Online Printable Picture Cards: A Must in Every Parent’s Toolkit

If you have young children first learning to speak, or perhaps children with learning difficulties, or maybe you just want to prepare for when your infant comes to that point, you might be asking about a good way to get your child ready to start learning basic vocabulary and sentences. The answer is printable picture cards that you can download online for free.

PDF files of online, free printable picture cards are attached in every page down below, follow the links to your desired topic, on the PDF page you can find the download and print buttons on the top right corner.


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Language is a complex, yet essential part of life and growing up. Around two years old is when children begin to speak a little clearer in ways that their parents can somewhat understand, but did you know that their language comprehension starts far earlier than that? It’s said that as early as nine months, infants can understand some basic phrases like “hello” and “bye-bye”. Toddlers have the capacity to communicate, even if they can’t physically speak. In fact, some parents have started implementing very basic sign language with their kids to understand them better and help improve their language skills.


How Picture Cards Help Children Learn

Child learning with picture cards

Children are nothing if not visual learners. Many toddlers below speaking age know what they want, but don’t know how to communicate it. Not to mention, learning from audio alone isn’t really efficient. They might not know the words, but they know what it looks like, and so online printable picture cards greatly help with word association. This is especially true for children who might be on the autism spectrum or have learning disabilities, as regular forms of language comprehension teaching may not work as well for them. This is rather well known by professionals who work with children, like teachers or speech therapists, as they regularly employ visual aids to learning how to read and speak.

Instead of having a child dig in their brain to remember the word for what they want, they can simply go through their pictures, find the picture they want (along with the corresponding word above) and are able to show their parents what they want. It’s also fantastic for testing out a child’s knowledge early on, and as your child develops, you two can move onto things such as constructing phrases.

One of the benefits of visual learning is that it provides opportunities for things such as educational games. Let’s face it: children get bored, and their attention spans are less than minimal. By having pictures, it allows them an extra stimulus to help remember the words. Questions like “can you show me the panda?” or “can you tell me what this picture is?” are fantastic ways to keep your child engaged without having to go through a ton of effort just to keep their attention.

I can’t say this enough, by the way: praise is an absolute must. Let your child know that you’re proud of them for staying focused and learning. Rewards aren’t necessary, but the child should associate learning vocabulary with good feelings if they’re to continue to be engaged.

If you’re looking for some ways to get started on making cards, I’m here to give you some tips and tricks on how to give your child the best learning experience.


Use Them in Regular Communication

communicate with picture cards

Make sure you print out cards for a variety of things, not just objects. Emotions are good to have, as well as foods. This way, the child can communicate their basic needs without having to struggle to use words.

Children should also have a level of independence. Once you’re sure your child is familiar enough with the cards, ask them basic questions such as “what do you want?” If they can’t respond on their own, help them figure it out with the cards instead of choosing for them.


Play Games

playing games with picture cards

I already stated that children get bored easily, and it can be true with learning vocabulary. That’s why you need to shake it up a bit every now and then by turning it into a fun game. Learning shouldn’t have to be a chore for your child, especially when they’re at such a young age. It could turn them off from learning vocabulary altogether.

It doesn’t have to be super complex; grouping the cards into categories could be a fun one for them, but ultimately, you know your child best and what’s fun for them. Not only is it a good learning opportunity for your child, but also a nice bonding experience.

Also, this should go without saying: your child should always win the game.


Progress to More Complex Expressions

A child using free picture cards

As your child continues to learn vocabulary and understand what is being put in front of them, you two should move on to more complex phrases.

A good example would be “the hungry horse eats an apple”. Your kid would have to choose the cards for hungry, horse, eats, and apple, and arrange them in the right order. Once they’ve gotten the hang of it, you can progress to vocabulary such as “I am” or “I want.”


Quiz Your Child Often

Quiz your child

I touched up on this earlier, but it truly is important that you make sure your kid is absorbing the information they’re given. Sit your child down with some printable picture cards and ask them questions. “Can you show me the cup?” “Which one of these is the lion?” “Point to the chicken!”

These allow the child to refresh themselves on vocabulary they don’t use very often.


Treat the Cards Well

These are going to have to last a few years, maybe even more if you’re going to have more children. I suggest laminating them to protect them from grime, since we both know that children are naturally pretty dirty.

If you find you have too many cards, I also suggest that you organize them by punching a hole onto each one and placing them on a ring. That way, they’re all in one place, can’t be scattered around by your child, and your kiddo can have fun flipping through them. When you’re ready to play a game or test your kid’s knowledge, just unhook them and lay them out for you and the growing boy/girl to review.

You can download the 2inch picture cards for free by following the links on this page.