The Beginners Guide to Using Alphabet Flash Cards

Alphabet Flash Cards are one more tool in our tool box when it comes to teaching the Alphabet. By using Alphabet Flash Cards, we can create strong links to the letter name, letter sound, and a picture that represents that letter so we are using both Auditory and Visual learning to activate memory and create a successful learning experience. Just as singing the Alphabet Song can provide an Auditory and Visual memory link, so can using Alphabet Flash Cards. 

Let’s start this process by using their name

If you are just joining us, we have been discussing how using a child’s name is a very powerful strategy when teaching the alphabet. One of the most important words to your child is their name! They own that word. It’s how people identify them. If you missed Step 2: Teaching the Alphabet With Magnetic Letters, go back and check it out. It is the best place to start. Here’s our Different Ways To Teach list from last time. Today we’ll learn about teaching the Alphabet using Alphabet Flash Cards!


Different ways to teach The Alphabet and their name

What is An Alphabet Flash Card?

The definition of a Flash Card is a card that holds some information that is used with students to aid learning. In other words, Alphabet Flash Cards are something that you can hold that helps students remember a concept with letters, words, and pictures. 

An Alphabet Flash Card usually contains the follow components: both the Uppercase and Lowercase version of the letter, a picture that starts like that letter or represents that letter in a logical way, and a word that labels the picture. 

How to get started Teaching With Flash Cards

Select Your Flash Cards

To get started, we will first start with the letters in their name! Of course! Those are the letters that mean the most to them, so those are the ones that we want to create the strongest link to first.

In my previous example using the name Kathleen, I would start with the letters Aa, Ee, Hh, Kk, Ll, Nn, Tt. Those would be the first Alphabet Flash Cards that I would teach. You would choose the letters in your child’s name and start with those, just like we have in previous lessons.

Verbal Directions

Next, you will teach each card in the same way and same order each time. Providing repetition will help your child learn more quickly. You will say the name of the letter and the sounds that it makes. Here is an example: “My name is A, my sounds are /a/ or /A/.” The first sound that I give for the letter is its most common sound, then the next common sound. So /a/ makes the sound that ‘a’ makes in ax and /A/ make the sound that ‘a’ makes in apron.



Provide Repetition

You say the card for them, then they repeat the card back to you until they can say it with you. It will be necessary for you to repeat many times until each card is known. Eventually, you will be able to hold up the card and they will say the card to you. Once again, we go from the most help or support to the least help or support. Always remembering not to do anything for them that they can do for themselves.

When they can recite all of the Alphabet Flash Cards that are in their name, you start adding more letters. Always keep a few of their easiest letters in the rotation so there are always many known cards.  

Tips for Success in Teaching Alphabet Flash Cards

  • Start with the letters in their name.
  • Always recite the cards the same exact way each time so you develop a pattern.
  • As they start to learn the letters in their name, add more letters to the stack.
  • When you add more letters, start rotating the easiest cards out so your card stack remains small – 5 to 10 cards.
  • Mix up the order of the cards in the stack, so they are not just memorizing them in order.
  • Keep a complete set of the cards on display as a resource for reading and writing.
  • Practice everyday for 5-10 minutes. 

Common Questions About Using Flash Cards

What if I don’t know all of the sounds that letters make?

Great Question! That’s where my expertise comes in! I know all the sounds that the letters make and I will share that skill with you! As a free gift to you, I will provide you with access to a video of me demonstrating all the sounds that each letter makes!!! Sign up below so I know where to send your free link!

Where do I find Alphabet Flash Cards?

Another Great Question! Well, I have made a set just for you! As an additional free gift to you, I will provide a download link so you can get a free set. You’ll just need to let me know where to send it! It’s the actual set that I will be using in the video and is available for sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, but you can have it for free as my gift for joining me on this journey. There are a few other Alphabet Flash Card Sets there as well, if you would like to change them out for variety as your child becomes more proficient. 

What if this is too tricky for my child?

First, determine if your child is ready to learn. Are they interested in learning to read or are they showing signs of frustration very early on when you are just getting started? If they are not developmentally ready to learn this next step, then spend a little more time using the hands-on manipulatives such as the Magnetic Letters, reading their ABC book, or any of the other methods linked above.

Remove some letters and start with just 3 different ones. Only spend 5 minutes using the Alphabet Flash Cards, then switch over to some of the other methods we discussed. 

Why Is This Strategy Trickier?

This lesson is the bridge for learning that all letters stand for different sounds in words. It’s an upper level concept that they may not be quite ready for. We want learning to read to be fun, not a painful experience for them. So take your cues from them. Make it fun!

Did you have a question that I didn’t answer?

 Leave a comment below and I will add my answer to your question to this post. 

Today We Learned About Alphabet Flash Cards

  • The next step in learning how the Alphabet has a name, sounds, and is in words
  • Usually include a Capital and Lowercase version of the letter, a picture and a word
  • Start with letters that mean something to our child; letters in their name
  • Very useful as a flash card and as a resource in your learning area
  • Best used in 5-10 minute practice sessions

Please Share

If you found this information useful, please consider sharing with others. It would really help me out. You can use the share buttons on the Left for Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Consider following me using the Social Shares at the top of the Right hand column. If you want to make sure you are notified of new content, feel free to join my newsletter. Feel free to leave a comment below, I read all of them and will get back to you! My goal is to make teaching reading as fun for you as it is for me! 


I would love to send you your own Free Pack of Alphabet Flash Cards that go with the Video above so you can demonstrate how to say all of the letters and sounds that go with them. Just let me know where you would like them sent and they will be on their way!

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