5 Therapy Ideas to Use Instead of Flash Cards

5 Therapy Ideas to Use Instead of Flash Cards

flashcards 2

Therapy Instead of Flash Cards, Flashcards have been a popular way to teach children new skills. However, I believe they can be easily replaced to teach a child more effectively.

Over the many years of therapy with children, I have learned to keep the sessions fun to connect with and teach a child effectively. Flashcards used to drill a concept repeatedly, is not my idea of fun. Don’t get me wrong, if used creatively – flashcards can be fun (I’ll be writing an upcoming article on this! Keep your eyes open for it). However, I wish to explore interactions with the child without them, as often as possible.


Let’s look at 5 ways to Teach different skills without using flashcards:

  1. Naming or labeling objects:

Early learners and young children need to be taught to name different items in their environment. For building labelling skills (a language goal), objects (or articles) from around the house must be brought out. Use the real items instead of showing pictures or flashcards.

Allowing the child to experience – feel, see, or even taste the item – goes a long way.

flashcards mystery box 2Watch this video to see the ‘mystery box’ game. This helps children label objects. Based on the level of the child you play the game with, it can be made easier (by only showing the item and naming it) or difficult (by giving clues about the item and then asking them to guess the name)



  1. Teaching Verbs:

Verbs can so easily be taught with nothing but the …..body! Enact the different actions within the environment of the session.

Use everyday items and objects to build on these verbs e.g. cutting (butter) with a knife or (paper with) a scissor or even (a banana with) a spoon.

Generalizing skills becomes much easier and in my opinion can also be quicker with everyday items used in everyday scenarios.

3. Teaching numbers:

flashcards numbersNumbers are often taught using flashcards and counting objects meaningfully (matched to the flashcards). However, here is another way to teach them.

Use sand or salt and allow the child to write numbers on the sand with the index finger. Similar to this, a chalkboard can be used and a wet finger can be used to trace a number. An adult can trace the number with the finger, before the child.

  1. Articulation drilling

spinner articulation drillingDrilling of sounds and words can be done easily using flashcards. However, motivation levels can decrease quite easily this way.

I’d rather use ‘fun’ worksheets, a whiteboard (where I can draw or color related to the sounds), a book (with target sounds) etc.

See the image, to know of an idea of a ‘spinner’ toy being used with a worksheet to strengthen a sound in isolation.


  1. Concepts of colors (a language goal)

Investing in paints and a variety of coloring media is a lot of fun to teach colors. Getting messy with a color is the most exciting way for kids to learn.

This also gives an avenue for a child to explore primary colors and how they are mixed to form secondary colors.

Follow TheDadLab to see a lot of fun ideas and ways to talk about colors while exploring different mediums. Here is one using skittles.

Several game ideas using everyday items or toys have been shared in the Series called
– Everyday items as awesome toys. (Here is the link to an article from the series)
– Funtastic play ideas. (Here is the link to an article from the series).


Share more ideas on how you build skills without using flashcards. Leave a comment. We’d love to hear about it.


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Therapy Instead of Flash Cards

Tanushree Chandhok
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