kids come in beautiful colors. Research has shown that books or flashcards with colors as supposed black and white books or flashcards make kids pick an interest in learning them.

Enhance better interaction

  The use of flash cards in class after a teaching session helps carry along all students in the class. It allows the course to be an interactive session between the teacher and the students. 

Also, students tend to pay rapt attention in class during the teaching session because of the interactive flashcard session that would follow after the course.

Flash cards thus help students pay better attention in class. Teachers that adopt this method have nothing but good comments to pass on the use of flashcards as it also helps with the general performance of their students.

Who Would Benefit From Flash cards?

If not all, most people have one or two things to gain from flashcards. Flashcards benefit all age groups, not just kids. Students find them useful in their learning process.

Adults use them when preparing for tests or assessments like interviews and exams. Young children find it helpful because its visual aid motivates them to learn. 

It is also valuable for many occupations. Though not all fields can benefit from the use of flashcards, a few numbers can. Of course, teachers use flashcards for classroom drills.

Also, doctors use flashcards with their patients during speech therapy sessions. Flashcards are displayed for these patients, and they as asked to read them. Other occupations like scientists and designers generally use them to display one or two things.

How To Make Paper Flashcards For Kids

  • Step 1: Buy your cards. Plain cards are not usually expensive to purchase. Cards templates can also be printed out to make flashcards. Another alternative is the use of cardboard. Cut your cardboard with a pair of scissors into any shape you prefer. Though, it is mostly cut in rectangular shapes.
  • Step 2: Select an important, specific piece of information. Probably that information you find challenging to recollect or topics with a high probability of being an exam or test question.
  • Step 3: set out questions from these topics or notes. You might also include diagrams to help stick information better. Write questions or diagrams on one side and answers on the other side.
  • Step 4: categorize the cards based on topics or related information. Stacking your card based on this keeps them organized, and you won’t have any problem finding any card.
  • Step 5: personalize the card to your taste. Add cues that might help trigger your memory, like mnemonics. Also, remember that flash cards should not be created at the last minute. Always have them ready ahead of when you need them. The process of making your card is also an act of active learning.

How To Make Digital Flash Cards For Kids

For the modern flash cards, that is, the flash cards we study by just swiping or clicking on our phones or computer screen.

Luckily for us, technology has taken away the stress of having to purchase or print papers to make flashcards. All we have to do now is to download flashcard apps like Quizlet, StudyBlue, Brainscape e.t.c

After downloading the app, the app practically guides you to type in questions of your choice and their answers. Also, make sure to save related questions together to make them organized.

How To Use Paper Flash Cards

Read and understand the information or the question on the card, then try answering the question to the best of your ability. Then flip the card over to see if your answer was correct.

Suppose your answer was the correct move to the next. If you were not correct, repeat the previous process or keep the card in a different space from the cards you could recall well. The more you revisit cards you could not recall previously. The more the information sticks

How to Use Digital Flashcards

As mentioned earlier, technology has made everything easier for us. After saving your questions and answers, all you have to do is to visit the flash cards you would like to study and study them.

Some apps even help with the setting of the questions process by providing you with some helpful questions related to any topic you want.

Advantages Of Flash Cards For Kids

When used with care, flash cards are said to be very effective for teaching and learning. It can increase the level of self-confidence in kids, as it helps develop visual memory and stimulates thinking, so they begin to make associations and identify objects. They have certain advantages that make them popular teaching aids in school. Some of them are:

It Helps Stimulate Visual Memory

Flash cards make learning easy for kids. Kids tend to remember what they see better than what they hear.

Interest in Learning

Since kids pick an interest in learning from attractive tools, flashcards which are good attractive learning tools, make learning enjoyable for them. Thus, it makes learning a thing of interest.

It Is Affordable

Flash cards are one of the most cost-effective teaching methods. They can be made at home from simple materials. All they would need is plain paper, scissors, and whatever materials they need to decorate; Lo and behold, they would have their own cards ready.

You can work with the kids to create them and make sure they work properly. He will also instill in them from an early age the importance of organization and discipline.

 Also, the prices of textbooks can be very high for kids, especially kids from poor homes. Compared to textbooks, books written in the form of flashcards are more affordable for kids.

