6 Great Memory Games for Kids Develop a Child’s Brain Power
Information recall is the fundamental part of the learning process for toddlers and preschoolers.
Unsurprisingly though, babies aren’t really good at it.
That’s because the world is their oyster – with so many new things to see, hear, and process, who has the time to think about the past?
That’s also the reason why babies enjoy the Peekaboo game so much – as far as they are concerned, they are seeing you do it for the first time ever!
However, once your child turns two, it’s important to start working on building up their memory muscles.
Pretty soon, they will be off to daycare and preschool, where they will be learning new things every day.
If they can’t recall past lessons, they might constantly play catch-up with their peers, and you don’t want them lagging behind.
Luckily, there are easy (and fun) memory games for kids that the whole family can participate in.
These activities will strengthen your child’s memory, better preparing them for those intense preschool lessons.
Before we discuss those memory boosters for kids, let’s take a look at what experts have to say about early childhood memory development.
Experts Weigh In On Early Childhood Memory Development
Often, parents will ask the question. ‘How can I improve my child’s ability to memorize things?’, or, ‘When should I start worrying that my kid doesn’t retain information as they should?’
According to experts, there’s no need to panic if your 2-year-old has problems retaining information, especially if we’re talking about advanced things, such as numbers or letters.
Every child learns at their own pace, and it’s not unusual if they are interested more in the world around them than in the world as it was five days ago.
According to Judith Hudson, a psychologist from Rutgers University, some 2.5 year-old toddlers can indeed recall things that happened five months earlier.
She also notes, however, that memory is linked to attention, thought, and language, which is why some children struggle with it, at least until they have mastered those three things to a degree.
That’s also the reason why, as adults, we don’t retain much from before the age of three, a phenomenon that’s called infantile, or childhood, amnesia.
So, in a nutshell, the fact that your child can’t recall that they’ve visited grandma last week is not a cause for alarm, especially if they are still struggling with talking.
It’s just a reminder for you that you need to start working with them. Here are 6 easy-to-do activities designed to boost the memory skills in toddlers.
6 Memory Games for Kids for Better Concentration
Don’t worry if you can’t remember specific memory games for that you played as a child.
As we mentioned, there’s a reason why you didn’t retain that information.
That’s why we created this list of memory games for kids. Read through it to get some ideas.
Although we always try to deliver quality, fact-checked content (and link to relevant studies), we’d like to point out that we’re not experts on childhood memory development.
If you’re worried that your child might have issues with retaining and remembering information, we strongly advise you to consult with a specialist.
Make Learning Visual
While it’s true that your child might not grow up to be a visual learner, the tender age of two is not when this will become apparent.
In fact, 65% of people do learn better when they visualize information, and only 30% learn better through reading and repetition, which is not a real option in this case.
To help your child improve their memory skills, connect what they learn to images.
For example, when talking about their friend’s house, show them a picture of the house and of the friend in question.
If you are teaching them the letter B, have a baby doll ready and point out that baby starts with a B. The Zoolingo educational app makes use of images in a variety of ways.
For example, in the alphabet game, every letter is connected to something that your child will understand – A is for apple, B is for baby, C is for candy, and so on.
Using visuals during memory-boosting activities engages different parts of the brain, making information retention (and remembering) that much easier.
Organization Is Good for Memory
Of course, more so later in life, when we’re studying things like languages and math, but they’re important for toddlers as well.
Teach your kid the value of the old proverb ‘a place for everything, and everything in its place’ by having designated areas for their snacks, toys, and clothes.
Reinforce that by making them put things back where they belong. Soon, they will be able to find what they are looking for by remembering the organizational patterns.
Not only will this strengthen their recall ability, it will also teach them to pick up after themselves. That way, maybe you won’t have to do it every day!
Break Big Things Into Little Chunks
Even when we grow up, we like to ingest information in smaller quantities because that’s a prerequisite for good mental organization.
Information that’s organized is easier to remember. One of the most powerful memory games for kids especially toddlers is learning something by heart.
Have them memorize bits of their favorite bedtime story every day – a sentence or two will be more than enough if they are not delighted with the idea.
Work with them on the same part the following day and then add the next line.
Pretty soon, they will be reciting Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood to the neighbourhood children!
Play Memory Games
There’s a whole plethora of different games designed to help kids develop their memory.
Some of them are The Coin Game, Memory Train, The Mismatch Game – the list goes on and on.
The most popular, of course, is the Memory Cards game.
Challenge your child to pair together different animals or objects (as seen on the image above), and let the fun begin!
If you don’t have access to physical cards, Zoolingo’s game ‘Complete the Pairs’ is the perfect substitute.
It features animals and vivid imagery that will help your child retain what they’ve seen.
Also, it’s a good idea to tell them short stories about the animals pictured in the game to help reinforce their memory.
Listen to Music
There’s a whole body of research out there that points to music as a tool for enhancing retention and memory.
Kids listening to music while learning new things are often able to recall more of the subject material later on.
Some studies suggest that this is because of the positive emotions that the music evokes.
Nursery rhymes are a great way to introduce music into your toddler’s life, while also helping to buff up their memory muscles.
Zoolingo has 10 English language nursery rhymes available at the press of a button, from Itsy Bitsy Spider to 10 Little Monkeys.
Piece Together Details of Past Events
Because your little one is busy learning so much new information each and every day, it may be hard for them to recall the exact details of what happened earlier that week.
As a practice, ask them to recall specific memories from the past to see how much information they’ve retained.
If they’ve spent the day away from you, ask them to recap – what did they do, where, and with whom.
Also, ask them about the details of a fun activity that you did together in the past.
There will definitely be some blanks there, but that’s OK – help them fill those blanks so their brain can learn how to retain missing information and store it for the future.
Practice Makes Perfect – Start With Memory Activities for Kids Today
As you can see, boosting your child’s memory and helping them learn how to learn is not that difficult.
It’s mostly play, which is great because they won’t even realize that they are doing some serious grunt work when trying out these memory games for kids.
Talk to them, ask them to tell you about their day, and invent new games – every little bit helps. Of course, you can’t be there every second of every day, but that’s where Zoolingo comes in.
You can try our educational app for children completely free (trial period) to see how well it works. Pretty soon, you will be amazed at how much your child is learning and remembering.
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