Flash Cards: Fact or Myth?

When a parent talks about stimulating the brain of her young child, the topic of using flash cards will invariably come into the discussion. Often, you hear about parents from the “stimulate” camp devoting their time flashing picture or word cards in a quest to stimulate their child’s memory. At the same time, you also hear parents from the opposite camp who do not believe in the use of flash cards, or indeed the need to do anything out of the ordinary to stimulate their baby’s or preschooler’s brain.

Do we really need to stimulate our baby’s brain? Do flash cards truly work? What can we, as parents, do to help boost our babies’ brain development?  In order to answer these very important questions, it is critical that we examine what scientific research says.

Research has revealed that the first five years of life is critical in shaping our brains for the lifetime. There is also substantial research demonstrating the significant impact of an enriched environment in young developing brains. The question is no longer “should we or should we not stimulate” but rather HOW can we, as parents, maximize this great opportunity to add to our children’s lives.

About a decade ago, child development experts, Drs. Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff and Eyer, in their book  “Einstein Never used Flash Cards – How our children really learn and why they need to play more and memorize less” have already pointed out the importance of focusing on the “how” rather than the “what” of learning in the preschool years. Parents should focus on child exploration and play, which helps build critical mental foundations, and not emphasize on the memorization of words, alphabets and numbers.

Ten years on, scientific research has thrown further light on the best types of guided “play” to enhance brain development. Choosing toys that allow open-ended play (eg. blocks) not only improves fine motor skills but also creativity; Engaging in pretend-play builds inhibitory control in the brain, critical for success in life; Providing a language-rich environment accelerates language development and IQ, as well as future literacy skills. Selecting programmes with such research-based curriculums is clearly more impactful on our children’s brains.

At a time when the toy and early childhood “enrichment” industry has become a billion-dollar market, it is important that parents learn to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. This is crucial as our parenting decisions are impacting the brains and capabilities of our future generations.

Scientific Parenting for a SMARTER Brain Seminar:
Flash Cards: Fact or Myth?

Date: 17th October 2014, Friday

Time: 7:00pm – 9::30pm (Registration & light dinner from 7-7:30pm)

Venue: 193-197 Thomson Road, Goldhill Centre, Singapore 307633

Cost: $10 per person

Attend this seminar to learn about:

  • How our babies’ brains develop
  • The truth about flash cards; Latest scientific insights into stimulating a young brain 
  • 8 brain boosting parenting strategies for babies, toddlers & preschoolers

Register online or tel: 67373511


*First 20 to register enjoy a complimentary brain toy of the month!

*All participants enjoy 10% off BrainFit’s CognitiveMAP brain fitness profiling.

Limited seats available, so sign up today!


Currently with 16 centres in 6 countries, BrainFit Studio has been using neuroscientific brain fitness programmes to raise IQ, EQ, build faster and more attentive brains in more than 5000 learners since 2001.

Related Articles