Teach Your Baby to Read Word & Picture Cards (Doman-Inspired)


This resource has been a long time in the making, and I’m so thrilled that it’s finally finished!

Inspired by Glenn Doman’s How to Teach Your Baby to Readthese printable word and picture cards contain ten new words each week to introduce to your baby from the time they are ten weeks old all the way up until their first birthday. That’s a total of 420 words!

The words I chose include family names, items of clothing, body parts, foods, household items, toys, vehicles, animals, colors, shapes, nature words, emotions, actions, opposites, and more.

Here is the complete list and the schedule of when to introduce them. Note that “Week 10” = 10 weeks of age.

Surprisingly, up until now nothing like this even existed that I knew of, either paid or free.

It seemed that most baby reading materials were digital (computer programs or videos), which is a bummer for parents who want to avoid screens, as well as for parents who simply prefer the experience of having physical cards in their hands.

Click here to download and view printable word and picture cards.

Questions:

Q: Why are your words smaller than Doman recommends?

A: In the book, Doman recommends word cards that are a whopping twenty-two inches long! That’s insane! I’ve found that such a recommendation is completely unnecessary: babies do need big font, but not that big.

Word cards that size require you to buy expensive poster board, cut it out by hand, write out the words by hand, are too big to laminate, and are awkward to use and difficult to store. I still can’t figure out the reasoning behind that recommendation! So I opt for a size that is perfectly visible to even small babies but also cheap, convenient, and user friendly.

Q: Why did you use black ink instead of red?

A: Red is a nice little “perk” for getting babies interested, but black works best for this smaller font size because it is easier to see.

Q: Why do you have pictures on the back of your cards?

A: Doman doesn’t say anything about using pictures in the reading program, but I find that pictures are a nice, fun addition. They make looking at the cards more interesting, and for very young babies who don’t know the meaning of the words yet, they are in some ways essential to teach the meaning behind the words.

Q: How do I print double sided?

A: Each printer is different, but in general you will print the words first, then put the page with the printed words back into the printer, but upside down, to print out the pictures on the opposite side. There are many tutorials available online for various printers.

Q: My baby is older. Can I still use them?

A: Of course! Starting at ten weeks old is for parents who are doing the Doman newborn program. But these words can be started with any age baby, as well as toddlers. They’re great for exposure to written language, sight reading, and vocabulary building!

Q: How do you show the cards?

A: There’s really no one “right” way to expose your child to written language. Some options:

  • You can flash them quickly in traditional flash card style.
  • You can show them more slowly, talking about them, running your finger under the words.
  • You can use binder rings to make them into a “book” (this is what I do).
  • You can hang them on the wall and point to them as you walk past them.
  • You can play games with them.
  • Or anything else you can think of!
Free Printable Word & Picture Cards (Doman Inspired)

I prefer to bind my cards and look through them like a book

Any other questions? I will be happy to answer in the comments!

38 Comments

  • Jenny August 1, 2015 at 12:17 am

    We have digital cards but baby doesn’t seem too interested (6months old). Do you think they get more out of the paper cards? Also how do you use them? Flash them? Let her play with them? Talk to her about them?

    Reply
  • domanmom August 1, 2015 at 12:26 am

    You can use them however you want, but we like to sit down and flip through them like we would a board book. I say the word one or two times while showing the written word and running my finger under it, then I “turn the page” and show the picture while saying the word again and talking about the picture. I have all of my sets of word cards bound by binder rings so it is like a little flip book.

    Sometimes I will also show them to her flash card style while she eats in her high chair.

    Reply
  • Olga Maslivets August 1, 2015 at 2:26 am

    thanks a million for sharing this fantastic piece of work!

    Reply
  • Rebecca Torres August 1, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    you are so generous thank you so much!!!!!

    Reply
  • Rita August 1, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I think nothing like this existed because if you include pictures, then there is something about copyright on these pictures. Without the pictures, it becomes a matter of which words you want to include and the paper size. Same goes for the encyclopedic knowledge. I’ve been making my own Doman cards and was very surprised by the lack of printable materials on the web. According to the books you literally have to bombard babies with the cards every day, so the amount of pictures is crazy and who has rights on so many pictures? That, or the community of people who do Doman and want to share is very small. BTW, my babies go to a Japanese method class once a week and there they flash about 400 cards within an hour. There is no photography allowed in the class and they don’t sell the cards, but I can see that many pictures are from the web and it makes me wonder if copyright is the issue.

