Raising Bilingual Kids & Little Global Citizens

Games & Activities

5 Fun Games & Activities with Flashcards for Language Development


Games and Activities for Flashcards

Flashcards can sometimes have a bad reputation of being too educational, or boring. Many people think flashcards are to be used by just looking and reading the same cards over and over again. But there are so many different activities and games with flashcards to play to make them fun and interesting for kids, especially bilingual kids or children learning a second language.

Activities & Games with Flashcards

Here are some ideas on how you can have fun with flashcards to help promote conversation and the use of language, these flashcard activities and games will basically get your kids talking.

Scavenger Hunt Flashcard Game

One of the best activities with flashcards is a good old Scavenger hunt! My kids love to have a scavenger hunt and search the house for items to match our flashcards. We place our flashcards down, choose a card and search.

When we use our shape flashcards, we find anything we can to match to the shapes.

When we use our colour flashcards, we find as many things as we can and match them to the colours.

When we use our animal flashcards, we search for animals for the ones on the cards. It could be animals from our toy farm or zoo, or even stuffed toys.


Simon Says Go To…

This is a great flashcard activity to get the children moving and talking. I use this with my own kids, but also a lot in my English classes. I place the flashcards on the wall around the room. Either myself, or another child will be “Simon”. They say “Simon says go to…” and name a flashcard. All of the children then run and stand below the card.

We do variations where we say, “All boys go to…” or name a certain person and tell them to go to a certain card. Each child has a turn at being Simon. I find that this flashcard game motivates even the shy children to speak up.


Flashcard Guessing Game

Think of the game Celebrity Head but for kids, using flashcards. This activity with flashcards can be played in pairs or in a group.

Each child has a card stuck to or on their head, or even held in front of them, but so they can’t see it. They take turns in asking questions about the card that they have.

Eg “Am I a shape?” “Am I an animal?” Do I have four legs?” etc. If they get the question right, they have another turn. Otherwise you go around asking questions until someone guesses which card they have correctly. It really motivates the use of language, because kids really want to know what is on their head.


Flashcard Story Prompts Activity

I love story prompts, and flashcards are a great way to create stories and promote the use of a language. We put our flashcards in a pile, and place a couple of cards from each pile down on the floor. We then take turns in creating a story made  up from the different cards. Kids love this flashcard activity and it can go on for hours.


Copy Cat Writing and Drawing Flashcard Activity

For kids who love to draw, the copy cat flashcard activity is a lot of fun. If you have thin paper you can place it over the top over the card and copy with a pen or grey led, then colour it in to match the card. If your child is good at drawing freehand then they can simply copy from looking at it.

They can also copy out the words if they are learning to write. My four year old is obsessed with writing and drawing. He has copied these cards out about a hundred times already. Mum and dad don’t mind joining in either!


Flashcard Memory Game

Some flashcards come in pairs, but if not you will need two sets of the same cards.

Place them all face down and take turns turning two over at once and naming the object on the card. If they are the same, the child keeps them. If not, they turn them back over.

Repeat until all of the cards are gone and the winner is who has the most cards. My kids are still young so we don’t necessarily have a “winner” or we have arguments. We just like to count how many pairs each child has at the end.


Do you have any more activities & games to play with flashcards

There is always room to imrove your child’s language skills. Creating an environment where children can learn through play will give them the confidence to use the target language more freely without even thinking about it. 

There are so many different activities and games using flashcards that can be fun and beneficial for bilingual kids, or children learning languages. If you have any that you can suggest please share with us!

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  1. flashcards for kids

    Good information using flashcards. its really great.
    Thank you so much .

  2. Sally Kennedy

    Really useful ideas . If i create any more i will share .

  3. Thanks for this great write-up! The first three game ideas were totally new to me, so I’m glad to know there are even more flashcard game ideas out there than I previously thought.

    I have a few other ideas that you and your readers might like to try:

    1. Coming up with different types of categories by which you can sort or organize the cards. For example, number of letters on the card or colors or size.

    Then, for slightly older kids, I’m thinking 10+…

    2. Add the cards into a Leitner Box (possibly with prizes once they pass a certain level). I think this would be especially great once the initial excitement of cards have faded and the children have learned them well, because then the cards could be put into the Leitner Box for periodical review.

    3. Use the flashcards as a strong visual aid to teach the children how to do the Mind Palace technique.

    I’m endeavoring to make challenging and fun flashcard and card games myself. I think they are still very relevant and useful, even in the digital age of apps. If you’d be interested in reviewing my games on your blog or vlog, let me know! I’d be happy to send you a free sample!

    Keep up the great work! The blog looks clean, attractive, and it’s easy to navigate.

    Matthew Boyle

  4. Cheryl H.

    I will try with my kids at home!

    Nice reminder on my flashcards!


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