Lockdown Day 70 – Auditory Games
As parents, you will probably have heard about short and long-term memory and the importance of building up strong neural pathways to stimulate both. Short term memory (or working memory) involves our ability to hold or remember information for a short time while also utilising the information to solve problems, think critically or perform an action.
Our memory is activated by our senses, and so all types of stimuli present various triggers that help us to remember. Crossing your fingers to remember something important is a classic tool. It is a visual stimulus that links to the thought, idea or task you wished to recall.
In children, the use of visual and auditory memory is critical in the development of their cognitive skills. Receiving, processing, interpreting and acting on new information requires the child to have the ability to hold that information for long enough that all these aspects of learning can take place.
This ‘working memory’ is also responsible for many of the skills that children use when learning to read. Auditory working memory helps children to retain individual letter sounds when sounding out new words. Visual working memory helps children remember what words looks like (sight words) so that they can recognise them without having to sound them out individually. Both of these working memory skills help children to read with fluency.
It is therefore essential that we stimulate the child’s auditory and visual working memories. Our brains are often referred to as our body’s most important muscle, meaning that it needs exercise to stay alert, healthy and optimally functional.
Our lockdown tip #10 offered a visual memory game (Kim’s game). Today, we will look at some ideas for auditory memory recall.
* AUDITORY MEMORY GAMES *
1. SONGS AND NURSERY RHYMES
Teach your children new nursery rhymes and songs. Besides creating a bonding time, this activity will also activate the child’s auditory memory as s/he tries to remember the new lyrics.
2. READING OR TELLING STORIES
Read or tell your child a story out loud. See if your child can remember parts of the story as you go along. At the end of the story, ask your child some open-ended questions to see whether s/he can remember what happened at the beginning of the story, or whether s/he is able to tell you a precis of what happened in the story.
3. GOING ON A PICNIC
This is a classic game most of us played at some stage in our lives.
- The first person says: “I am going on a picnic and bringing apples.”
- The next person says, “I am going on a picnic and bringing apples and peanuts.”
- Following that, “I am going on a picnic and bringing apples, peanuts and grape juice.”
- This continues for as long as the participants can recall the list.
Remember that this is not about finding a winner. Focus on stimulating memory. Help your child if s/he cannot remember the next item by giving clues. (Interpreting clues is good memory recall as well!)
You can change things up by using different scenarios.
- “Going to the beach I took an umbrella, towel and bucket”
- “Going on a hike I wore my hiking boots, thick socks and bandana”
- “‘Going to the Game Reserve, I saw elephants, rhino and zebra.”
4. THE TELEPHONE GAME
Gather your family members and ask them to sit in a circle.
- One person thinks of a sentence and whispers it to the person next to them.
- Each person in the circle then takes a turn whispering what s/he has heard to the next person.
- At the end, the last person repeats what s/he has heard out loud and this is compared to the sentence that the first person uttered.
5. NUMBER RECALL GAME
This game requires each person to add a number to a chain and to keep this going for as long as possible. This can be done randomly: 4; 4, 7; 4, 7, 12 etc; or in multiples if the child is able to ‘count on’: 2, 4, 6, 8 etc.
Playing games such as these lays an important foundation for much later learning. The above games, in particular, assist with the development of:
- Auditory memory
- Interpretation and comprehension skills
- The ability to remember instructions/directions
- The ability to apply previously learned information to new situations
- The ability to access stored information (long-term memory)
- Reading skills (for example, sight words)
- Vocabulary extension
- Numeracy skills (to compute effectively, foundational building blocks need to be recalled)
Find all of our lockdown tips here – https://www.montessorisa.co.za/blog/