Friday, March 18, 2011

Flashcard fun

I remember when I first started to teach Maggie reading. I learned very quickly on that she loves flashcards. She loves them because she knows that we can play games with them after we're through using them.

I have the set of Your Baby Can Read cards. These were the first type of flashcards that I used for reading. She loved their sliding cards, and I thought they were pretty neat too , with the word in the front and the picture that you could pull out the side.

We played lots of word games with them and she loved the little dry erase board that came with them as she could copy the words on them. That was just so super fun for her.

After we finished YBCR we moved on to Monkisee. Maggie loves these flashcards. I like them too because they are ready made and I don't have to do anything but to pull them out of the box. You can't get any better than that!

That leads me up to right now. Maggie still watches her Monkisee, and she even watches the Your Child Can Read that we have right now. But most times, especially the end of the day she cuddles up right beside me on my chair and she watches her Little Reader. This program too comes with printable cards. I know right now they are working on some ideas on maybe selling word card sets but I'm sure that won't be for a while. I do like their feature and you can print different sized cards. You can make large cards that you could easily slide into the paper protectors ( like I showed in my Monkisee review) and can be used that way. You can print them so that they fit in their Brillkids Binder (something I eventually would like to get) , and cards that are nice and big. Maggie loves these nice big cards. The words are big and I found a great way to laminate them. Granted I'm not sure how economically sound my idea is but it does involve packaging tape, and recycling cereal boxes.

As much as I love the Monkisee flashcards they aren't made to withstand a 4yr old who likes to step on them. No matter how much I tell Maggie not to step on them , she does anyways. So I only use them if we are sitting at the kitchen table, or involving a game where she is sitting flat on her bottom. Thankfully we haven't destroyed any of the cards yet but I'm trying to prevent that.

So what do you do with a four year old that likes to step on cards? Well, you make them yourself of course. So with the magic of Little Reader they already have the cards made online. You pull them up with Little Reader and select the style, type face, color etc. and then press the print button. Easy as apple pie.

So how do you make them sturdy enough to last through trampling by your toddler? Well let me show you.

First you need the materials. The flashcard, the packaging tape, scissors, and cereal boxes that were cut up and stored ( see, I finally found a use to my crazy keeping of cereal boxes).

Next you want to cut the cardboard from your cereal box just big enough to fit on the inside of your flashcard,, the flashcard is folded in half as it usually has a word and a picture on back. For phonics words I write the word on the back so when I flash them to Maggie I don't have to fickle around with the flashcard to see the word.

Stick that piece of cardboard right on the inside of the flashcard.

After you've done that, begin to tape "laminate" your flashcard by going across it. The Little Reader flashcards require about 4 strips across on each side, front then back.

Once you've finished taping both front and back of the card, cut around the edges. Try and be careful that you don't cut to close otherwise you'll have spots where the flashcard didn't seal. I've done this a few times. Its hard not to do, but try and keep just a little bit around it so it keeps a seal. Once you've finished cutting around the card, voila'!
You've got flashcards sturdy enough for at least some fun word playing games that require feet stomping!

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