Visual memory? Is that even a thing? The thought might have certainly run through your mind when you stumbled across this article title, right?
Simply put, Visual Memory is ‘The ability to recall the visual details of what you have seen’. It’s one of the more important visual perceptual skills, along with Visual Discrimination, which is ‘The ability to identify differences in, and classify objects, symbols or shapes’.
The kinds of visual memory
The following are the two basic types of visual memory:
- Short-term. You use this when it’s something you saw recently, like a password that you remember till you key it in.
- Long-term. Something from your past; like a route you might remember without the use of GPS.
Why is visual memory important?
Here are some of the more important reasons to hone those visual memory skills.
- Critical for reading, spelling and writing. Children who haven’t developed their visual memory skills have a difficult time recollecting the visual appearance of words or the letter sequence, while reading and spelling.
- Important for paying attention. Visual memory plays a vital role in things like memory and concentration.
- Math Performance. Visual memory finds a place amongst the skills necessary for a solid Math foundation.
The Best Visual Memory Games for Kids
There’s no better way to boost visual memory in kids, than having them indulge in some stimulating cerebral games.
‘What’s Missing?’ Game
This one’s one of those memory games that bring out the young Sherlock Holmes.
What you need: Common household items, a tray, a towel.
To do: Place 3 or 4 household items in a tray. Have your child take a good look at them and even name the items in the tray, before covering them with a towel and asking them to close their eyes. Remove one item and then the towel, and ask your kid to identify what’s missing.
Move the Cup Game
This one’s one of the visual memory games that relies on some uber concentration skills.
What you need: 3 paper cups, a table tennis ball.
To do: Place a table tennis ball on the table and cover it with one of the cups. Place the other cups on either side of it. Now, shuffle the cups. When you stop, your child has to identify which cup holds that ball!
The Shopping List Game
Another great game for improving memory skills.
What you need: A few kids and a keenness to sharpen that memory!
To do: Have one child say ‘I went shopping and bought a (item of their choice)’. The next child has to say the same, adding another item to the one already in that ‘virtual cart’. See how far it goes!
Slap The Jack
One of the most fun picture memory games.
What you need: A pack of cards, two eager kids.
To do: Place the cards into two piles after shuffling that deck, face down in front of the kids. Have them take turns in flipping the faces of those cards. The objective: When ‘Jack’ is found, they have to ‘slap’ the card!
Drawing a Word on My Back
Memory games that involve transferring a physical sensation to a mental picture, and then retaining the memory of a few such ‘mental pictures’, can be most challenging. Not to forget, entertaining, too!
What you need: Two kids who can spell with relative ease.
To do: One child writes a word on the other’s back. The second has to guess the word written. Players take turns being ‘Writer’ and ‘Guesser’.
I Spy with my Little Eye
This one’s a tried and tested game for boosting visual memory
What you need: 2 players
To do: One of the players has to spot an object in the room and say ‘I spy with my little eye, something with the colour (colour of object)’. The other player has to look around and find said object. If they get it right, they will be that person calling out the object to be identified next.
Memory games are effective when they focus on only one thing – memory!
What you need: 2 sheets of paper, 2 pencils
To do: Write a sequence of letters or numbers, on that sheet of paper. Let your child take a long and hard look at it, before turning it face down. They have to recall the sequence and write it down on their sheet. Repeat with another sequence.
Some of the best visual memory games can be found in your local toy shop!
What you need: A visit to the toy shop, money in your wallet.
To do: Go to the toy store and ask to see all the puzzles for young children that they have. Make sure you select one that is appropriate for their age. The rule of thumb here is: The younger the child, the fewer and bigger the pieces of the puzzle should be.
The Number String
This is one of the memory games you can play anytime, anywhere. Similar to the Shopping List game, but a good variation to sneak in every once in a while.
What you need: Just a few kids looking to sharpen their memory skills.
To do: Have one child call out a number. The second child must call out that number and add another number of their choice. The game continues, with the first child adding to the ‘string’ after their turn comes again.
Spot The Difference
This one’s clearly one of the more exciting games for improving the memory skills of children.
What you need: Printouts of ‘spot the difference’ sheets (easily available online), your child’s participation.
To do: Show your child the two ‘almost similar’ images and have them ‘spot the difference’ between the two images.
It’s really important to afford young children a plethora of opportunities that will help them develop their visual memory skills. You can rest assured that with the games listed herein, you will polish their memory skills with a great deal of finesse. Visit EuroKids for more information.