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Top 5 games to play with flashcards

Flashcards are great teaching resources. But if they're only ever used for drill work ('What's this?' 'What's that?' 'Name this' 'Name that' type activities), a child will quickly lose interest. The teacher or parent will then be fighting an uphill battle to get the child's attention, keep the child engaged and most importantly, to get the child learning. This is why it's important to ensure that you build play and games into your flashcard activities. Play is the most important way through which a child learns - and flashcards lend themselves really well to a range of games.

Here are some great games to play with your young child, using flashcards:

1) Pairs : Do you have a pair of the same set of flashcards? Take a few pairs, shuffle them and place them face down. At each turn, the player turns over two cards. If they both match (ie, they make a pair), you keep them. The player with the most pairs at the end of the game wins.

2) Tell me about it: Take 3 or 4 cards from the deck that you're playing with, and place them face up. Describe one of the cards and see if your child can name it. Best played with a deck of Nouns or Verbs.

3) Hide 'n seek: Hide flashcards around the house. As you find them, name them.

4) Alligators!: Place the cards face up, spread around the floor. Your child has to jump on the card that you named. If they step on the floor, they are caught by an alligator. Make it more fun by making growling noises and snapping with your arms!

5) Memory: Choose 5 cards (or less, depending on your child's age). Place them face up. Ask your child to memorise them. Ask her to close her eyes; remove a card. Can she find the missing card?

Learning new vocabulary is only just the start. After your child learns her new words, make sure you give her plenty of opportunities to use these in everyday speech.

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