This New Year, did you enjoy reading the colorful greeting cards more than the warm wishes given over phone? Yes, for sure! Your child too loves to SEE new concepts and not just HEAR you speak about them. Obviously it is because most of the new themes that you introduce to him are always beyond his limited imagination. And, as in the case of new words, he would be satisfied to capture the picture of the fresh facts from you, his only reliable and highly resourceful mentor. So, even while he learns to “read”, why not broaden his awareness about the lovely world around him? And let’s start early in order to
keep him enthralled about the facts,
keep his hyperactive attitude at bay.
keep his love-for-learning ever growing.
Parents adopt several methods to give the child encyclopedic knowledge or general knowledge (or “GK” as it is commonly called). The educational aids that usually serve the purpose for early learners are:
Books (tear-proof / wipe-dry ones) and
Charts (wall-mounting / foldable)
The main disadvantage is that they become redundant and boring very soon. But why? The reason is simple: the thrill of watching fades away due to prolonged period of exposure.
Let’s make the learning process interesting and exciting – with flash cards.
This time around, the preparation of flash cards and their presentation are different. The materials required are simple, too:
A colorful picture cut out from magazines or from used books
Chart papers / broad board cut to A4 size
After cutting, you can paste the pictures on the chart papers / broad board cut to A4 size. On the reverse blank side, write the name of the object in the picture of your choice as the title. Below, you can list its three or four important details about the object on the other side. You may as well make a collection of Picture cards with flags of several countries; On the reverse, please write the country’s name as title. You can then enumerate the details about the capital, how its people are called, the country’s currency, languages spoken, bordering nations, its national animal, bird and flower. Likewise, you can make a collection of Picture cards of national leaders, scientists, etc. with their biographical details on the reverse.
The pictures that are collected can belong to any category, depending on your child’s age. Pictures of animals and birds are certain to lure toddlers. For the higher age group, the rare breeds would be thrilling: ant-eaters, hammerhead whales, weaver birds, for example. Pictures of vehicles, tools breeds of dogs and fishes would excite almost all age groups.
Now, about the presentation.
These are ALSO flash cards. So, you will be flashing them rapidly, one card per second with excitement as he sits in rapt attention. Though it is recommended that these cards be flashed for quick registering and grasping, more frequently than not, the child does not permit ‘flashing’ but insists on being ‘shown’ these picture cards.
He will eagerly take a few seconds to scan the picture with his eyes and start asking you to explain all relevant details, however trivial and silly from our point of view. Don’t worry about being nagged – for a healthy purpose. This would stop once the hunger for knowledge about that card is fulfilled.
But how will we know it? Obviously the third or fourth time that you flash the card, the child comes forward to furnish not just the name or title of the picture, but also those details that struck him about it – and you would watch him relate it all with awe and excitement. And, he will want MORE of such cards.
It is recommended that you make three sets of five Picture cards each. Please change the order of the five cards in each set and flash the three with a change in their order. You would retire the card that is most familiar and introduce a new one along with the relevant details overleaf.
As the child faces the picture, you will be seeing the reverse page and this enables you to call out the card while pulling it and placing it atop the set of cards in full view of your child. You can continue flashing all the cards the same way, till the first card that you flashed returns to you again, in the flashing order.
You are flashing the word cards already and now you have the Picture cards ready, too. What should be the order of flashing? Leave it to your child to choose. For most children, the Picture cards are the first choice and then the word cards. So be it!
You flash the Picture cards, instead of chanting “Open Sesame!” (as did Alibaba in the ‘Arabian Nights’) as you open those virgin areas of the fertile brain of your Little Genius!
Have you and your child been enjoying the card-flashing sessions, day after day? Here is an offer for you to create many more flash cards, in case you have not made these yet, that is…
Given below is a series of topics: You may now make several sets of flash cards for your little one.
Set 1: Kangaroo, Bear, Zebra, Pig, Jackal
Set 2: Cow, Elephant, Monkey, Giraffe, Tiger
Set 3: Dog, Hippopotamus, Lion, Snake, Whale
THINGS AT HOME:
Set 1: Door, Kitchen, Wash Basin, Plate, Sofa
Set 2: Apron, Blanket, Table, Floor, Sofa
Set 3: Bathroom, Chair, Knife, Stove, Towel
PARTS OF THE BODY:
Set 1: Nose, Feet, Hair, Tongue, Eyes
Set 2: Mouth, Arms, Fingers, Cheeks, Ears
Set 3: Knee, Head, Neck, Stomach, Legs
Toffees, Wafers, Biscuits, Lollipop, Chips
Potato, Radish, Onion, Beetroot, Carrot
Apple, Peach, Grapes, Orange, Banana
Car, Motorbike, Airplane, Ship, Train
You can choose your own choice of cards to cards to form a set of five cards. But please make sure that the words in one set are not identical at all. Avoid making a set like ‘cat, bat, sat, rat’ or ‘bun, fun, nun, run’ or the like. Such words in a single set would only end up confusing your child and keep him away from this lovely habit of learning to read.
Would you like to keep your child well-informed? Go ahead, supplement the word cards with corresponding picture cards. You can get books about animals and you can cut out the pictures of the animals printed in them and paste each of them on A-4 size chart / broadboard sheets.
When your picture cards are ready, you can happily flash 3 sets with 5 cards in each set – 15 cards in total – before or after flashing the 3 sets (15 cards in total) of word cards. Let your child decide on which could be flashed first – the word cards or the picture cards.
As he watches the cards being flashed, even during the second or the third session, you may catch him getting excited: In case you have the word ‘lion’ in the word card and there is the lion in the picture card flashing, too, your child’s eye would go wide with joy when he sees the word card ‘lion’! He may very soon be reading this word with ease.
The result: You may joyfully retire this card and replace with a new one! Good job, for sure!