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How To Improve Short Term Memory in Kids

Has your child ever forgotten their homework assignment, even though you just reminded them twenty minutes ago? You’re not alone! Many parents of neurodivergent kids face the challenge of helping their children improve short term memory. We understand your concerns, and we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll offer practical methods to foster their ability to remember and recall information effectively. With the right support, you can help your child succeed in their learning journey.

Step 1: Understand the Importance of Short Term Memory

Firstly, it’s essential to recognize that short term memory plays a vital role in your child’s cognitive development. It helps them process, store, and retrieve information, allowing them to tackle everyday tasks like following instructions, comprehending language, and problem-solving. By strengthening their short term memory, you’ll lay a solid foundation for your child’s academic success and overall well-being.

Understanding the significance of this memory aspect will help you stay motivated to support your child. As a team, you both can overcome challenges and improve their capacity to learn and apply information.

improve short term memory little boy taking photo of girl
Read more: What is Working Memory & How Does It Relate to Autism?

Step 2: Establish a Routine

Consistency is key when it comes to improving short term memory. Create a structured routine for your child, ensuring they have a dedicated space for learning and specific times for homework, study, and rest. By providing a predictable environment, you will minimize distractions and ensure that their mind can focus on retaining and processing information.

Here’s a simple routine template you can customize:

  • After-school break: 30 minutes
  • Homework time: 60 minutes
  • Fun memory game: 20 minutes
  • Outdoor play/exercise: 30 minutes
  • Free time: 60 minutes
  • Bedtime routine: 30 minutes
Goally is the best bedtime routine app for kids

Customize visual schedules that teach kids independence. No more nagging, no more stress.

Step 3: Incorporate Memory-Boosting Activities

Engage your child in activities that challenge and entertain them while enhancing memory skills. Introducing games and strategies that focus on memory improvement will keep your child interested and motivated.

For instance, consider the following activities:

  1. Memory games: Card games like Concentration or apps dedicated to memory improvement
  2. Mnemonic devices: Teach your child to create visual or verbal cues like acronyms, rhymes, or associations to remember information better
  3. Chunking: Help your child break down information into smaller “chunks” to make it easier to process and recall

Step 4: Encourage Healthy Habits

A healthy body greatly supports a healthy mind. Ensure that your child receives adequate sleep, maintains a balanced diet, and engages in regular physical activity. These habits not only enhance cognitive function but also reduce stress, which can negatively impact memory retention and recall.

Healthy HabitImpact
SleepEnsures memory consolidation and improves attention
DietProvides essential nutrients for brain function
Physical activityBoosts mood, concentration, and reduces stress

Step 5: Make Learning Engaging and Multisensory

Multisensory learning is beneficial for all kids, especially those with thinking and learning differences. Incorporate different senses and teaching methods, such as visual aids, auditory clues, and hands-on activities. This approach makes learning more enjoyable and helps them retain information more effectively.

Examples of multisensory methods include:

  • Using flashcards with pictures and text
  • Listening to information via recordings or videos
  • Participating in interactive games and activities

Step 6: Praise Effort and Progress

Remember to celebrate your child’s achievements and progress, no matter how small. Praise their efforts and recognize the hard work they put into memory improvement tasks. Positive reinforcement will motivate them to continue working on their short term memory skills and boost their self-esteem.

You can praise them by:

  • Offering verbal encouragement
  • Providing rewards for completed tasks
  • Displaying their accomplishments
improving short term memory little boy showing woman photo
Read more: 7 Working Memory Examples in Kids

Step 7: Seek Professional Support if Needed

Lastly, if you notice persistent difficulties despite your efforts, it might be time to consult a professional. Talk to your child’s teachers, counselors, or a pediatrician about your concerns. They can provide guidance, assess for potential underlying issues, and recommend additional interventions to help improve your child’s short term memory.

Professionals may suggest:

  • Educational evaluations
  • Targeted therapies
  • Additional educational resources

Goally | Routines that Actually Work

Goally’s skill building tablet for kids has routines that break down large tasks into small, achievable steps. It helps kids complete their tasks independently! 

A notification from the Goally Parent App on the best tablet for kids indicating the start of a potty routine, demonstrating parental control features.

Create custom routines with your own videos & pictures for every step. The steps come in small, bite-sized pieces to help your child learn the little fundamentals (like putting the toothpaste on their toothbrush!) to achieve bigger goals. And that’s just the beginning. See it in action:

With consistency, dedication, and the right approach, parents have the power to boost their child’s short term memory. By implementing these actionable steps, you’ll support your child’s cognitive development and enhance their success in both academics and everyday life. Remember that this journey may have its ups and downs, but with patience and persistence, you can make a lasting impact on your child’s ability to learn, remember, and prosper.

This post was originally published on 05/24/2023. It was updated on 08/10/2023.

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We help parents teach their kids life skills, like doing bedtime and morning independently. Backed by science, we incorporate evidence-based practices and expert-informed designs in all of our apps and content.