Brit Society

Carter’s Yard Talking Phonics Flashcards

Gifted| Toddlers these days are pretty IT literate. My friend’s three year old is probably better at using a phone than I am. However, there are concerns that an excess of screen time in children under two can directly affect speech development. A US study in 2017 hypothesised that the more children used handheld devices, the more likely they are to experience delays in speech. Unfortunately, I think we all understand the horror of trying to pry a phone from the grip of a toddler.

Enter Carter’s Yard Talking Phonics Flashcards, fusing technology, education and fun. A great concept for children to develop speech and learn to read at the same time.

Each pack includes 32 double sided cards, ranked by difficulty: red, orange and green. Carter’s Yard recommends parents, teachers and tutors work their way through the cards in order to ensure children cover key single letter phonics, like ‘c’ or ‘a’ or ‘t’ before moving on to blended sounds, like ‘oo’, and full phrases like ‘I flew to New York’. Where’s the technology? I sense you thinking. Well, Carter’s Yard has teamed up with ZAPPAR, an app available on AppStore and Google play, to enable children and parents to use a phone or tablet to read the sounds aloud.

Although the flashcards are aimed at three to six year olds who are learning to read, I do think these would be incredibly useful for those who find learning challenging. Instantly I thought of EAL (English as an Additional Language) learners of any age, primarily since the technology focuses on phonics rather than whole words – like popular language learning apps. After all, we do have sounds in English that simply don’t exist in other countries. The flashcards would also be incredibly useful for children with special educational needs, or those who are disengaged and reluctant learners. The cards combine phonics with the thing they love most – their mum’s phone.

Close up of two Carter's Yard augmented reality talking phonics flashcards

Carter’s Yard, created by a qualified primary school teacher, have tapped into an unavoidable aspect of parenting here: the necessity to teach your child to read. Parents, especially young parents, can feel anxiety and a lack of confidence in actively teaching their children; the Talking Phonics Flashcards are brilliant tools to use as additional support. After all, you have no training to be a parent!

Moreover, due to their compact size, the flashcards are also fantastic for use while travelling. Imagine interspersing the use of the cards with colouring in and Peppa Pig on a flight to Majorca. Your tot wouldn’t even realise they were learning!

In my opinion, Carter’s Yard Talking Phonics Flashcards are a useful tool for teaching children to read and articulate words correctly. Not only that, they channel screen time into something productive. Plus, you can’t argue with the collection of positive testimonials from parents and headteachers alike on their website. I’ll be keeping my pack safe for when I need it!

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