Use these games
to support Memory
In the previous blog post, we talked about one of the cognitive abilities that, along with attention, form the foundation of children’s development and language.
I mentioned that there are different types of memory, and we have seen the importance of short-term memory and working memory in learning.
And, because these two types of memory are fundamental in learning in general, they are also fundamental in learning and language development. In fact, if there are problems with memory, there may be problems with language as well.
But how can I support memory?
Here are three activities that can both exercise and improve memory!
(Note: These activities are for children aged 2.6 and up)
Memory Matching Game
The Memory Pair Game is without a doubt the most well-known game for memory.
It is such a simple, customizable, and adaptable game that it is widely used by speech and language therapists all over the world.
The game consists of a series of cards, each with a duplicate. The cards are placed face down and children must turn over two cards at a time. If the two cards are identical, the child who turned them over earns a point; otherwise, the cards must be repositioned where they were.
Thousands of versions of the Memory Pair Game can be found in toy stores and on the internet, but it is also possible to make it at home: simply print a series of images twice, cut and stick them to cardboard squares, and you have a personalised and super fun Memory Pair Game!
The Memory Pair Game promotes many fundamental aspects of language, the most important of which are short-term visual-spatial memory and attention.
To be able to score a point, the child must be able to pay attention to the cards being turned and remember where they are in order to find two that are alike.
Word chains are extremely adaptable games that can be used anywhere based on your child’s interests and memory level (even on a long car ride).
To avoid losing in these games, the child will have to memorise longer and longer lists of words!
The “Shopping List” is an example: the players form a circle, the first player says “I went to the supermarket and I bought… an apple!”, the second player must repeat what the first player bought and insert an element, for example “I went to the supermarket and I bought an apple and… a strawberry!”, the third player must repeat what the first two said and insert a new element, until one of the players makes a mistake.
Why do I say that this game is highly adaptable? Because it is possible to create lists covering a wide range of topics, for example:
- Animals: “I went to the Zoo and saw …”, or “I went to the farm and saw …”
- Planets: “The astronaut in space saw …”
- Body parts: “I took a shower and I washed my …”
- Colours: “I made a drawing and I used …”
The word chain game supports your child’s short-term auditory memory, attention and even vocabulary (because they must always look for new words).
Kim’s game is a game that is commonly used by scouts, but not only, and it is very useful for exercising visuo-spatial short-term memory.
In this game, the parent places various objects (the number of which depends on the child’s age) on a tray and allows the children to carefully observe the objects in order to remember them.
When the timer goes off, the parent asks the children to close their eyes and takes one of the items from the tray.
When the children reopen their eyes, they must guess which of the items on the tray is missing.
You can make it easier by reducing the number of objects to remember and not moving anything when you remove the mysterious object (leaving a hole in its place).
It is possible to make it more difficult (for older children) by increasing the number of objects, removing more than one mysterious object, or swapping all the objects in place when removing the object from the tray.
Benefits: Kim’s game is excellent for stimulating visuo-spatial memory, visuo-spacial ability, and attention.
These are games that can support your children (but truthfully they can also be used by adults) with their visual and auditory memory.
Let me know if you already knew them or if you will try them with your child!
For more games and activities to support attention, memory and language, join my parent training!