Memory, as with almost everything, is a skill that we can both improve and use throughout our whole lives. However, it’s also true that this is easier during our childhood years. For this reason and if we were able to maximize a child’s memory capacity whilst playing games, would games become more than just a fun pastime? Well yes, memory games, as well as providing hours of entertainment, are also a key element to a child’s development.
There are traditional games such as puzzles that are capable of stimulating abilities like problem-solving, that will help children to learn words and numbers, improve their concentration, stimulate their visual memories and also to encourage quick thinking.
Depending on the child’s age, you can choose different types of memory games. It is important to consider their age and also which year they are in at school to select the right type of games, maximizing their memory capacity whilst at the same time making sure that the games are fun. It is proven that we learn a lot more when having a good time.
- Working memory
The simplest game of all is to place cards upside down and to try and find pairs whilst turning them over. The cards can be of numbers, objects, flags, words, landscapes, etc. We have all played these games as children and had lots of fun doing so. The important thing is that these types of games will help to train children’s memories whilst also being entertained. Another example of these types of memory games is to try and find pairs of animals underneath squares laid onto a table. To win, you must remember which animals were underneath each square to be able to match the pairs.
- Numerical memory
Another step in memory training is to practice mathematical equations. For example, one square may have the number 4, and another square may have 2+2. The game consists of matching the equation with the answer. You can also include multiplications and divisions, although there are also games that are more simple, that include drawings instead of numbers. These types of games are excellent, not just for our children’s entertainment but also to improve their memories and help with their development.
- Geographic memory
A fantastic tool for children is to memorize the names of countries and their capital cities in an educational way. Using cards with drawings or photos of iconic monuments, try and match countries or cities correctly. The best thing about these games is that various different elements and materials can be used to improve their memories at the same time as learning about Geography. For example, you may decide to use masks, world maps or stickers, to add new dimensions to the game.
- Historical memory
Using cards again, write basic texts regarding different historical characters onto one card and a picture of them onto another card to make pairs. This can be very useful for children as the game will provide educational values from both faces and information. As it can be difficult to teach children about Napoleon, past Presidents or other historical figures, the game will be interesting as not only will they learn about history, but they will also be able to recognize historical characters from past ages. Again you have the option to bring different dynamics into the game by using fancy dress, masks or other personal objects to help children stimulate their memories even more.
- Language memory
This is not an easy game but can become very interesting. Make a list of objects, animals, body parts, etc., draw them and make cards. Then write down the names of the objects but into different languages. Each language should be in the same color (French in Blue, Spanish in Green, Italian in Red…) and then your children will be able to learn the same word but in different languages. As well as learning to memorize different objects, they will also learn new vocabulary in different languages.
There are many different variations of these games that can all be used by parents and teachers to promote memory skills in children. Do not give up on trying to improve their memories thinking that it may be boring for them. There are so many options available and many of them will be both fun and educational. The best part about these games is that they do not only help children with their school work, but they will also provide specific benefits to this important passage in their childhood like their motor skills, creativity, concentration levels, and even their visual skills.
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