Strong visual memory skills are important for any child who wishes to learn with ease. If you’d like a refresher on WHY this area of cognitive development is so critical, start here: Visual Memory Game Roundup for Kids.
If you’re ready for some quick tips to reinforce visual memory at home and in the classroom then let’s get started.
VISUAL MEMORY SKILLS AT HOME
Quick tip: Setting the Table
Your child has learned the “proper” way to set the table for dinner. Now let’s switch it up. Make up a new silly place setting for your child to see and remember. For instance,
• place the fork and knife on top of the plate in the 3:00 position
• place the spoon inside the glass
• place the glass upside down on the left instead of the right, and/or
• place a toy car where the napkin should be.
Have your child study the new place setting. Encourage him to take a picture of it in his mind and set the table without referring back to the original. Remember not to make more changes than your child can handle. This should be fun, not frustrating.
Success? Do it again and increase the challenge with one more change at a time.
The rest of the family members can get in on the fun, too. When they sit down to dinner let your child quiz everyone on how many changes they can spot.
VISUAL MEMORY SKILLS IN THE CLASSROOM
(You can use this at home, too.)
Quick tip: Visual Word Scramble
Choose a spelling word that your students have already learned and mastered. Scramble the letters. Depending on their age, show the class one 4-7 letter word scramble at a time.
Remember, start them BELOW their comfort level, then build up.
You may use the white board or letter cards or prewritten scrambled words for this, but only allow your students to look at each word scramble for one second per letter. For example, show them N K D I for only four seconds. (Side benefit: if kids aren’t paying attention they’ll miss it!) Students write the scrambled letters down, then see if they can write which spelling word it is.
Bonus: for even more of a challenge, make this an auditory memory task. Instead of showing students the letters, have them listen to you say them out loud (one letter per second). If your students are advanced enough you can even challenge them to visualize the letters and unscramble the words in their minds. Caution: I recommend you make sure students can do this with unscrambled words first. And test it on yourself, too. It really gets those brain cells moving!
More in the Cognitive Quick Tips Series: