Building Working Memory

Games for increasing Working Memory

1. Have your child be the teacher. Let them tell you how to complete their math problem or teach you a new game, story, or recipe. Allow them time to visualize the problem, they can use toys or a visual cue to learn new information.

2. You can build your child’s working memory by playing games. Even video games can increase working memory. As working memory is retrieving and storing information while playing games the child will retrieve information regarding the rules, focus on the play, and think ahead to the next step or remember what the opponent has.

3. The game of Memory- using a character the child loves may help with this game. Also, cards work well if you do not have the memory game. 

  •  One variation is to make up a game of I spy or the add to game. For example, you may say “candy, meat, dog” and ask the child to repeat these words and when finished add a new word.
  • You may have the child look at you or an area, close his eyes while you change things around or remove and item. 

4. Playing word games also improve memory. 

  • You may have the child repeat letters or numbers backward, read signs or license plates.  
  • Review spelling words while looking through books or magazines. A variation would be to find similar words in magazines.

 5. Playing cards games such as crazy 8’s, rummy, trash, or kings in the corner are perfect for older children. I like to play fish with feeling cards (letters, numbers and some emotional vocabulary. )Feelings Playing Cards by Jim Borgman Pulitzer Prize Winner

 6. The library is always a good play to play and learn. You and your child can choose books, games, or activities which involve working memory building. Active reading helps with long-term memory it also develops working memory as the two areas of the brain move back and forth with information. 

7. The use of post-it notes and highlighters are an option for underlining words, capturing main topics, or finding needed information quickly in a paragraph.

8. If you can give your child information in segments or chunks of they will have an easier time remembering it. Using a picture game or song helps with memory and chunking large pieces of information. 

  • Chunking could include three sequence tasks that can be broken up into three separate tasks: write or have the child write down the tasks he needs to do. 
  • This skill may work for math or comprehension problems.
  •  If the child is a visual learner you can use pictures. 

9. For a child who is a sensory learner you may engage in multisensory learning; for example, say “work” out loud and have them write or draw out the tasks or cut pictures out of magazines of the chores or activities you would like them to remember in the sequence they are to be completed.

 10. Helping children to retain or retrieve information may include identifying ways to make connections from one thing to another this will allow them to access long-term memory and give them time to complete the work. 

 11. Age-appropriate board games or Jenga are fun for the family and help build working memory. An alternative is to write sentences or questions on each block. This game is also available for outside use -extra-large!

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