Baby flash cards on your iPhone5

I mentioned to my husband we needed flash cards for our toddlers. So, he surprised me with a small thin memory flash card thinking I wanted to capture them on our digital camera.

Baby Flash Cards

By Ali McHugh – Mindful Mum

Not wanting to pour water on his kindness, I gently explained, “I mean word and picture flash cards like those Beyoncé and Jayzee are using with their baby girl, Blue Ivy.” He looked at me as if I had just landed from planet Krong. To help, I suggested he use his swanky new iPhone 5 from CarphoneWarehouse, to ‘Google’ it and find the best app for our boys.

What are baby and toddler flash cards?

Parents have been using flash cards as a game for babies and toddlers long before the digital camera or iPhone was invented. Traditional baby flash cards normally come in packs by subjects such as animals, transport or food. They are pieces of card with pictures on one side and the word on the other.

The theory is that flash cards, used sparingly in play, can help your child’s development. The results of one survey in the US highlighted that as many as 65% of parents polled, thought flash cards are “very effective” in helping two year olds develop their intelligence.

I bet Einstein never used flash cards

We couldn’t find any real evidence that flash cards boost toddlers learning capabilities. There is much more information about the importance of spontaneous play. In the book, Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, the psychologists Kathy Hirsch-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff urge parents to lay off the structured activities and instead let children learn naturally at their own pace through play. So instead of running out to the shops for the physical flash cards we decided to go for the virtual online flash cards and test them out as a game on our mobile phone.

Flash card apps for babies and toddlers

We downloaded the iPhone app My First Words. We are not using it as a structured activity, it is just for fun. There are lots of different subjects; animals, baby things, food, shapes, toys, body, feelings, on wheels and even mummy’s things. The boys are having a lot of fun with it because the app version of baby flash cards has a couple of advantages over the traditional card based version.

  1. You can create your own digital flash cards using photos of granny, your dog, the local park or your children’s favourite toy.
  2. You can customize all the flash cards by recording a voice over for each flash card. So whilst the original app has an American voice over, the boys now hear my Scottish voice, their Dad’s funny monster voice and even their own voices. Lots of fun to be had there!
  3. You can change the spelling of the word, so ‘mommy’ has now changed to ‘mum’ and cell phone has changed to mobile.

So what are your thoughts on flash cards? Have you bought them for your baby or toddler and do you think they are useful?  Or like a friend of mine, do you ban your child from all digital games?


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