In general, I don’t really think “flash cards” are useful tools to teach little kids anything (though I relied on them endlessly in college and grad school). The idea of drilling children to get them to memorize something doesn’t appeal to me. However, my son really enjoyed looking at these cards when he was a toddler and I liked making them. We’d look at them and talk about the letters whenever we were passing time away from home (restaurants, waiting rooms, etc.) and then try to find letters on signs. By the time he started preschool just before he turned 3, he knew all his upper case, all but maybe 5 lower case, and most of his letter sounds. All without feeling like we’d ever made an effort.
Recommended Age Range: Baby/Toddler, Preschooler, Kindergarten
Time Required: ~1-2 hours (not counting time to find a good picture of each letter which took me about 3 hours)
Difficulty: Super Easy (except finding pictures of some of the letters)
Cost: Around $5 in used supplies (Contact paper is a little expensive for a roll (~$6), but very little is used. Had I had my laminator (Affiliate Link) then, which I love, I might have used that instead, but it still would have been not much more than $5 total in used supplies. Also, this is assuming you can get the magazines and pamphlets for free. If not, I recommend printing pictures from online image galleries, which is less fun.)
- twenty six 4″x6″ index cards
- contact paper
Supplies & Tools:
- Cut out magazine pictures of objects your toddler will recognize for each letter of the alphabet
- Glue the picture of each object onto one side of a 4″x6″ index card.
- Write the appropriate upper and lower case letter on the other side of each index card.
- Cut out 52 pieces of contact paper at least 5″ by 7″ (precise dimensions not important, because it’ll be trimmed).
- “Laminate” the cards with the contact paper (or use a real laminator if you have one).