Lately I have been making up games with the Little Pim French Word & Phrase cards to help my son Emmett learn new French vocabulary words. When we leave the house, I grab about 10 cards from the 60 in the Little Pim deck and carry them with us in the sturdy Little Pim box or a plastic bag. They tuck nicely into my purse for a low tech game! Then on the subway or while waiting for food in a restaurant we'll play what we call "The French Game”. I offer him an M&M if he can get ten right which makes it more of a game and less of a "let's learn vocabulary" exercise.
First, I run him quickly through the ten flashcards telling him how to say each word in French and asking him to repeat ("le fromage" ..."le toboggan"). He does not need to say the English, just the French. Then I start over and it's his turn to remember! He gets so excited when he can say the new words and we have a great time. He loves my silly hints: for "noir" which he has trouble remembering, I tell him to think of his favorite fruit, "poire" - pear - and then he gets it!
I like making up the "sounds like" part (“sounds like revenge meets today... ‘reveille!’") and he has started making up his own mnemonics as well. There’s always quite a bit of giggling! What’s also wonderful is that a few days later I'll say "how do you say "cheese?" and he pipes right up, "fromage!" with the biggest grin on his face.
P.S. We have phonetic spelling on the back of each card, so you don't have to speak French (or Spanish, the other language in which we offer flash cards) to play the game I played with Emmett!
How do you use language flashcards with your kids?