improve working memory

A guide for parents: How to improve working memory in children

May 30, 2024
  •  BY 

How many mornings have you spent running back through the school drop off line with a lunchbox or forgotten homework assignment? The struggle is real.

This moment of forgetfulness can be linked directly to working memory, which is like the mental checklist we all run through before heading out the door. When working memory in children isn't strong, details like "grab my homework" can easily slip through the cracks.

In fact, working memory is crucial for following directions, solving problems, and maintaining focus. So keep reading for tips on how to improve working memory in children.

Understanding working memory

Working memory is a component of short-term memory, acting as the brain's tool to hold onto multiple pieces of information simultaneously and use them to complete tasks. For kids, strong working memory is linked to better academic performance and enhanced problem-solving abilities.

Strategies to enhance working memory in children

There are five to consider:

1. Break tasks into smaller steps

Kids can get overwhelmed with too much information. Breaking tasks or instructions into smaller, manageable parts can help them effectively use their working memory. For instance, if you ask them to clean their room, give them one step at a time.

2. Encourage mental math when possible

Practicing math problems without pen and paper can strengthen the brain. Start with simple arithmetic and gradually increase complexity as your child improves. This method boosts both math and working memory skills.

3. Play memory games

Memory games aren't just entertaining; they're educational. Games like "Simon Says," memory card games, or apps that build memory skills are both fun and beneficial. The Elevate app offers games specifically designed to enhance working memory, making skill-building enjoyable for your child.

4. Encourage visualization techniques

Teach your child to visualize information to improve retention. For example, if they need to remember a list, have them picture placing each item in different rooms of an imaginary house. Visualization is a potent memory aid.

5. Repeat and recite information

Have your child repeat information back to you. This method reinforces memory by giving them more chances to process and recall information. Whether it's a grocery list or a story detail, recitation can significantly enhance memory retention.

Improve your child’s working memory now

Enhancing your child's working memory can significantly impact their academic and daily life. By integrating these strategies into your routine, you're not just aiding their short-term development—you're setting them up for lifelong success. Want a fun, engaging way to boost your child's working memory? Download the Elevate app on iOS or Android today and explore a variety of games and activities designed to enhance cognitive skills in an interactive way.

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