Working memory is a skill that helps children follow multi-step directions, solve math word problems, and, perhaps most importantly, comprehend what they read. Working-memory limitations often underlie academic and attentional difficulty in school. Kids with working-memory struggles may appear to be troubled by distractibility or disinterest but may in fact simply be unable to retain information effectively. It is extremely important for parents and educators to be able to identify when working-memory skills are interfering with a child’s learning, so that a cognitive weakness is not mistaken for a lack of effort.
Unfortunately, when a child struggles with working-memory skills, she is likely to avoid activities that show the most promise to improve these skills. For example, she may choose not to read books where the complexity level of the story challenges working memory. She may avoid doing projects that require multiple steps that she’ll need to remember. Getting a child to practice working-memory skills can be tricky. Fortunately, however, through practice they can begin to improve their working-memory skills.[cjphs_content_placeholder id=”73534″ random=”no” ]
One of the best ways to encourage children to practice working-memory skills is through video games that require holding information in mind in order to be successful. Many video games that require players to execute complex moves or to recall the environments of previous levels challenge working-memory skills.
Here are some of our favorite games for practicing and improving working- memory skills:
Super Win the Game is a adventure puzzle/platformer that draws influences from early Nintendo sidescrollers like Metroid, Zelda II, and the Super Mario Bros. series. Super Win’s familiar yet challenging feel makes it both enjoyable and engaging, making it a great game for practicing the working memory thinking skill.
Rayman Origins is a fast paced platformer where players traverse various side-scrolling levels that task them with leaping platforms, fighting off enemies and collecting valuable creatures called Electoons, which serve as points earned at the end of each level.