Teaching Children How to Use Mnemonic Devices

It's important to teach children to use mnemonic devices, which are strategies for working on memory. Learn more in today's article.
Teaching Children How to Use Mnemonic Devices
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 16 May, 2023

Mnemonic devices are fundamental for life. Therefore, it’s key that children can learn them from the time they’re young, as they’ll bring great benefits to their learning and academic life. For example, the use of mnemonic devices will help them to speed up their minds and, when they have to memorize concepts, it won’t be complicated for them. Keep reading to learn more about this topic.

What are mnemonic devices?

When we talk about mnemonic devices, we’re referring to methods for memorizing or remembering any type of information that’s needed at a given time. These strategies can be used by anyone and at any age, as long as you have sufficient memory capacity to achieve it.

For example, you can remember names, concepts, dates, or telephone numbers. These are tricks to make memorization easier. Therefore, it’s a wonderful resource that, in addition to allowing a better memory, trains the mind to be more agile.

Keys to teaching children to use mnemonic devices correctly

As you can see, they’re resources that will help children to not only improve their performance but also work their mind. If they use them regularly, then they’ll also find that their memory improves. This will give them better good self-esteem regarding themselves and their learning ability.

Next, we’re going to explain some of the resources within mnemonic devices so that you can start explaining them to your children. This way, they’ll be able to use them whenever necessary.

A child playing with wooden letters.
To use acronyms, just combine the initials of each word and create a new one that sounds good in the dominant language. This will make it easier to remember.

Use acronyms

Acronyms are a widely used resource. They’re used to remember a particular phrase or concept. To help you better understand this resource, let’s show you an example: To remember the World Health Organization, you can reduce it to its acronym, WHO.

This way, it’s easier to remember not only the full name but also the meaning of each letter in order to decipher the words. Although this can be used for other concepts and generate words that don’t exist, they sound good and promote better recall.

Create acrostics

Although they’re somewhat similar to acronyms, they’re different, so it’s a good idea to know both methods. Mental agility works very well in this case. Just create a catchy phrase and use the initials of a familiar word. The initials will be read vertically and will be the starting point of each word or phrase.

To make you understand it better, let’s explain a simple example that helps us remember the taxidermic hierarchy:

  • Kings (Kingdom)
  • Play (Phylum)
  • Chess (Class)
  • On (Order)
  • Funny (Family)
  • Green (Genus)
  • Squares (Species)

Associating content with mental images

In this case, we work on mental agility through visual memory, as it’s very powerful. You just have to imagine and create an image in your mind that’s related to the concepts you want to learn or remember. If necessary, you can draw pictures to reinforce internalization.

A young girl sitting outdoors coloring.
Drawing pictures associated with words or concepts is a good strategy to fix or remember ideas through visual memory.


Chaining is a good technique that helps us remember key concepts or words. To do this, mental images can be created for each concept or keyword. Then, you need to link one concept or another in such a way that it looks like a chained story with mental images. It’s important that the concepts that need to be memorized are in order to remember them accordingly.

Create songs

Creating songs can also be a good strategy for remembering concepts of any kind. Moreover, it’s quite enjoyable for children, as well as effective. They just have to use their creativity and create lyrics with their respective melody to remember the key concepts they need to memorize.

Through music, they can remember better. For example, you can create a song for children to learn the days of the week, the months of the year, or the multiplication tables.

Teach properly and with patience

Of course, for children to enjoy the use of mnemonic rules, it’s essential to teach them correctly. Also, above all, to have patience for them to learn them. This requires practice and perseverance. This way, in the future, they’ll be able to use these strategies with ease whenever they need to.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Hoffman, M. (2017) MATEMÁTICAS Fórmulas, reglas y reglas mnemotécnicas. Editorial: Alfaomega

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.