This is a follow-up to a previous post on Right Brain Education Activities for Young Children.
For children below 3 years, the focus is mainly on input and less on output, therefore most of the activities done with young children are mostly observation-type. In Heguru, the general recommendation for home practice is reading and flash cards, then memory work. The first two are fairly straight-forward.
Memory work for under 3s depend largely on their ability to take instruction and to articulate themselves. Since most children are still developing speech, it can be difficult to do activities like linking memory. Even if they have some speech, the effort of articulation may detract from the child’s participation of the activity. Therefore, I find the following recommended activity to be a good one for very young children.
If you are unfamiliar with the linking memory activity, read the instructions here.
- Begin with 3 cards. For example, you might have an elephant, a tennis raquet, and a cup of coffee.
- As you display each card, create a story linking the pictures. For example, “an elephant used his tennis raquet to stir his cup of coffee”.
- Cover the cards.
- Ask your child to locate one of the cards randomly. For example, “Where is the coffee cup?” Wait for your child to point to the card and turn it over to show whether he is correct.
If 3 cards are too easy, increase to 4 cards. Continue to build up the number of cards used in the story until your child is struggling to remember where each image is.
Remember, younger children generally have short attention spans so it is best to limit the activity. Play only when your child is happy and having fun. The focus of right brain education for young children is input. This activity would be considered output because you are expecting your child to give you an answer. Therefore, if your two year old is distinterested in practicing linking memory, I would leave it and focus more on reading books and speed flash cards.
This variation of linking memory is also a good alternative to play with an older child as it helps to develop memory function by recalling where the cards are at random rather than having to rely on the story to determine which card appears next. If you read my post on 5 Ways to Maximise Your Child’s Cognitive Potential you may recall that novelty and new challenges are a great way to further develop the brain. Trying to remember the cards randomly presents a different memory challenge for your child.