I introduced flash cards to Phoe about a year ago and it has been a huge failure. She hates them. She starts yelling "no,no,no" and pushes them away. Which is interesting since this kid LOVES learning. She just doesn't want to learn through the use of flash cards.
One of her favourite time to practise letters and numbers is bath time. We have foamy toys which are numbers and letters that stick to the side of the tub. She loves them, and loves identifying what each one is. I finally came up with the idea that I should look for foamy sight words - which I didn't find commercially, but found a variation on Pinterest that I could make myself. So off to the dollar store I went to find foamy cut outs and made my own sight words. It's been a huge hit! We've only been using them a few days, but already there are over 30 words that Phoenix knows by sight! I know she knows them because when I hold the word up for her she says it out loud. This is great not only for her pre-reading knowledge, but also for her continued progress in speech.
However, your child doesn't have to be speaking to teach them words. The other way to test their knowledge is to introduce a few words and then place 3-4 in from of the child and ask them to pick the word you are looking for. Easy peasy.
Last night, here are the words she could correctly identify the first time:
I'm excited for Phoenix who is embarking upon a lifelong journey of the love of words. But I am more excited for ME because I was able to work around her resistance to find an activity that would help her learn a really fundamental body of knowledge.