Following on from 7 Guidelines for Using Flashcards with Beginning Readers, here are some ways to use flashcards with your 4 to 6 year old. This is just a start – you and your child may figure out other inventive ways to play with flashcards! If you do, please share them with me in the comment section below!

Flash Them

Quickly go through each card, sorting them into piles as you go: quickly recalled, slowly recalled, unknown

List Them

Place the flashcards in a vertical list and have your child read down the list.

Point To

Place the flashcards in a list or a grid. Ask your child to point to specific words as you say them.

Order Them

Have your child order the cards from shortest words to longest words, then read them.

Turn Over

Start with the word cards face down. Turn them over one at a time. The ones your child reads correctly, he keeps. The ones he gets wrong, you keep. The person with the most cards at the end wins!

Physical Response

Ask your child to find a word and put it somewhere in the room. E.g. “Put ARE on the table. Put MY under the chair.”

Jump To It

Place the flashcards around the floor and have your child jump to/on each word as you say it, or the child can say a word then jump to it.


Have your child trace the words with her finger.

Magnetic Letters

Give your child the required letters and have her sequence them correctly to make each word.

Matching Pairs

Create a duplicate set of flashcards, lay them all face down and play ‘concentration’/’matching pairs’.