by Dr Shen Li-Lee


The Purpose of Flash Cards

Showing flash cards to children is not specifically for giving knowledge to children. There are four important reasons for showing flash cards to children:

  1. High speed flash cards activates the right brain.
  2. It develops the child’s photographic memory function. Children usually learn with their left brain memory function. However, when they are given information at high speed, the right brain memory is activated and developed.
  3. It helps develop the connection between the left and right brain. During a flash card session, pictures are shown while words are spoken at the same time. This helps the connection between both brains because the pictures and images are processed by the right brain, while languages are processed by the left brain. Flashing cards strengthen both processes.
  4. It activates the left brain and teaches your child language.

How to Flash Cards

  • Less than 1 second per card preferred and flash as fast as you can.
  • Flash as many cards as possible per session (2-3 times a day). Start with 100 in the 1st month to an average of 250 and slowly progress to 1000.
  • Cover as much content as possible.
  • Don’t repeat the same set twice at a time.
  • How to flash cards: take the cards from back to the front. Set the cards higher than your child’s eye level. Have a title for each set.

Note: 2-3 year old children are generally more active. If your child cannot sit through all the cards in one sitting, you can divide them into 2 sets and flash them separately after a short break.

Flash Card Topics

1. Pictures on Thematic Topics, e.g. types of flowers
2. Basic Concepts a child should learn

  • Colour
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Number
  • Volume
  • Space recognition
  • Order
  • Comparison
  • Time
  • Money

Note:Plan materials according to your child’s age and level of improvement.

Basic Concepts for Children

These 10 basic concepts can become your child’s base of intelligence. Help your child understand these basic concepts between age 1 to 6.

1. Colour

Teach your child the basic colours – red, blue, yellow. Your child will understand the concept of colour better if you use real objects to teach him/her. For example, red apple, red strawberry, red pen, red paper. After your child recognises these colours, teach other colours such as white, black, green, pink, orange, orange, purple, brown, etc.

2. Shape

Point out to your child that there are many different shapes in our dailiyi life (round moon/round sun, square window/square book, triangular tree/triangular mountain, etc.) to engage your child’s interest in shapes. Then teach your child other shapes such as oval, rectangle, star, cross, diamond, etc.

3. Size

Size is an easier concept for children to understand. There are many ways to teach them the concept of big and small. For example, “Daddy is big and I am small”, “Elephant is big, ant is small”, etc.

4. Number

Take the opportunity to teach your child the concept of number during activities. Utensils can be used as a tool for counting when the family is having a meal together. “This is Daddy’s bowl, this is Mummy’s bowl, and this is your bowl. There are 3 bowls altogether.” When bathing your child, parents can point to the body parts and count out loud. “You have 2 eyes, 1 nose, 1 mouth, 2 ears, and 4 fingers and 1 thumb on 1 hand.” If your child pays attention to numbers regularly, he will be good at Mathematics.

5. Quantity

Teach your child the concept of quantity (e.g. many, little, half, a little more, more, etc. by asking your child “Which glass has more juice?” or “Can you pour a little more tea please?” They will gradually learn to understand “quantity” in their everyday life.

6. Space Recognition

Space recognition is the ability to understand “up”, “down”, “front”, “back”, “left”, “right”, “inside”, “outside”, “far”, “near”, etc. Teach your child the concept of space using phrases such as “on top of the table”, “inside/outside the toy box”, “throw the ball far/near”. If your child has difficulty differentiating “left”from “right”, you can help your child by explaining that “the hand you use to hold chopsticks is your right/left hand”, or “the hand you use to shake hands is your right/left hand.”

7. Comparison

The concept of comparison involves examining (two or more objects, ideas, people, etc.) in order to note similarities and differences. E.g. bigger/smaller than, more/less than, etc. Parents can use 2 pencils of different lengths and show their child one pencil is longer than the other. Many opposite words such as hot/cold, earlylate, sweet/bitter, etc. can be taught using everyday objects.

8. Order

Teach your child what is “1st”, “2nd”, “3rd”, “last”, etc. Parents can also combine concepts of space recognition with order by teaching what is “2nd from the left”, “3rd from the right”, “4th row from the top”, “the first/last row”, “5th from the right”, etc. Size can also be used to teach the concept of order, e.g. “3rd biggest”, “2nd longest”, etc.

9. Time

It is important for children to understand the concept of time. They have to know what is “today”, “tomorrow”, “yesterday”, “now”, “before 1 o’clock”, “3 o’clock”, “before noon”, “afternoon”, “morning”, “noon”, “night”. They also nhave to know what is “1 week”, “this week”, “next week”, “last week”, “this year”, “next year”, “year”, “month”, “date”, and “day”. Teach them the meaning of “10 minutes ago”, “wait for Mummy for 5 minutes”, etc. You can use a toy clock to teach your child.

10. Money

It is important for children to have “money sense” while they are 3 or 4 years old. Let your child understand the concept of money through playing games that involves them dealing with dollars and cents, such as shopping games, bank games, etc. You can also teach your child when you are at supermarkets or food courts paying for what your child is buying.

Use toy money to teach your child concepts such as:

  • Five 1 cent = 5 cents
  • Ten 1 cent = 10 cents
  • Two 5 cents = 10 cents
  • Five 10 cents = 50 cents