    Reply
    • domanmom August 2, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Very true. It was much more difficult years ago. Now, however, I am able to get all of the photos I need from wikipedia, or make them myself. That has allowed me to create both these reading words as well as the encyclopedic knowledge cards with images in the creative commons. Back in 2008 when I first started with my oldest, though, wikipedia was not so great. And I don’t know how anyone did it before the internet!

      Reply
  • Caroline August 2, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    This is wonderful, thank you!

    Reply
  • Laurie August 2, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you for the taking the time to help others! I can see you like to use a printer for the picture cards. Is there a printer you recommend?

    Reply
  • Ciara August 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing!!!! My daughter really enjoys your materials, especially the counting videos. I do have a guess. Do you shuffle your cards each time before showing them?

    Thanks again, I know what you do takes a lot of time, we do appreciate it.

    Reply
    • tohunter August 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      No, I don’t shuffle them. I’m sure that’s a nice little “perk” to do that (as Doman recommends) but I try to make it as easy as possible. Doing all the things that Doman recommends, such as shuffling the cards between each session, and switching out one new card with one old card every day, is just too cumbersome and complicated for me.

      Reply
  • Dominika August 7, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Hi, What size of binder rings do you use, and how many cards are you bind together in one book? Are you laminate your cards?

    Reply
    • tohunter August 7, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      I prefer to use 3/4 inch size binder rings, but 1 inch rings would work fine too. I wrote about the brand I prefer here:
      https://domanmom.com/2015/04/office-supplies/

      Also, in the beginning I just bind one set (so, five word cards) per ring. But after we “retire” those word cards, I put all similar sets on the same binder ring. So, for instance, I put all of the sets of “pet” words into the same “book” after I’ve initially taught them. It just makes them easier to review later on.

      Reply
  • Katerina August 8, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Hello! Thank you for sharing such a useful information! Your file is a huge time-saver! Our family is bi-lingual, so I try to make cards on Russian, but was totally confused by Word and finally decided to ask you. Can you please share the the editable version of the cards? Thank you very much in advance!

    Reply
    • tohunter August 10, 2015 at 11:22 am

      Hi Katerina! I have actually been considering making this resource into other languages. My first project was going to be a UK version (just a few of the words would be different) and then I was thinking about doing a Spanish version. I would love to do a Russian version as well.

      I would rather edit the document myself, though, and then I would share it on this blog when I am done. That is just because I have spent dozens, if not hundreds of hours of working on this project and I would rather that the document stay on my blog, rather than having the editable version being passed around the internet for many people to use as they choose. So if you would like a Russian version, perhaps you could translate the words, send me the translated word list, and I can edit it and then publish it (for free, of course, and crediting you for the translation) for you and other Russian families to use? And if you have your own website, you could share the Russian version on your site as well, and I could even include your website on the cards. Let me know what you think.

      Reply
      • Kat April 28, 2016 at 3:43 pm

        Hi! Im so glad to find your blog! You are a great mom! I come here follow link for english language cards, but I would really glad to have russian one, since my poor baby mean to be trilingual. If Katerina didn’t help you with that, I would be glad to translate all that words on Russian and send to you , if you are still interested in doing that.

        Reply
  • Katerina August 10, 2015 at 2:02 am

    I can make a Russian version of your cards, and after translations send it to you back in case you want to publish it in your blog too. I know a lot of Russian moms who follow your posts and share it in FB. Maybe there is a Spanish speaking mom among us who is interested to do the same, or French, or German. I’m sure are lot of bi-lingual moms who will be trilled of this idea!

    Reply
  • Learningtobeagoodmother August 12, 2015 at 11:54 am

    I’d like to do the italian version of the cards

    Reply
  • Lyndsay August 18, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Thank you for all those hours you put in to make this!

    I noticed in an answer to another comment, you said you don’t add and retire cards as often as Doman suggests. I only recently stumbled upon Doman and his method, and I have to admit, I’m wondering how on earth I’d be able to fit in 15 sessions a day and keep track of all those new and old cards moving back and forth! I’m definitely not a natural at organizing.

    So I take it that you’re pretty flexible with the method, but you’ve still had success with it?

    Reply
    • domanmom August 19, 2015 at 11:05 am

      When I first started doing Doman, I tried desperately to follow everything exactly because the books made it seem so well thought out. They had every detail of how to make and do each part, so certainly after all of these years they had baby teaching down to an exact science, right?

      It took me many years of feeling like a failure before I realized that Doman’s suggestions weren’t just unrealistic, but impossible. For example, he says to separate each session by at least 15 minutes. Well, he suggests that you teach 5 sets of reading word cards 3 times a day (15 sessions), 10 sets of encyclopedic knowledge cards 3 times a day (30 sessions), and 9 sessions of math a day. That is a total of 54 card sessions per day. Separate each session by 15 minutes and it would take you 13.5 hours to teach all of your daily sessions. If you showed the first set of cards at 7:00 am and continued EVERY 15 minutes until you were done, you wouldn’t finish until 8:30 pm! That doesn’t even give time for babies to nap – if a baby took a 2 hour a day nap you wouldn’t be done with your sessions until 10:30!

