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5 Super Fun Flashcard Games for Kids!

Going through flashcards can be a real nightmare for parent and child.

I still shudder when I think about drilling my kindergartener with sight word flashcards that had been sent home from school.

She was miserable, but I was determined to have her learn this crucial information.

The next year we started homeschooling her for 1st grade, and yes there were flashcards for math facts.

Ugh. It was worse than the year before!

My kid hated it, but not as much as I did!

I was actually tempted to quit homeschooling that first year because I was just so fed up with trying to teach these mundane, but foundational math facts. 

Spoiler Alert: I didn’t quit! 

I learned how to play flashcard games with my kid that she actually enjoyed and it made all the difference. 

Below you will find our flashcard warm-up game (essential!) and 5 more flashcard games that I personally designed.

It will make flashcards the brightest spot in your homeschool day!

No, I’m not kidding! 

How to Get the Most Out of Your Flashcard Games

Looking for fun flashcard games for your kids? Whether you have a 1st grader or a 6th grader, these simple games will thrill and excite your kids to come to the table and learn math facts! I designed them myself, so they are fresh, new games your kids have never played. With a little effort and a dash of fun, these games will transform your kid's attitude about math facts!

Before I share the games with you, I want to quickly caution you about something.

Flashcard games can make things really fun for your kid…but it’s not going to help if you are making critical mistakes

Are your sessions too long? Or too often?

Do you show even slight frustration with your child when they forget facts?

Is your attitude positive and energetic? Or rushed and bored?

Introducing too many new facts at one time?

Are you making these easily fixable mistakes?

Be sure to check out: “How to Make Flashcards Fun for Kids” for my top 10 tips to avoid these pitfalls. 

5 Super Fun Flashcard Games for Kids

1. “Clear the Table” Flashcard Game (Warm-Up)

Clear the Table Flashcard Game with homeschool Kid

We always play this game first because it is an excellent way for your kid to warm up and work through some of the harder facts.

How to Play:

All you do is lay out all of the flashcards – face up – in front of your child. 

Then your child picks up each card and answers it until they have “cleared the table” of flashcards.

Pretty simple, right? 

This is why this simple warm-up will be a game-changer for your kid:

  • Your kid will likely find all the cards that they already know well. Their confidence will grow as they quickly pick up the “easy” ones.

  • This will leave behind the ones that they’re not sure about or don’t know at all.

  • Now you can help them reason to the answer or review the concept/math fact completely – no judgement, no rushing, no frustration. 

Your kid is now fully warmed up, much more confident, and ready to enjoy some flashcard games!

2. “Save a Life” Flashcard Game

Save a Life Flashcard Game with 1st grader

This is by far my kids’ favorite game! 

How to Play:

1. Sit opposite your child at a table.

2. Shuffle the deck of cards and take the top card off the deck and stand it up on the table close to your child.

3. Tell your kid that to save the life of this flashcard they need to say the right answer FIRST. Then slowly (as quickly or slowly as you like) start to move the card towards yourself.

4. If your kid says the correct answer, slam the card to the table and say, “You saved him!”

5. If he/she answers incorrectly, throw the card off the table and sadly say, “Well, that card didn’t make it.” Say this in a way that is meant to be silly and light-hearted. 

6. If your child can’t come up with an answer, just let the card fall off the edge of the table nearest to you. 

****At this point, you may decide to offer your kid one more chance to “bring the card back to life” and give the correct answer. 

7. Take the next card and continue with the game until you’ve worked through the whole deck. 

At the end of the game, have your child (not you!) pick up all the cards on the floor.

Praise your kid for all the lives he/she saved and then go through the picked-up stack of cards. Say things like, “Okay, we need to be able to save this card next time. Let’s review the answer so you remember next time!”

Play this flashcard game again and see how much bigger the stack of saved lives is! 

Feel free to move the cards quicker towards the edge of the table to make it more exciting.

3. “Build a Road” Flashcard Game

Buil a Road Flashcard Game

This is another favorite!

It is a great way to get kids engaged on a project – not the monotony of flashcards.

This game also gives kids a chance to get up and move during flashcard time!

