Most parents are familiar with flashcards – words and/or pictures printed on cards which you show to your child to teach vocabulary.
When Athos was born, I remember going through picture books and flashcard sets and thinking how some of them were too Americanised, too unfamiliar, too cluttered, too expensive etc. I thought how fun it would be to make them myself, so that they would feature things that reflected the world around Athos.
And smacking my forehead, I realised how easily that could be done via… … Microsoft Powerpoint.
You’d just need to make a list of different words and match them with appropriate pictures you find on the Internet (using Google Images which, if it’s just for personal use, I hope does not amount to violating copyright).
And that’s IT!
As toddlers, Athos and Porthos loved to sit on my lap and go through the slides. As for me, it was a great way to take a break now and then from whatever I was doing on the PC. I’ve just started doing powerpoint flashcards with Aramis and he loves it too!
- Put words and pictures on separate slides, word preceding picture. This way the child learns the words without getting distracted by the pictures
- Use a font large enough for the child to see clearly and quickly. Mine are in Arial 117, sometimes bigger.
- Use red for better contrast
- If you have time, take pictures of familiar people, places, objects around the house and use those images.
- If you don’t have time (or are allergic to Microsoft!), Googling “free powerpoint flashcards” brings up over a million results. Some of them will surely fit the bill 🙂
- Don’t go through too many words/pictures at a go. Develop a sense of when your child is likely to start losing interest and stop before then. This should be a FUN activity and leaving them wanting more will keep it that way!
Here are some possible word categories:
- Family (pictures of the child and his family members)
- Animals (land, sea, birds, insects etc)
- Food (fruits, vegetables)
- Things around the house
- Things we wear
- Daily rituals (featuring objects from the child’s everyday life e.g. his bathtub, bed, pillow, blanket, toothbrush, milk bottle etc)