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Parenting blog

A blog for parents with effective techniques based on developmental psychology. 

Enhancing memory in children

Sara Zaidi

Learning and memory are two closely related concepts. Learning can be described as the acquisition of knowledge while memory is the expression of what’s been acquired.

There are several ways to improve memory function and thereby learning. Early childhood experiences which encourage specific skills of encoding information in memory become all important because the human brain exhibits the most amount of neuroplasticity through the early years.

The first step in storing knowledge is to organize and structure it in our mind and then adding information to what is already known - the more extensive the framework of existing knowledge, the more easily new information can be added to it. Next, utilizing lateral thinking to make connections and strengthen those networks is important. Lateral thinking is concerned with perception; it pushes boundaries and challenges concepts. It helps organize the external world such that it can then be processed in our own individual way, allowing us then to fit it in to whichever part of our memory that makes the most sense. And finally, visualizing concepts and rehearsing the information helps retain the knowledge for a longer period of time.

These techniques can be used creatively to help children organize and retain the knowledge they continually gain - essentially “training” the brain and improving memory and learning. As with all habits, the only criteria for habit formation being these two basic principles: repetition and regularity.