Fun with Index Cards

08 May

Index Cards. Notes? Flashcards? …Fun?

compound word flashcards

Index cards are something that are cheap enough, especially at back-to-school time. I use them for various purposes for myself, and knew with my son learning addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, we’d have a high demand for them. I stocked up. Little did I know I’d come up with various ways to use them that have nothing to do with the “typical” way we think of using index cards.

The same boring topics become exciting and fun when I pull out the index cards. I have used them with:

Compound Words
Take two index cards per compound word. Cut out the sides so they fit together like puzzle pieces. Put one piece of each compound word on each side of the puzzle. Do this for as many words as you like, having a different “puzzle piece” shape for each one, and then mix them up and let your child find the matching side to create a compound word.

Depending on your list you can use this to practice spelling. When I had various words around the house as spelling words for the week, I put them each on index cards, set them in a pile face down, then had him pick one up at a time, run to that item in the house, look at the card, and shout out its spelling. There’s something extremely enjoyable about being able to make a lot of noise and calling it “spelling.”

I’ve used index cards to make my own memory games – you put something on one side, have a card you need to match it with, then lay them face down, and players try to get matches. Ours wasn’t the traditional two cards same word or same picture. For one of the games I actually had cards with capital letters, cards with the same lowercase letters, and then the matching cards were actually the endings of days of the week and months. This activity was to emphasize using capital letters for these words. Points were lost if a player forgot to match it with a capital letter, and used the lowercase instead. (I.e. One had to match the T card with uesday, not t and uesday.) A game is a game – who cares if it’s for English?

I made two separate piles of cards. One was for A and An. The other pile of cards was labeled with different items around the house, starting with both consonants and vowels. For our review of articles, I put the pile of objects face down, he picked one at a time, then he told me which article went with it. We put tape on the back of each one and he labeled the appropriate object. My son seemed to think this activity was the greatest thing in the world. “Can we do it again?” he asked. 

Articles Labeling

 The possibilities for what can be done with index cards is probably endless, but unless looking at these as something other than flashcards, their usefulness is probably overlooked. They’re inexpensive. something small you can keep on hand, and they’re able to make the most simple topic exciting.

Index cards – who knew?

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