How to Play:

1. Tell your kid that he/she must build a road made out of flashcards.

This road can be around the table. 

From one piece of furniture to another. 

From one toy to another.

Or anywhere your kid wants to build!

2. Shuffle the cards and start going through the deck. If your child gets a right answer, hand him/her the card. The child then uses their card to start the road!

3. If the child gets a card wrong, tell them the correct answer and then shuffle it back into the deck. 

4. Continue until the entire deck is gone! 

How to make this game more challenging/exciting:

Tell your child that the road has to be built before a timer goes off.

If a wrong answer is given, take a card away from the road they’re building. 

Have a sibling play along and see who has the longest road after the deck is gone.

4. “Tower Building Challenge” Flashcard Game

Kid playing Build a Tower Flashcard Game

This is perfect for any kid who loves building and some healthy competition! 

How to Play:

1. Get out some legos, blocks, or any building materials you have. 

2. Tell your kid that they will get one block for every correct flashcard answer. They should use the blocks to build the tallest tower they can before all the flashcards are gone. 

3. Tell your child that for every wrong answer they give, YOU will get a block to build your own tower. Whoever has the tallest tower wins!

****For extra fun, pretend to be disappointed or annoyed every time your kid gets the right answer. “Oh, man! I can’t believe you got that right! I should have gotten that block. Harumph!”

How to make this game more challenging/exciting:

At the end of the game, allow a bonus round. Take out the flashcards that your kid missed and allow them to try one more time so they can “steal” blocks back from you. 

Consider including “bonus flashcards” in your deck. These should be the facts that are the most difficult for your kid. Say that they are worth 5 blocks!

5. “Hide the Cards” Flashcard Game

I cannot believe how much kids love to find things. Even older kids!

This game is sure to put some spice in your flashcard time and get your kid excited to play!

How to Play:

1. Send your kid out of the room and hide one card at a time. It should be fairly easy to see them.

****Make sure you know how many you hid!

2. Bring your kid in the room and have them run around grabbing cards as quickly as they can. Have them thinking of this as a videogame character collecting stars, gems, or extra points.

3. When they have a good handful, have them hand the cards back to you – one at a time while saying the correct flashcard answer. Your child gets a point for every correct answer!

4. If an incorrect answer is given, then they lose that point. 

How to make this game more challenging/exciting:

Set a timer and tell them they have to earn as many points as they can before the timer goes off.

Mark the flashcards that are the most difficult for your child with a star. Say that these cards are “power-ups” that are worth 100 points each!

6. “Are You Feeling Lucky?” Flashcard Game

Homeschool kid playing Are You Feeling Lucky Flashcard Game

I know I said this was going to be a list of 5 flashcard games for kids, but the first one is truly a warm-up game. 

And I would love for you to have a flashcard game for every day of the week – if you decide to play that often.

Kids love variety!

This last game is super simple to set up – but tons of fun for parent and kid!

How to Play:

1. Arrange all the cards face down on the table and swirl them around so they’re nicely shuffled.

2. You and your kids assign a losing card. For example, if you pick up a card that has an answer of “13” – you lose. Or if you pick up the sight word “said” – you lose.

3. Parent and kid take turns closing their eyes and picking from the cards – always hoping that they’re lucky enough to avoid the “bad card.”

4. When the bad card is finally chosen, the other player gets a point. Reswirl the remaining cards on the table and keep playing until all the cards are gone,

5. Whoever has the most points in the end – wins!

When These Flashcard Games are Mastered

When your kids are flying through the flashcards with ease, the games might start to feel a little redundant

That’s how you know you’ve been successful!

Consider transitioning your kid to other math fact games, sight word games, or computer games that will provide regular repetition.

Recap Flashcard Games for Kids

Who would have thought that flashcard games could be so fun?!

I hope you are inspired and eager to get going with these games – your kid will love them!

To make the absolute most of these games, be sure to check out my first article on flashcards – 10 Tips to Make Flashcards Fun for Kids!

It will save you a lot of extra stress and frustration – guaranteed!

Afraid you’ll forget all the games and rules?

Be sure to pin this article to your favorite Pinterest board and share it with your friends and family!  

Read Next:

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