7 Keys to Develop Children's Memory Skills

It's very important to help children develop their memory skills from an early age. If you do it, they'll store information more easily in the future.
7 Keys to Develop Children's Memory Skills

Last update: 16 July, 2021

There’s no learning without memory. This is because memory is in charge of storing and recovering all the knowledge we acquire and use later. This is why it’s so important to develop children’s memory skills. And, you should help them do it from an early age.

In order to help children develop their memory skills, we can take into account their motivation and interest regarding the things they have to remember. Memory is much more important than what we actually think. In fact, there are some things we remember unintentionally (automatic memory) and other fewer things we remember voluntarily. 

“Memory is the treasure and guardian of all things”

-Marcus Tullius Cicero- 

Children’s memory skills: types of memory

During an infant’s first months of life, their memory is the way they remember certain situations they’ve experienced in the past.

Developing children's memory skills.

When children are under six years old, their memory is autobiographical. In other words, children remember previous experiences, but they’re not able to retain memories voluntarily. Once they’re six years old, their memory evolves, and they start storing information willingly. 

Following this idea, there are different types of memory, and they’re classified according to different aspects:

According to the type of information

  • Semantic memory: in charge of storing information regarding their general knowledge about the world.
  • Episodic memory: helps us store different events, moments, places and emotions from the past.
  • Procedural memory: refers to the abilities or skills we acquire unconsciously and activate automatically when we put them into practice through our motor or cognitive strategies (roller skating, riding a bike, driving, etc.)
  • Verbal memory: information enters through our ear canal and we remember words or other verbal elements, after a short period of time.
  • Visual/nonverbal memory: we receive a stimulus from an image, and we must be able to remember that image.

According to the way we’re going to remember the information we receive

  • Working memory: relates to the ability we have to remember details we’ll need to carry out a certain activity.
  • Long term memory: occurs when we store information we’ll need in a longer period of time.

Ideas to develop children’s memory skills

Next, we’ll talk about certain ideas to develop children’s memory skills and attention. Remember that attention is going to be essential to foster memory skills development. Besides, whenever children learn something, they need to be happy and motivated. This way, you’ll get better results.

Tell them a story and then ask them questions about it

Reading stories is one of the best resources to help children develop their memory skills. So, you must tell them a story and, then, ask them simple questions about it. This way, you’ll know what information they were able to retain.

Use technology in a punctual and occasional way

You can find some memory games apps related to visual or auditory memory skills. This way, you’ll foster the development of these two types of skills. However, you shouldn’t allow excessive screen time.

Build puzzles to develop children’s memory skills

Trying to build puzzles after seeing the real images is an amazing activity to work on memory and attention. Besides, you’ll be also working on eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.

Use music

You can use music to make them guess which of their favorite songs are playing. In addition, when children become older, you can ask them to identify words they usually hear from us.

Ask them for longer requests

You can start asking them simple things, and then, you start adding more details to your requests. For example, “Grab your pajama!” Then, “Grab your pajama from the drawer!” And then, “Grab your blue pajama from the last drawer of the dresser!”

By doing this, we’ll be adding more words they’ll have to remember in order to answer our requests. As a result, they’ll be training their memory skills.

Put memory games into practice

Memory games.

There are different types of memory games in the market. Basically, they consist of cards you must put on the table face down. Then, you must pick them and try to find their match. The difficult thing about this game is to remember where the matches are. Another game you can play is “Simon”, which is about remembering color sequences and repeating them.

Try to improve their autobiographical memory

In order to do this, you can ask them questions about the past, like their birthdays, vacations, their days, etc. Besides being a memory game, you’ll get the chance to know what your children think or how they feel about certain things.

About children’s memory skills…

As we’ve seen before, it’s not that complicated to help children develop their memory skills. If we do it from an early age, their abilities will be much more developed in the future. In addition, by putting our advice into practice, you’ll get the chance to spend more quality time with your children, and learn about their thoughts and emotions.

So, don’t doubt about playing these games with them. You’ll help them improve their memory skills, and you’ll have a lot of fun together.

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  • Halfon, E. (2011). La memoria infantil.
  • Fernández-Abella, R., Peralbo-Uzquiano, M., Durán-Bouza, M., Brenlla-Blanco, J. C., & García-Fernández, M. (2019). Programa de intervención virtual para mejorar la memoria de trabajo y las habilidades matemáticas básicas en Educación Infantil. Revista de Psicodidáctica, 24(1), 17-23.
  • Marina, J. A. (2011). Memoria y aprendizaje. Pediatría integral, 15(10), 978-80.