How to Use Flashcards for Developmental Skills
Learning how to use flashcards to promote developmental skills in children is so simple. And, I know what you’re going to say…”Where can I find flashcards that do that?” Well, HERE, of course. Why else would I be talking about this? You may have noticed that there are a few flashcards for various craft projects in the resource library. If you don’t have access to the exclusive resource library yet, follow this link to learn more.
And, even better, I have compiled a bundle of 22 sets of craft flashcards for some of our favorite arts and crafts from “In the Bag Kids’ Crafts”. Just print out a set and craft away. Using flashcards will make it so much easier to craft with your kids. Like every craft here on the site, these projects stick to using supplies from our master list. So, once you fill your bag, you can make all of the flashcard crafts without running back out to the store (or waiting for that Amazon shipment to arrive).
Find out more about the new craft flashcard bundle.
And now to answer how to use flashcards and how can they help promote developmental skills? I’m glad you asked. Using flashcards while making crafts has so many benefits. It is not only an easier way to craft with your kids, but you can also work on these crucial developmental skills while having fun. And this is in addition to all of the other many, many benefits of crafting with your kids. Here is an article we wrote about some of the hidden benefits you may not realize.
Improve Your Child’s Memory
Memory is the ability to recall something, bring it to the front of your mind so that you can use the information.
There are a couple of ways that you can use these craft flashcards to promote memory. The first is to print 2 copies of a set of flashcards and set it up like a memory game with the instructions facing down. Then look for the pairs of each step of the flashcards. You can also practice memorizing a sequence of flashcards by first putting them in the right order and giving your child a chance to look at the cards for a few seconds. Then mix them up and cover up the bottom so that just the pictures are showing. Then have your kiddo put them in the correct order.
Promote Your Child’s Motor Planning
Motor planning is the ability to learn a novel motor task. At some point, every motor task, like eating with a fork, is a new task that we must master through practice. There are three parts to motor planning, beginning a task, figure out the middle and completing the task.
To practice motor planning using flashcards, only show the picture of the completed craft to start. Then ask your child, “What do you think we should do first?” If they get it correct, show the card. If they are struggling to answer, give them 2 cards to pick from (being sure to cover the part of the card that says what step it is). Continue this as you work through each step of the craft project. You can also ask, “What do you think this picture tells us to do?”
Increase Your Child’s Ability to Problem Solve
Problem solving is the process of finding solutions to complex situations. And sometimes a craft does not go exactly as planned.
When things don’t go just right, it will be your instinct as a parent to step in and fix it. But please fight that urge. Instead, encourage your child to work backward through the flashcards to see where the mistake was made so that it can be corrected. Or go through the current step one more time, reading the card carefully and looking at the details in the picture to see if something was missed. Only help as much as is absolutely necessary. Encourage your child to solve the problem on his/her own. Just think of the sense of accomplishment that they will feel when successful.
Help Your Child Learn to Sequence
We use sequencing every day. Deciding what step comes first, and then second, and so on is an important skill that we must all master, even for the simplest of tasks. For example, think about learning to tie your shoes. Sequencing is a vital part of the process.
To practice sequencing a task using these craft flashcards, cover the bottom part of the cards so that just the picture is showing. Have your child use the pictures to put the flashcards in the correct order to make the craft.
Expand Attention Span in Your Child
The ability to pay attention for a period of time can be so challenging for some kiddos. Though let’s be sure that we are being realistic about how long children should be expected to actually focus and pay attention. A rough guideline is that children should be able to maintain their attention: 2 to 5 minutes x age of child = length of attention span. So, by that math, a 4 year old preschooler should be able to pay attention for anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes. And, to be honest, most (especially boys) are on the lower part of that equation. Be sure to meet children where they are and go from there.
Using flashcards for crafting allows you to break the steps down in to smaller parts and only expect so much attention at a time. You may start out with doing one card, then taking an activity or sensory break. And as you craft more and more together, increase to 2 cards at a time and then 3 and so on. Eventually, your child will work up to being able to do all of the flashcards for a craft project in one sitting without breaking their attention to the task at hand.
Here is an example of one of our sets of craft flash cards. Aren’t they so cute? Some sets have more cards and some less, depending on how many steps are in the craft. And there are flashcard sets for every age and skill level.
Now that you know how to use flashcards effectively for crafting, while also building developmental skills in your child, it’s a great time to invest in a bundle of your own flashcards. If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them all. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org