Flashcard Stepping Stones

A simple game you can play with a set of flashcards.


Here's a quick and easy game you can use to make flashcard revision more interesting. I made up this game when I while helping my son master some subtraction facts.

You'll need :

  • A set of flashcards you want the child to learn. (You can get some times tables flashcards here for example).
  • A playing piece. Anything small will do, for example, a coin, or a bottle cap, or anything similar in size.
  • A "prize" of some sort for when your child wins. I usually use a toy, and pretend it's an enemy robot. Then my son gets to "destroy" it at the end - by bumping it off the table!

Lay the flashcards down in a trail, with the answers hidden. Put the playing piece at the start of the trail, nd the prize at the end. Then you are ready to play!

Basically, your child then moves his or her piece to the first flashcard "stepping stone", and tries to answer the question it shows. If they get it right, they move forward. If wrong, then backwards. How far forward or back? That depends on how familiar your child is with the material.

  • If the child is very unsure, let them move forward 3 or 4 stepping stones for each right answer, and only move back 1 for each wrong answer.
  • As your child improves, you can change this to 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, or 2 forward and 3 back.
  • When you child is close to being an expert, make it tough, say, 1 step forward and 3 steps back.

It's nice to have some kind of "story" going on in the game - for my son, it was an enemy robot who became more and more frightened as my son's playing piece grew nearer. Choose something that will appeal to your child. Are they

  • Rescuing a princess in a tower?
  • Making their way to a playground?
  • Hunting a dinosaur?
Make the goal come alive, by giving it a voice. Be theatrical! Do this in a way that encourages them to press on until the end.

In case the above is not so clear, I took out my camera one time when my son and I played. You can see the video below. It's a bit long (just shy of 10 minutes), but you probably don't have to see the whole thing to get the idea.