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When my youngest son turned two it came to our attention not only had he not started speaking but he struggled when you would ask him to point out an object in a book. This concerned me a little as my eldest son was able to that before two and so could many of his peers. I came across these large flashcards by Orchard toys in a local toys shop and even though they are recommended for age three plus I liked the style of them and thought they would be helpful.
We bought ours last year and the box has changed since the picture above was added it looks a bit more modern and fun. But the contents are the same. It contains fifty extra large cards which measure roughly 17cms by 12cms and are made from thin card. So it is an idea to keep them away safe when they are not in use as they will bend easily if small hands get hold of them alone.
There are ten number cards which I have begun using with my eldest son who is four years old but not yet with my youngest. They are one to ten and consist of a picture and then the number written in word form underneath. For example on the three card there are three teddy bears so you child can count the items in the picture to help them. On the back of the card is just the word written in the middle in big black bold writing.
The rest of the forty cards are of familiar objects and this is why I bought them. The picture on the card is very large and simple and takes up two thirds of the card. Underneath is the name of the object again like the numbers it is written in black bold lettering, in lowercase. There are a lovely range of different objects which your child will come across in everyday life. Too name a few there is apple, cat, dress, toothbrush, tree, milk, teddy, bed, hat, car, cup, hand and the list goes on! On the back of each card is again just the word written in the middle of the card.
*****Using the cards with my two and a half year old*****
I have been using these cards with my youngest son for a good six months now and they have really helped him on. He has also being having extra help from portage the last two months and they are impressed with the effort I put in. The lady who comes once a week loves the cards and has even started using them in his hour session rather than her own she brings.
I lay a few of them out at a time and ask my son to listen and then bring me a particular card back. To begin with I would only lay two cards out at a time but now we can managed a large selection. He is able to retrieve all forty cards and now we are moving onto him trying to say what the picture is. It is a very slow process but he loves these cards. The pictures are fantastic for him. They are quite simple and lovely and bright to attract small eyes. I love the fact they are very up to date with a plastic carton of milk like most of us buy from the supermarket rather than a glass bottle or cardboard carton. As the cards are on the large size my son has no problems picking them up off the floor and holds them well in his hands. The size of them makes it ideal to be laid out on the floor and as they are large the picture is a great size too. These are going to move on with my child for a good length of time yet.
*****Using these cards with my four year old*****
I haven't tended to use these cards as much with my eldest as he already has some alphabet flash cards which he uses but recently we have started using them. But now he is getting to grips with his letters we are slowly moving onto breaking down single words. I am trying to get him familiar with some basic everyday words and I am hoping the more he sees them the easier he will find it. I love the fact the word is also written on its own on the back so you can break the word down with your child without them seeing the picture to help them.
On the back of the box the flash cards come in there are some helpful pointers in how to use these cards. I have found them useful and I also like the little note they have written at the bottom. 'Remember that this should be an enjoyable activity for everyone.' I always try to make it fun for both my boys but there comes a point when you know they have had enough.
I really do love these cards and as a fan of many orchard toys products I would give these a big thumbs up as well. I love the size of the cards, the pictures and the text they make a great package. And better than that my sons love them too. They are both eager to use them. They can be used to help develop early reading and counting. I have found them extremely useful with my youngest son.
As I have mentioned I came across these cards in a local toy shop which has a large selection of orchard toys products. They can also be found on Amazon and are currently priced at (March 2012) £7.50. The quality of this product is fantastic and I feel the price is very fair. Especially as I have started using these cards with my youngest at two years old and will be using them for a few years yet.
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I introduced my daughter to flash cards from a very early age as I think it is a really great start for their learning. I was thrilled that she actually enjoyed going through the cards and would regularly get them out of her toy box to sit and go through them with me.
I decided to buy some new flash cards for Christmas as my little girl had done so well with the ones we had, I wanted to try the next step up. My friend advised me to have a look on Orchard Toys website and, sure enough, there was a set of flash cards for children aged three plus! I popped them in my basket along with a couple of games and within a couple of days they had arrived.
