Visual Memory

You’re at the store when you realise you’ve oh-so-inconveniently forgotten your shopping list. Drat! Furrowing your brow, you throw your mind back to when you were writing the list and manage to remember most of the items… aside from the milk (double drat!).

This is called visual memory – being able to recall the characteristics and features of things you’ve previously seen.

As you can imagine, it’s an absolutely crucial skill for kids – especially while they’re learning to spell and read.

How do I know if my child is having difficulty with their visual memory?

Here’s a list of some of the tasks that your little one might struggle with if they’re having visual memory difficulties:

  • Learning to spell and write their name correctly
  • Writing numbers and letters so they ‘sit’ on the line
  • Remembering different patterns, shapes and designs
  • Drawing pictures with detail
  • Spelling and reading (when they’re at school)
  • Learning to recall words by sight instead of sound
  • Copying from one place to another (e.g. from the blackboard to their workbook)

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Ways you can help your child with their visual memory

These activities will help to improve little miss or mister’s visual memory:

  • Memory games such as 'Shopping Game' (writing a shopping list – it can be a real one! – and asking them to recall the different items)
  • Doing word search puzzles
  • Playing card games such as ‘Go Fish’ and ‘Snap’ (which have a combination of letters, shapes, words and numbers)
  • Completing worksheets that involve copying pictures or decoding such as 'Spot the Difference'
  • Writing letters and numbers starting with their eyes open and then while their eyes are closed
  • Doing worksheets where they need to complete an incomplete figure (such as a shape) from memory
  • Spending time looking at a picture together and talking about the details before putting it face down and asking them to recall some of its features
  • Playing ‘show and hide’ games (e.g. placing objects on a table and studying them, then covering them and seeing the how many can be remembered)

Who knows? You might also hone your visual memory skills while you’re at it!

Some additional tips for improving your child’s visual memory

Adopting a multisensory approach that incorporates different textures and mediums can be really helpful for developing your whippersnapper’s visual memory. The reason these techniques work is because they tap into little miss or mister’s senses – and have the added bonus of being more fun!

For example, try making various shapes, numbers and letters out of playdough, pipe cleaners, glitter pens and so on. Or what about drawing them in shaving cream, sand and finger paint?

Pairing the shapes, numbers and letters with actions using body parts can also work, such as junior’s arms above their head in a point for a triangle or rounded for a circle. Plus, if your little one tends to recall spoken information well you could pair the visual cues with verbal cues for an added boost.

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Combined Videos

Combining several foundation skills, our PlayBiz Play-a-Long videos run for 10 minutes or so. We’ve carefully ordered the activities so they enable your youngster to have an optimal learning experience and develop the skills they’ll need for school by joining in the ‘teachable moments’. Picture a fun and educational TV program like PlaySchool crossed with an occupational therapy session that’s chock full of strategies. Ready, steady, learn! Please note: The Play-a-Long videos don’t need to be viewed in any particular order.