7 Tips on How to Improve a Child’s Working Memory

By Sasha Brown

November 16, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man


Sometimes, a child will have a hard time keeping a single bit of information in their mind while they are doing something else. If this is the case, they could have issues with their working memory.

Working memory refers to the use of information stored in one’s short term memory. It is an important skill that kids use when they are learning and is vital for following directions with multiple steps.

These are some things that you can do in order to help improve your child’s working memory.

1. Encourage Reading


When a child takes part in active reading strategies, they are likelier to have an easier time forming long term memories. Active reading strategies include not only taking notes and highlighting like most students do, but also speaking aloud and answering questions about the material that they are reading.

2. Visualization Skills

When the child is reading something, have them pause and ask them to imagine the scene in their head and describe it to you.

As an example, ask them to set the table for a few people and ask them to picture it in their head. Have them draw this, and then describe it. As time goes on, they will be able to describe a scene without drawing it.

3. Memory-Boosting Foods

Healthy fats, like those in fish, contain omega-3 fatty acids. These foods help improve memory for both short term and long term future.

One serving of fish per week has the ability to reduce a decline in memory by about 12%. The ideal serving is 3 ounces of fatty fish one time per week, at least. If fish is not an option, you may consider the pill form instead.

See Also: 7 Great Foods to Boost Your Brain Power 

4. Ask Them to Teach You

Teaching another person involves being able to make sense of information and then mentally organizing it, before being able to say it aloud.

When your child is learning a new skill, ask them to show you how to do it. They should be able to explain the process to you.

5. Play Games Using their Visual Memory

There are a ton of matching games that can be played, or you can use something simple like a magazine or newspaper. Have them circle a certain word as many times as they can in one minute. Reading billboards on the highway and license plates on cars is always fun.

6. Break Information Up into Smaller Blocks


It is a known fact that information is easily remembered when it is broken up into parts, like phone numbers and social security numbers. When a child needs to be given directions, either write them out or give them one at a time. Writing assignments can be given using a graphic organizer so that the child will be able to remember what is going to be asked of them.

7. Play Cards

When playing card games like Uno, Go Fish, or Crazy Eights, the child will have to not only remember the rules of the game, but will also need to remember which cards they are holding and what the other players could have. Have them help shuffle and deal the cards as well, and eventually they will be able to explain the rules and start a game all on their own.

See Also: 10 Tips to Develop Both Sides of Your Brain

Our working memory is what is used when you solve a math problem in your head, or successfully follow directions with multiple steps. If you believe your child is having problems with their working memory, it is never too late to begin implementing these suggestions that are great for the whole family.


Sasha Brown

Sasha has been a blogger for nearly 10 years. She has published articles on Lifehack, Natural News, Blogher, Fitlife, and MindBodyGreen. She covers health, lifestyle, business, technology, and other technical areas. She's also the girl behind VoxNature.com and AffordableBlogging.com.

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