** The set of flash cards I purchased are slightly different to what is pictured here **
The Orchard Toys Flash Cards come in a bright blue box with the logo on the left hand side set on a red background so it really stands out. The front of the box tells me that there are 50 extra large flash cards inside and shows three of the cards as an example. It is stated on the bottom of the box that the flash cards are for age 3+. The reverse of the box shows more examples of the cards inside, along with an educational guide:
* Develops early reading and counting skills
* Link with Early Learning Goals
Inside the box you will find the 50 flash cards, and the box states "These flash cards have been designed to help your child build up a collection of words that will help them to develop reading skills. The time you spend with your child should be fun, so try to use the cards for short periods of time".
The cards are approximately 7" x 4" and are brightly coloured so to grab the childs attention. I would describe the pictures are very child friendly, and by this I mean they are cute and almost cartoon like. There is a good range of pictures on the cards from apple to lemon, dog to dragon and king to queen. The cards cover various foods, clothes, animals and household items so there is a really good range of words to learn. Underneath each picture you will see the name of the item so your child can see both the picture and word at the same time. On the reverse of the card you will simply just see the word printed which is for when your child progresses and can recognise the words alone. Some of the cards have a number of the same picture printed on so your child can both name the item and count the number of items. The number appears in word form underneath the picture and on the reverse so again your child can learn to recognise the words.
These flash cards were an instant hit with my little girl, so much so that even when opening them on Christmas morning she immediately wanted them out of the box so we were sat there surrounded by wrapping paper going through flash cards! I was shocked that she knew every single picture bar one and that was a lemon which she calls melon! We get the cards out at least once every other day, and sometimes it can be a couple of times a day (I think she likes the praise she gets when she gets them all right!) and we are now trying to focus on learning some of the words rather than just naming the pictures. My daughter only recently turned three so I am not expecting her to be able to instantly recognise many of the words, though she now knows dog, cat and a couple of numbers which I am really happy with. There is also a possibility of learning colours with the cards as each picture is set on a brightly coloured background.
I love these flash cards, they are a really good basis for starting learning and as my daughter has recently started nursery it gives her a good foundation in beginning to read some words. One thing I really like about the cards is that the word also appears on the reverse of the card as I said earlier, it really helps to develop reading without seeing the picture! The quality of the cards is great, it is a reasonably thick card that is good for little fingers and though they can be bent so far ours are still in perfect condition even after lots of use. My one slight downfall with the cards is that the pictures do seem a little easy, though I spoke to my daughters key worker at nursery and she said that many children of that age can struggle with the pictures so I think that my daughter found them easy due to the fact that we have had others and spent a lot of time with those previously.
The price of the Orchard Toys Flash Cards is £7.25 on the official website and in my opinion they are worth every single penny! I am so glad I bought these cards as my daughter really enjoys them and she is already learning to recognise some words. I cannot recommend them highly enough!
Thank you for reading my review :)
I love the idea of giving children a head start before they get to school and when my son was young I bought these flashcards. They were a bit more pricey than I have paid for previous flashcards at over £5.
I picked the Orchard Toys ones because they were so well illustrated and colourful. They show everyday obects like sun, moon, cat, car and because these objects are all identifiable to kids it helps to hold their attention.
The flashcards are about 6 inches in length and have a picture on two thirds of the card and at the bottom is the word.
The cards are very thin, not as durable as I would have liked, ideally they would be made out of thick card or laminated but this is not the case, they just feel like slightly thicker paper. For this reason they aren't very practical for little ones as they get bent very easily.
The age range is for 3 years and up but I started my son with these as he was learning to talk. They are ideal for picture recognition and for getting the child to widen their vocabulary. As the child gets older you can use the cards to develop their reading but I found the pictures were a hindrance for this as the child already knows what the word will be! You can cover the image but it can be a bit awkward.
The cards are also good for developing number skills as some of the pictures show lots of one item so you can count along with the child.
These cards are ok but I wouldn't recommend them. Children like to touch and hold things and because of the quality of the card they can get ruined easily.
Use these 50 word and picture flashcards to help young children develop early reading and number skills through shared parent-child activity.