You just received a note from your toddler's preschool teacher that the kids are working on numbers and letters and should practice at home too. Flash cards may seem low-tech and old-school, but they're really an excellent way to work on recognizing numbers and letters. They're also simple to make right at home. Involve your toddler in the process of putting them together to encourage her to use them with you.
Do-It-Yourself Flash Cards
Purchase index cards in any size and color you like. You can use blank cards so that your toddler can decorate them, or choose colored cards that might be more visually appealing.
Write the letter, number, word or whatever your toddler needs to memorize on one side of the card in large print. Reinforce the concept you're trying to teach with each card by including an item that begins with the letter, such as an apple for the letter A or two circles for the number two.
Turn each card over and write the answer, if there is one, on the back. If you're practicing recognition of numbers or letters, this step is unnecessary.
Allow your toddler to place stickers on the cards to make them visually appealing. Limit each card to two or three stickers to prevent your toddler from covering up the contents of each card. On cards where you don't write anything on the back, you can let your toddler run wild with imagination, drawing and coloring on the blank side.
Punch a hole in the upper left corner of each card and place the cards on a book ring to keep them organized and all in one place.
Printable Flash Cards
Navigate to a website that has the type of flashcards you need to use. To find a site, do an Internet search for "free printable flash cards" and the subject you're looking for, such as alphabet or numbers.
Insert the number of sheets of paper you need into your printer's tray. If you want the cards to withstand frequent use and handling, use card stock, which is much more durable than plain printer paper.
Cut each card out with scissors. If your toddler has the motor skills, have her cut a sheet or two out with safety scissors while you do the rest.
Use your hole punch to punch a hole in the upper left-hand corner of each card and secure them together using a book ring with a clasp.
Amanda Rumble has been writing for online publications since 2000, primarily in the fields of computing and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Buffalo in information technology. Rumble also focuses on writing articles involving popular video games and Internet culture.