The Flash Cards
Should you use addition flash cards?
We think the answer is a resounding “yes” providing you use them in the right way and at the right time.
When a child is first learning about adding numbers it is important that they understand exactly what is going on. Simply memorizing a series of math facts by rote, without grasping the concepts involved, is not ideal.
However, once this has been accomplished, flash cards are great at helping your child develop something very important – speed. The ability to perform simple arithmetic instantly separates those who are excellent at math from those who are not.
Therefore, we have put together a set of free printable addition flash cards for you to use.
Our Free Flash Cards
To get started, simply print out the cards and cut them out, remembering not to cut the vertical line linking each question and answer. Then fold each card along the vertical line and glue the two parts together, leaving you with the question on one side and the answer on the other.
If this seems like too much work, there are of course loads of addition flash cards cheaply available for sale. They are all rather similar, although these ones (which go up to 12 + 12) are the most favorably reviewed on Amazon.
Suggestions For Use
1. Speed games: Some children will enjoy testing their speed against the clock and against other family members. By timing how quickly a set of the cards are correctly answered you may inspire your child to want to get faster.
2. Card games: A simple variant of Snap! can be a lot of fun. This works best with one person being the quiz master and two or more people competing. The quiz master conceals the deck of cards and then one-by-one reveals them – the first competitor to correctly shout the answer receives the card. Once all the cards have been played the person with the most is the winner.
3. Individual learning: Even just a few minutes spent each day alone with the addition flash cards can work wonders. Encourage your child to cycle through the pack, answering each question and then turning over the card to check if they got it right. Children will be especially motivated to do this if they are keen to beat a personal best time or get better at a game.
4. Introduction to multiplication: If your child is progressing well, you may wish to point out that another way of saying, “5 + 5” is “two lots of five” or “two times five”. And, to further prepare your child for learning their times tables, you could then ask them what they think three lots of five might be etc.
5. Take the cards away on vacation: Flash cards are a great option to throw into a suitcase for when the family goes away. Ten minutes of quick drills before you all hit the pool can work wonders.
6. Building on knowledge: Under your guidance, your child will soon realize that if they know that 7 + 2 = 9 they also know that 70 + 20 = 90. Take some turns asking each other more challenging questions and enjoy watching your child’s horizons broaden.
7. Practice subtraction too: Subtraction is closely related to addition. If your child is progressing well, why not print off our free subtraction flash cards and mix these in too?
We sometimes hear people saying, “As long as a child knows how to work out what 6 + 9 is, it doesn’t matter that they don’t instantly know the answer”.
We believe that having an instant answer to such basic questions is essential – otherwise children will get bogged down and bored when they move on to more advanced topics.
We hope that you agree and we hope that you find our addition flash cards useful!