Wouldn’t it be great if a fun card game or a healthy activity like yoga could help your child do better at school?
They can. These are just two ways to improve memory skills, from visual spatial to verbal working memory. There is proof that used on a regular basis, these and other everyday activities can moderately improve memory skills, boosting your child’s confidence and helping them succeed at school and in life.
A substantial amount of research demonstrates the effectiveness of these types of activities for improving memory, and the best activities challenge kids to recall something they has done or engage them in vigorous physical exercise or focusing strategies. This edition of the LearningWorks for Kids Beyond Games series is about ways to improve memory skills for kids.
Give them a model. Revealing your memory difficulties and modeling your methods for remembering things can put them at ease and get them on board with memory exercises. Many adults know exactly what it’s like to forget why they went into the kitchen or forget something important when they leave the house, and it’s important for kids to know they aren’t alone and see the ways others deal with working memory issues. Exaggerate and dramatize your memory problems and the strategies you use to compensate for your working memory difficulties. Use sticky notes, ask someone else to give a reminder, or do something immediately when it comes to mind. Help them get started with an app like First Then Visual Schedule.
Give them things to remember. It’s important for your child to realize that they are capable of and responsible for doing age-appropriate tasks that involve a series of steps. This might include a chore like filling and emptying the dishwasher. They will need to be aware of what is involved in doing a task and the steps required for task completion. Determining these boundaries makes it easier for them to do a task and understand when the task has been satisfactorily completed. An app like ChoreMonster can gamify this process, making working memory practice fun.
Give them time. Many youngsters with working memory difficulties need more time to process and rehearse information. Their ability to recognize information is often better than their ability to independently recall it. Because working memory capacity is determined not only by how much information an individual can hold in memory but also for how long, slower presentation of information can be very helpful. Presenting material at a slower pace, using cues, and repeating material can lead to better retrieval of information.
Featured image: Flickr user Amanda Hirsch