Thursday 12 January 2017

DIY #2 - Phonics Flash cards

We had browsed for a few phonics/alphabet flash cards available at store, but found some difficulties with respect to following points

  1. Font - The type of font normally used was comic sans, but most of the books we read, used Times New Roman, so we felt that some letters, for eg: "a" might be confusing for the child.
  2. Pictures - We felt difficulty explaining some pictures - for eg : Unicorn, which is a mythological animal. We wanted a picture that the child was already familiar with and felt she could relate to the alphabet better that way.
  3. Layout - Some of them had only the word explaining the picture ( which we felt, would lead to simple memorizing of the word) or only the alphabets together with picture. The con, we felt was that, the kid will associate the alphabet with the picture and just memorize the picture connection and not memorise the alphabet. We wanted one side with just alphabets.
  4. Letter cases - Some of them printed only upper and some of them only lower, while we wanted the child to learn both together. We felt the initial struggle is simply worth while and explained to the kid as upper and lower case itself. ( A daycare we had initially planned to send our child to, was teaching them as mommy "A" and the baby "a"!! Wonder why adults often underestimate the clarity and ability of young minds to absorb straightforward thoughts)
  5. Alphabet names/ phonics sounds - As mentioned before, we planned to teach her all the phonics sounds [1], so a mere 26 letter flashcard were not sufficient enough.
So, bearing all this in mind, we set out to create our customised phonic flash cards. A quick overview of the flashcard specs :

  • Size : Each were around 10cm x 14cm (4 cards printed on one A4 size sheet, minus margin to trim off the borders)
  • Layout : One side had just the alphabets (both upper and lower) and other side had alphabets together with a picture, whose name started with a short sound of that letter (eg : c-cat, i-ink, e-egg) (a few exception eg : x-box). 
  • Software used : Inkscape [2]
  • Materials used
    • Photoprint paper
    • 2-3mm thick chart paper
    • Scissors, Ruler and pencil (to mark and cut)
    • Transparent/clear tape (Taped out all the 4 edges, thanks to a kid who really likes to pry on edges)
  • Outcome : Snaps are taken a few months too late, so some of them will appear pretty "loved".
Front view


Foot notes :  Kiddo took to these flashcards quite instantly. We used this as one of the tools (among a lot of songs, books and a few(3-4) videos) while teaching alphabets and phonics. Proved to be very handy for any time of the day, be it meal time, general book reading time or during bedtime routine. The phonics learning process took around 1.5 months, when Anouk was around 18-20 months ( Mid 2016) to learn the set completely and still being used from time to time for revision, or out of pure pleasure for her. 


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