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Seeing your little one grow up is fun for parents. Those moments are fun and exciting and something you will remember all your life. As your kid grows he begins to speak his first words, learns to colour, and plays with you and other kids, and whatnot. But as other aspects of the world start dawning upon him, you will notice that your child does not remember things well or tends to forget something that was just taught to him. Improving memory in children needs to begin from an early age so that it can be beneficial for him later in life. Environmental stimulation, interaction with parents, and playful activities are important for the growth of neurons and proliferation of synapses and dendrites.
How Does Memory Work in Kids?
The most peculiar thing of our human body is the ability of the brain to be able to store some information and then be able to recall it whenever it is needed. This, in its very essence, is termed as memory. Contrary to popular belief, our brain does not store information in a particular location like a hard-drive. Instead, every information creates a separate pathway in the neural circuit of the brain, depending on how intensive the information is. If there are a larger number of neuron pathways for a specific memory, the stronger it becomes.
Rarely can anyone recall the events from their lives when they were kids. This is medically called “childhood amnesia” and it is purely because of the brain’s inability to form long-lasting neural circuits at that age. This is why kids have to be told to do the simplest tasks multiple times.
Factors That May Affect Memory Skills in Children
Not every child is unique. Therefore, some kids may have a strong memory compared to others. However, in some cases, there are specific factors that can impact the ability to retain and recall information in kids.
- The presence of various existing medical conditions or past history of a medical illness could impact the ability of the brain to retain information. These could range from genetic disorders, down to head injuries before or after birth, or any other similar cases.
- A general inability to concentrate on tasks or the issue at hand for a long time could result in kids not remembering what is being taught at all.
- A total disregard for a particular element, simply because it is not interesting, indirectly tells the brain that this is not worth remembering.
- Having a proper diet is necessary for the proper growth of the brain. If your kids’ diet is improper, it can impact your child’s memory.
- Sleep is extremely necessary for the brain since that is when the neural connections are strengthened and new ones are formed. Less sleep means less effective memory.
- Kids who are used to watching a lot of TV turn their brains into pieces of mush that just passively consume without making an effort to remember anything at all.
- If the environment in the house is stressful and anxiety-inducing for the child, he could have a tough time remembering things well.
How to Improve Memory Power of Kids
The more you use your brain, the stronger it gets. This leads us to a few techniques that can be employed to elevate the ability to a higher level than before.
1. Make Molehills From Mountains
Attempting to understand and learn something can get overwhelming for a child. As a result, he will not make an effort to understand it because it is too difficult for him. Turn that huge block of information into smaller pieces, focusing on the principles of each one of them. Let him start from the roots and grow his way up to understanding the entire tree. This helps in organizing information in the right structure within the brain.
2. Make Use of the Senses
Some kids may not remember the things exactly, but they can very easily recall other aspects of the event, such as what they heard or what they saw. This is important in understanding how your kid learns or remembers things. Make use of such senses in helping him associate that perception with the element that needs to be remembered and recalled. Not only does this strengthen the memory, but it engages your kid to a deeper level, too.
3. Let the Kid Be the Teacher
If you have truly understood something, you should be able to teach it to someone. Once you teach something to your kid or if your kid studied on his own, ask him to teach it to you or his sibling or to a friend. Keep a note of the times he has to refer to the material again and work on those aspects.
4. Make Mind Maps
This is a proven technique that has helped numerous people sketch out their ideas and remember existing ones in a much better way. Working primarily on the concept of association and logical connections, mind maps help your child visualise the entire material in a network that forms a path from one concept to another. This helps in creating a lucid thought process that can be invoked when the material or the concept needs to be recalled.
5. Create Your Examples
Most textbooks or learning elements come with examples to help understand how the concept can be applied in real life. Once your kid understands it, ask him to come up with an example of his own. Let him use examples to introduce or teach the concept to you if he has trouble explaining it verbatim.
6. Use Visual Aids
Combining the right keywords and important headings for flashcards can assist your child in recalling information quickly. And these visual aids are just a stepping stone to continue ahead unabated.
7. Learn Actively
Learning and memorising doesn’t have to be restricted to a particular study time or so. Engage with your child in discussing multiple concepts with him in evenings or simply after seeing something interesting on the television. Connecting disparate concepts together to see the larger picture helps with critical thinking.
8. Take Learning to Different Environments
All the learning doesn’t have to happen through the study material or learning elements. Let your child interact with different aspects of the world and get hands-on experience. Learning something about animals? Go to the zoo. Do you want to teach him about plants, take him to a garden and let him explore. To teach about history, take him to a museum.
9. Make Learning Musical
Certain aspects of the journey of studying require memorisation and verbatim recall. These can be made easier by mixing them with a tune or a rhyming song. This essentially makes both halves of the brain to work together and remember a concept, thus creating even stronger and long-lasting neural connections.
10. Be Inquisitive
Never scold your child for asking too many questions. The inquisitive nature of a child is vital for his growth, development, and instilling an ability to look for newer concepts to be memorized, learnt and neural networks created.
Parents can make use of various tips to improve memory power in children and help them in various aspects of learning at school and even at home. It is necessary to give your child time to let him improve at his own pace and ensure to not compare him with his peers.
With FirstCry Intellikit, a learning program based on the theory of multiple intelligence, you can ensure that your child gets the boost he requires to help his overall development.
After all, every child is intelligent and needs only the right environment & stimulus to hone his/her natural talent.
Also Read: Brain Development Foods for Kids