Can memory be improved? Kuah Eng Liang, CEO of Heguru Education Centre introduces two visual and long term memory techniques for preschoolers.


Memory Activities For Kids

1. Link Memory Technique

How it works

Our right brain tends to retain memories contained in interesting stories. In the “link” memory technique, your child can be easily trained to memorize information through creating a visual story and “linking” the information sequentially, for easy recollection. Easy to do, it also helps your child to exercise their creativity.

Imagine that you have a grocery shopping list:

  1. Chicken
  2. 10 Apples
  3. A roll of hand towel
  4. Broccoli
  5. Coffee

Using the left brain method, it will involve you monotonously memorizing the shopping list by repeated looking through them or regurgitating them verbally. If you have 10, 20 or 30 items your left brain will have a difficult time remembering a long list of items.

Try it

Ask your child to employ the right brain link memory technique, which is both fun and effective. Conjure an interesting and vivid story to link up the items in the shopping list. For example, the “chicken”, after eating “10 apples” all at one time, turns into “a roll of hand towel”. I used the hand towel to wrap a “broccoli” before throwing it into a gigantic cup of “coffee”. Visualize this story in your mind 1 or 2 times and you will find that you can remember the 5 items so much easier now. Try it and you will be amazed!

Expert’s Note

As many parents may not realise, the story formed need not be logical. The sillier, more interesting or more dramatic your links, the easier and more long lasting the memory is.

2. Peg Memory Technique

How it works

The Peg Memory technique improves your child’s memory by creating a filing cabinet in your child’s mind. It works by associating information which your child already knows well (e.g. the numbers 1 to 20) with the new facts that he wants to remember.

A “peg” is just a mental image hook on which you hang the information. This hook acts as a reminder to help your child mentally retrieve information. For example, with the rhyming Peg words, you first remember a concrete object whose name rhymes with the number.

Number Peg Word
1 First
2 Tooth
3 Tree
4 Fork
5 Fire

To memorise a list, you visually associate each item of information with the number image (e.g. first, tooth, tree, fork, fire). To recall the list, you simply run through the numbers in your mind. Using the same grocery shopping list, “peg” each of the items visually to the number and hence the peg words with a funny story.

1) Chicken
2) 10 Apples
3) A roll of hand towel
4) Broccoli
5) Coffee

Number Peg Word Information to Recall Visual association of the peg words to the information to recall
1 First Chicken 1. First -> Chicken
The “chicken” came in “first” in the race.
2 Tooth 10 Apples 2. Tooth -> 10 Apples
My “tooth” broke after eating “10 apples”.
3 Tree A roll of hand towel 3. Tree -> A roll of hand towel
I threw “a roll of hand towel” up a “tree”
4 Fork Broccoli 4. Fork -> Broccoli
I picked up a “broccoli” with a “fork”.
5 Fire Coffee 5. Fire -> Coffee
I roasted some “coffee” beans with “fire”.

Go through the stories of each peg word a few times. You will be amazed by how easy it is to recall the grocery items just by recalling the numbers and peg words!

By Kuah Eng Liang, CEO of Heguru Education Centre

Read our Enrichment and Preschool Guide to learn about other enrichment programmes for your toddler or preschooler.

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