It is vitally important that young children follow and not limit their learning process. Since they are just beginning to understand and appreciate different ways of learning new things, now is an excellent time to introduce them to the concept of cards.

They Are Portable

Kids can easily carry flashcards anywhere. They weigh light compared to other books. The weight makes it comfortable for kids to carry around. It also doesn’t limit learning to classrooms. Kids can take their flash cards home after school, and their parents can help them study.

Motivation

It is natural for many kids to feel demotivated when they have to read a book with a lot of pages. Flash cards help with debulking information into cards. Thereby motivating to learn and making studying looks more straightforward than it is.

Versatility

Flashcards are not restricted to only some specific subjects like English and maths, such as; 

  • Key figures and facts.
  • Important dates in history.
  • Chemical formulae in Chemistry.
  • The vocabulary of a language.
  • Maths and physics formulae.

They can be used for different subjects, though not all. And it cannot be used to study complex subjects. But generally, it can be used for kids in most subjects.

Disadvantages of Flashcards for Kids

Easy Misplacement of Flashcards

Paper flash cards are very portable, which also makes them easy to lose. Losing flash cards is a significant disadvantage of flashcards. Not only kids but adults also fall victim to misplacing a few of their flash cards. A piece of card can easily fall to the ground and goes unnoticed until when it is needed.

Encouragement of Rote Learning

Flash cards allow spaced repetition, making it a disadvantage for several people. It is believed that flashcards grooms kids to learn unrealistically.

Kids who become too accustomed to the use of flashcards find it hard to adjust to the reality of studying later in life. Not all books come in beautiful colors like flashcards do. Kids might find it hard to adapt to reading from those books without colors.

Also, books generally go in there their bulkier form. Kids that have studied with flashcards all their lives might find it demotivating. To solve this,  

teachers and parents should only use flashcards with their kids once in a while. It should not be made an everyday thing.

Encourages Memorization

Flashcards are believed to encourage memorization. They do not precisely allow the concept of understanding. Kids tend to memorize information they learn on flashcards than understand them.

Students who skip their reading assignments and dive right into memorizing the flashcards are depriving themselves of having a good understanding of the exercise. 

Kids who use flashcards to study might indeed do well than those who didn’t because the teacher would probably only focus on those questions in the flashcards she distributed. But if those kids were to be asked other questions outside flashcards, they would not have an answer.

Flash Cards Can Overload The Brain

Some flashcards are illustrated, while others use a few keywords to set the stage for children to learn. However, when a child receives too much information, they compete for synaptic connections in the brain, resulting in neurological congestion.

Research by Denis G. Pelli indicates that when an individual is suddenly overwhelmed with information, especially images, it accumulates in the brain, and learning will not occur as thought by parents or educators.

You can also think of it on the example of your computer. If you overload your computer or start receiving tons of emails, video calls, notifications, and pop-ups, all of these will crash your computer and freeze it for a few minutes.

This can also be the case with the brain. When the brain is overloaded with information, it can remain empty, slowing down learning.

Small Unclear Cards Can Create Complexity

Teaching a child what a tiger looks like can be easy with flashcards, but what if the image of the tiger isn’t clear? Will it produce learning or confuse the child? 

Small and obscure flash cards can cause more trouble than good. Therefore, when using flash cards to instill in children, teachers and parents must be sure that what they are teaching is clear and distinct in order to achieve the goal.

If this were not so, the student would find it difficult to study; in fact, they will be surprised when the previously learned concept battles in their brains with the vague information provided by the flashcard.

Limitation

Though flash cards are known to be versatile, at the same time, they are not so universal. Flash cards can not be used to study complex exercises or subjects.

Kids can not use it to study practices or subjects that require a two-page flowchart or subjects mired in debates or opinions. They can only be used for fact-heavy topics as opposed to concept-heavy ones.

In conclusion, flash cards have been explicitly designed to help kids, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults learn information faster and better, aside from the drawbacks of flash cards.

It is indeed a helpful tool in the learning field, as everyone should use flashcards at least once in a while. It can be used preferably for revision before a test or exam. Also, remember that You should not use it every time.

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