Increasing Memory Power for Children and How it Impacts Mental Health




What is Memory Power?


Memory refers to the processes that are used to acquire, store, retain, and later retrieve information. There are three major processes involved in memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval.


  • Memories are formed by neurons that fire in our brains, creating or changing networks of connections.

  • Human brains aren’t fully developed at birth. As our brain develops in infancy and early childhood, so does our capacity to remember.

  • There are changes in the brain’s prefrontal cortex during puberty and adolescence, with corresponding changes in our memory abilities.

Memory Development in kids


  • Although memory is not fully developed in infancy, the early childhood period (birth through age 8) is important in building and acquiring the development of memory. Looking at memory development provides a new way to think about and plan for children.

  • Memory development not only takes you back to experiences that hold meaning, but it is a complex cognitive ability that is important in many aspects of thinking and learning, such as language and literacy, planning, following directions, problem solving, reflecting, imagining, and the overall ability to form a positive sense of self.

  • Remembering begins with understanding. Children learn about memory by talking with others and by experiencing life events within their environments. If children experience events that they do not fully understand, they are less likely to remember the event (or to recall events correctly).

  • Adults play a significant role in helping children understand and remember. The most important role for adults is providing responsive, joyful, and nurturing interactions with children.

  • Another important, yet simple way adults can help is by telling stories and narrating experiences, especially experiences they have shared with children. By doing so, the adult can revisit events, provoke thought, and even help children recall what they cannot remember. In essence, the adult is reconstructing the shared memory.


Memory Development Phase from childhood to adulthood

Birth – 1

  • ability to remember events for short periods of time (length of time gradually increases)

1 – 2

  • ability to remember events for longer and longer amounts of time

2 – 3 years

  • declarative memory (memory for facts and events) improves

4 – 7 years

  • prospective memory (remembering to do things in the future) starts to emerge

8 – 10 years

  • improved recall of facts

  • improved recall of spatial relationships

10 – 12 years

  • long-term memory improves

  • increasing ability to consciously supress memories

13 – 21 years

  • prospective memory improves

  • working memory improves





How to Improve Memory Power During Childhood?


  1. ENCOURAGE QUESTIONS

Understanding a subject is the first step to being able to remember the material. Encouraging your child to ask questions helps ensure he or she is developing a deeper comprehension of the topic. This also helps students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.


2. CREATE RHYMES AND SONGS

Help your child make a rhyme, poem, or song from the information he or she is learning. Our brains are wired to remember music and patterns, so using music or rhymes can help your child improve his or her memory and recall.


3. MAKE LEARNING EXCITING

Encourage your child’s enthusiasm of learning by taking a trip to the library to check out books or videos on different subjects. You can also visit a museum or art gallery. If your child is interested in the material he or she is learning, it will be easier to remember it in the future.


4. ENCOURAGE ACTIVE LEARNING

Make learning more engaging for your child by having discussions about different topics, asking your child what he or she thinks. This encourages students to keep the information in their minds long enough to answer questions about it, helping them develop critical thinking skills while improving memory power.


5. USE VISUAL AIDES

Encourage your child to use visual aides to help him or her remember information that has been recently read or heard. Create flashcards that include words or images—these can be used for matching exercises or to practise word definitions.





6. HAVE YOUR CHILD MAKE HIS OR HER OWN EXAMPLES

When your child creates his or her own examples by relating it to his or her personal experiences, it makes processing the material much easier. Connecting material in a meaningful way helps your child remember the information.


7. CREATE MIND MAPS

Create a mind map of various ideas and how they relate to each other. Building connections between words and topics helps children actively engage with the material and develop a deeper understanding, which is an important part of memory.


8. MAKE A LIST OF KEYWORDS FOR AN IDEA OR SUBJECT

Create a word list and use it to build associations between each of the words and concepts. The more distinct the associations, the easier they’ll be for your child to remember.


9. ASK YOUR CHILD TO TEACH YOU

Encourage your child to explain the information he or she is learning to you (or a sibling or friend). Make it a challenge to see how much he or she can remember. Then go back and review any of the material your child was unsure about.


10. USE ALL THE SENSES

Take a multisensory approach to learning by using sight, touch, and sound—read aloud, have a conversation, and use props. This helps engage your child with the material in more than one way, making it easier to connect with the material.


11. BREAK INFORMATION INTO SMALLER CHUNKS

Bite-size amounts of information are easier to remember than tackling a lot of material at once. Start small with the basics and build comprehension from there. Organize the information with headings, lists, and colours to make it easier for your child to recall later.





Short-term Memory Booster

  1. Work on visualization skills.

  2. Have your child teach you.

  3. Try games that use visual memory.

  4. Play games involving cards.

  5. Encourage active reading.

  6. Chunk information into smaller bites.

  7. Make it multisensory.

  8. Help make connections.


What are the Benefits of Increasing Memory Power in Children?


  1. Remembering names and faces builds relationships and friendships

  2. Strong Memory aids knowledge grasping ability.

  3. Remembering what you learn in classes means you don't have to waste time and money taking the class again.

  4. Examinations are a cakewalk.

  5. Giving speeches without notes improves your confidence as a speaker

  6. Remembering famous quotes is a great way to remember the lessons and wisdom of history

  7. Learning foreign languages enables you to interact with more people and travel easier

  8. Learn new procedures much easier.

  9. Memory assists cognitive learning

  10. Strong Memory enhances problem solving ability

  11. Powerful memory reaps benefits throughout an individual's life.















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