The other day I was shopping for some new educational toys for my daughter as a Chanukah present. In particular, I was looking for flash cards with just numbers and letters (no words or associative pictures). Ever since she was able to sit up, focus on things and play with toys, she's had a particular facination with flash cards. When she was just an infant, she would grab her animal flash cards out of my hands and sort through them all by herself. I would try to read them to her, but she insisted on looking at them by herself. Today, she knows every animal and toy on every card and I swear she taught them to herself.
Anyway, I figured, if she could learn all the animals by flash cards, then perhaps it might be the best way for her to learn letters and numbers. She can sing the "A, B, C" song beautifully, and she has the magnetic letters that we play with in the tub as well as books with letters and words to associate, but she isn't quite grasping them. We also have electronic toys to reinforce, but she's really not into playing with them either. So I figure, why not try the old fashion paper way - the flash card approach? It worked with the animals.
Well, imagine my surprise when I went in search of what one would think to be a common item, I had a hard time finding just plain cards with just letters and numbers. I went to the usual suspects, and none of the stores had what I was looking for. Sure they had alphabet and number flash cards
- fun and colorful - attractive to a child's eye. But they all had too much going on. The closest thing I found was this pack of number flash cards - 1-100. Just straight up numbers on a card - no words, no images to associate - exactly what I wanted, until I took one out of the box and realized that my daughter would destroy it in about 2.8 seconds. The cards were fairly lightweight and really designed for an older child.
So, after much thought and debate, I dove into my paper reserves and decided to make my own. Through the use of my Cricut and Plantin Schoolbook cartridge, I was able to make bright, colorful, yet simple flash cards for the numbers 0-10 and the alphabet. I cut 3" numbers and letters out of cardstock and mounted them to double matted plain card stock in coordinating colors. Once the adhesive was dry, I ran them through my laminator. The heavy weight of the paper plus the lamination, should make them sturdy enough to withstand the abuse my daughter will put them through as she learns her a, b, c's and 1, 2, 3's.