September 13, 2011

BANG! ( A fun flashcard game )

 As your children go off to school, you'll often find that there are certain skills that they'll need to master with accuracy and speed.  Whether it's letter sounds, sight words or math facts, if they are able to recognize the correct answer quickly, it's much easier to move on to the next challenge.  For some children, they seem to pick up the skills almost intuitively on their own.  For others, some extra practice will really help them be successful.  In many cases, simple flashcards will do the trick.

When I was a teacher, I often played this game "BANG!" with my students and they LOVED it.  Now, I'm using it with my youngest daughter as she starts kindergarten.  It's super simple to make and lots of fun to play.  You can play with two players or twenty, students, older siblings and adults.

Here's what you'll needan empty container, some blank index cards, and some markers. 

I used a coffee can and some 3x5 index cards.

If you'd like, you can decorate your can with scrapbook paper, stickers, etc.  (I just mod-podged on a "BANG!" label I made up and some scrapbook paper.)

Next, make up your flashcards.  You can do letters, words, multiplication facts, anything that needs practicing.  

I wanted to practice sight words with my daughter, so I just cut my index cards in half and wrote words from the Dolch Word list.  ( If you're not familiar with the Dolch List, it's a list of 220 of the most commonly used words.  Because they occur so frequently and they're often difficult to "sound out", it's very beneficial to be able to recognize them on sight)

You'll also want to make up a few cards with the word "BANG!" on them. 

( NOTE:  You can also find printable flashcards for the Dolch words on the links I included above and print them onto card stock.  However, I found it's just as easy to write the words out by hand since I had to make the BANG! cards anyway. )

Next, just put your cards in your container and you're ready to play.  


1.  Players take turns reaching into the container and pulling out a flashcard.  If they can read the word aloud correctly, they get to keep the card.  If the player is incorrect, the card goes back into the container.

2.  Continue taking turns, reading and collecting correctly answered cards.

3.  If you pull out a BANG! card, you must put your whole pile of cards back into the container!  

(It's a great way to keep the game exciting and level the playing field.  Even if Mom or an older sibling could correctly read all the words, all they have to do is pull out a bang card and they're back down to zero.)

4.  At the end of a specified length of time, whoever has the most cards is the winner!

** A few tips **

* I like to start with a small group of flashcards that the child knows fairly well, and just one or two BANG! cards, then gradually add more flashcards and more BANG! cards.  The length of time you play and ratio of BANG! cards to flashcards is up to you.

* Sometimes if it's just my daughter and me playing, I'll purposely pull out a card, hold it up and read it incorrectly.  She loves catching me making a mistake and it helps her to really pay attention even when it's not her turn.

* To practice phonics skills on words that can be "sounded out", check out these Word Family Spinners made from paper plates.


Sharing our fun game at:
Junkie handmade projects


  1. I LOVE THIS! I can't wait to try this with my kids! :)

  2. This is why I follow your blog. Another amazing post. I have a Kindergartener too and this would be a perfect game for us.

  3. Love this idea! Can't wait to use it with my 4 year old for sight words....Thanks for the Dolch Word List too...all new to me!

    Here's your link at Craft Gossip!

  4. What a wonderful idea! Do you think it would work for smaller kids with picture recognition?

    I guess you could have a few different sets of cards to throw in too.

  5. Love it! Thanks for linking up to Things I've Done Thursday!


  6. This is an awesome flash card game. I'm going to use it with my music notes.:) I'm a new follower from Delicate Construction.:)

  7. Cute Game! Sight words are a struggle at my house. Thanks for sharing.

  8. What a great idea, love it! Stop over for a visit sometime....

  9. Another great idea... and we already have the flashcards. I think we'll play this today!

  10. This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing it. I'm going to forward it to my mom for her to play with my nephew.

  11. I just LOVE this Laura! I cannot wait to see what you will link up this week! You are full of awesome ideas!


  12. LOVE the game - we made a similar one last week using apples & an apple tree. It's so fun to get kids learning with games.

    This has been featured on this week's Sunday Showcase! Stop by and grab your well deserved I've been featured button! Hope to see you sharing on this week's Showcase!


  13. I love this..You are full of awesome ideas!
    I can't wait to try this with my kids!

  14. Such a great idea--and so timely at our house! My youngest is practicing sigh words, and my oldest is learning multiplication facts. I was thinking I would make them each a can, and let them play against each other, while drawing from their own cans so they can play together but practice what they need to work on. This is so great!

    *I found you by the way of Craftgossip.

  15. Thanks for sharing this! I'm going to pin it so I'll remember to make it. Lol

  16. Stumbled on this after seeing your bubble refill station on Pinterest. Just made flash cards today to help my son with his sight words, and was trying to think of a way to make a game out of it. I LOVE this! Thank you!! :)

  17. Fantastic! I was thinking that in addition to using it with my kids at home, I could use it in my preschool classroom centers with shapes and colors instead of sight words. Great blog, you have a new follower!

  18. I can't wait to do this with my son. I think this will make going over sight words much more fun then just flipping through a stack of cards.

  19. i liked this so much npot

  20. i liked this good job on the stuff:)

  21. Thanks for sharing, love this idea!

  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. Well, it’s a nice one, I have been looking for. Thanks for sharing such informative

  24. Great game! I just made it for my kiddo's, but did it with ABCs!

  25. Excellent idea!
    Will implement the same idea but using Spanish words instead!
    Thanks for sharing!

  26. This blog is further than my expectations. Nice work guys!!!
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