As you can observe from your own experience, memory is not only a muscle that needs lots of exercise, it’s also directly correlated to what you already know. For example, learning a new language is easier if you already are fluent in more than one.
In the same way, a child’s capacity for encoding new memories and recalling them correctly grows as their background knowledge of the world increases. Following the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines on early development, between 3 and 4 years of age, your child’s cognitive development is on the fast lane, as they are learning to speak, understand relationships and differences between things, and grasp concepts of time, size, shapes, etc. So, naturally, their memory is also growing rapidly during this time.
Here are some ideas on how to help your child’s memory skills:
- Play together. A simple game of “I Spy” can be very beneficial for your kid’s memory, especially if you keep them interested in the task by involving loved characters or toys.
- Use many senses. When you process information using more than one sense at a time, it’s easier for the brain to make a memory of the situation or event.
- Make it musical. Music and songs can be amazing memory-boosters. You can help your child put their memory skills to work by singing together and then asking your little one to help fill-in-the-blank of the lyrics.
- Look at fun photos of family events or outings together. You can help your child identify family members or ask them to tell a story about that day.
- Don’t forget that sleep is necessary for memory-storing. According to the AAP, toddlers need between 11 to 13 hours of sleep per day, nap-time included.