Flashcards are a helpful educational resource for parents and teachers. Used regularly, flash cards can help 3-year-olds remember numbers, letters and other basic reading and math facts. Flash cards should be colorful and contain pictures that will engage young children who usually have short attention spans. Flash cards should not be so large that little hands cannot manage to hold them. After all, the cards are not just for adults.


Three-year-olds are capable of learning basic facts. Counting and number recognition are two skills young children can learn before they begin school. Flash cards provide the parents, teachers and children a tool that promotes memorization, a skill that 3-year-olds excel at. Most children this age can already sing songs they hear on their favorite TV programs or the radio. It stands to reason that they can also memorize numbers. Most dollar stores have inexpensive number flash cards, but many are available for free online. Apples For The Teacher has printable cards. A simpler option is to use index cards and markers to make flash cards at home.


Now is the time to start teaching reading skills. At 3 years of age, children are curious about books and are excited about an adult reading to them. Flash cards are an excellent way to help children recognize the formation and the sounds of letters. Flash cards that display a letter and a picture that begins with that letter teach children initial sounds, an important pre-reading skill. Home School Creations and Have Fun Teaching have colorful alphabet and rhyming picture cards.


A child's expressive vocabulary is crucial to future reading success. Children need frequent exposure to new words, preferably from conversation and books instead of the latest episode of a favorite cartoon. Vocabulary flash cards help adults teach children the names of objects and animals which they will remember when they encounter them in books and magazines when they begin to read independently. Esl-Kids is primarily a site for English language learners, but they have hundreds of free, printable vocabulary flashcards on many categories such as food, clothes, musical instruments and weather.

Shapes and Colors

Children should know the four basic shapes and eight primary colors when they begin school. Parents teach these skills indirectly when they point out the color of grass, the sky or a stop sign. Frequent conversations and interaction are the main ways parents can teach their 3-year old these skills. Flash cards give them another tool to reinforce their child's knowledge. Shape and color flashcards are free and ready to print at TLS Books and Mr. Printables.

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