      So, doing those calculations made me realize that while the Doman books seem carefully calculated after years of experience, they really aren’t. After careful analyzing, I realized that many of the detailed suggestions seem to just be random numbers that someone thought would be a good idea, but didn’t take many other things into perspective – all of the other jobs parents have to do (from child care to cooking and cleaning and errands to employment outside of the home), as well as taking into account that many parents would want to do more than one program (reading, math, encyclopedic knowledge, physical program, and so on).

      This has allowed me to take Doman for the heart of his message – that babies love to learn, that babies can learn, that learning should be joyful, that teaching should be brief and to the point – and throw out all of the cumbersome details.

      And yes, many parents have had great success teaching their babies to read from the whole word method, without having to worry about nitty gritty details such as cycling in new cards and cycling out old ones every day, taking 15 minute breaks between EVERY session, specific sizes or colors of words, and so on.

      Reply
      • Lyndsay August 19, 2015 at 2:03 pm

        Beautifully said! Thank you so much for that perspective. I would like to incorporate the math and encyclopedic knowledge methods once we establish a good reading routine, but you’re right, doing everything by the book just won’t be possible – not even with just my one little guy!

        Reply
  • Passionata76 September 8, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    I’ve just did the German translation and sent it by email. Thank you so much for sharing this file.

    Reply
    • Anwar December 1, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      I’d like the german cards as well, if possible.

      Reply
    • Romy September 4, 2017 at 10:50 pm

      Do you have the german cards? Could you send them to me (rmaite@gmail.com)

      Reply
  • Lia September 11, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Hi, I was wondering if you have a version of the document in which I could edit?

    Reply
  • Priya September 28, 2015 at 12:55 am

    Hello Domanmon,
    what is the method of showing these cards to a baby?
    Means how many cards n how many sets of the cards r u showing????

    Reply
  • Passionata October 5, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Hi DomanMom, just wondering if you have received the German translation by email?

    Reply
  • Esther October 13, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Doman mon ! Thank you for your love and sharing !
    Would you like to shareabout the frequency you start of with? Or how do you tell if your baby is ready for new words?

    Reply
  • Black and White Flashcards – Glenn Doman Visual Stimulation | Confessions of a Kiasu Mum December 3, 2015 at 4:37 am

    […] downloaded and printed some free printable words and pictures in black and white from Doman Mom’s website. This amazing mother is an advocate of Glenn Domans’ […]

    Reply
  • Elizabeth December 22, 2015 at 12:21 am

    I just finished the how to teach your baby to read book. It suggested going through 200 words in step one before coupling in step two. I noticed you had over 400 words which are great but did you include all 400 words in step one before moving onto coupling for step 2?

    Reply
  • Helen December 22, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Try this perfect application
    https://itunes.apple.com/developer/id1063221985 my son learned hot to speak using it

    Reply
  • Chrissie June 24, 2016 at 12:43 am

    Hello! I have just come across this site and would love to download (THANK YOU!) but I’m getting an error message:

    This site can’t be reached

    The webpage at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By5LX9_8_1VaQnRQbjNXRHNMLU0/view?usp=sharing might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.

    Can you please let me know if there is a new link or email me the PDF?

    Much appreciated!

    Reply
  • hoqvu November 16, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Many thanks for your sharing!

    Reply
  • Sandy February 2, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I would love to start doman flash cards for my 7 months old baby. However, there are different size of cards available on his website.Should I buy 6×22 blank cards or 3 inch already printed(in black) cards or reading kit( discription says it is for 18 mo baby…) to start? Also, should those words be in red to start?
    Thank you:)

    Reply
  • jihye Choi June 4, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Hello. I’m a korean and teacher for baby with down syndrome.
    My students is 8-12months baby whose mom loves this site.
    Could you translate korean cards? I can help you.

    Reply
  • Julia June 6, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I am a web developer and also a mother of two little children. I have created for them a simple free service which allow to make flash cards by your images: http://mydomancards.com It also contains prepared collections of cards on several languages which you can watch and download, and possibility to translate them on the other language. I hope it could help other people who read this wonderful blog and learn their children.

    Reply
  • Blake September 9, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Hello!

    Would you mind sharing what program you used to make these? Do you have a template?

    Thank you!!

    Reply

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