DIY: Amanda’s flash cards for kids

Get kids interested in their world, learning words and having fun!

Credit: Amanda Wood

Make your own flashcards! It’s a great way to get kids interested in their world, learn words and have fun

Use these durable flashcards with your pre-readers to reinforce word recognition, identify plants and landmarks in your neighborhood or create a memory game.

What you’ll need:


DIY flash cards

– digital camera

– computer

– access to a printer

– x-acto knife

– sturdy single hole punch

– binder rings

– metal straight edge

– cutting mat

– self laminating card sleeves

Notes: If you don’t have a camera, printer and computer, you can skip steps one to three by using printed images (from postcards, magazines, etc.) and handwriting or stamping the words over top. Check out your local dollar store for the card sleeves. That’s where I found mine.

Step one:

Take a walk with your child in your neighbourhood or around the house and take pictures of things that are interesting to them. You could use this opportunity to have a little chat about why they picked something and talk about what it means to them. It could be people, plants, animals, toys. Anything really.

Step two:

Finesse that photo any way you like to incorporate a word describing the picture. You can use graphics software if you’ve got it or a free online tool like Picnik. I used Picnik’s polaroid frame and text tools to get this effect. What was nice about this tool is that there were light grey lines around the images so the trimming was easier.

Step three:

Print those pictures off. Regular paper works fine. Since these are going straight into a plastic sleeve they will be protected and sturdy.

DIY flash cards


Step four:

Using a straight edge and x-acto knife, trim them to fit within your self-laminating card sleeves. To save paper, I used the contact sheet setting in my photo software so that I could print four up on a page.

Step five:

Slide the trimmed pictures into the sleeves. Make sure they are straight and push all of the air out. Voila! You now have lovely little cards!

The sky’s the limit…

From this point on you can get creative and do all kinds of things with these little guys. You could clip it to your stroller so that you always have something with you to amuse the little ones. Make doubles of each card and create a memory game. Make one for each letter of the alphabet or use the images to describe numbers. It’s really up to you and your child to decide how to use them.

DIY flash cards


Make a set of flash cards

Punch a hole in the top and group a bunch together with a binder ring to make a set of images that you can take on walks or use around the house to identify things.

I used these ones for a scavenger hunt for my son’s seventh birthday. There were kids from 5 to 7 there so it helped the pre-readers and emerging readers to have a picture reference.

Amanda Wood makes handmade goods for the family home under the name Owl+Pussycat. As a mom of two active boys who is passionate about bringing DIY into the hands of children, she is always on the lookout for thrifty craft ideas to keep them busy. Blog | Etsy