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How to Improve Working Memory in Kids

Working memory is our brain’s ability to store information for a short span so that the information can be used to perform an activity. This temporary storage which is similar to the RAM of a computer is essential for our everyday functioning during tasks such as having a conversation, following instructions, reading and comprehension, listening, etc.  


Here are some methods and activities to increase working memory when your child is at home:
• Assign a place for your child to put their important stuff so they would not forget it. Start with things like house keys, sports equipment, wallet and other items that are easily misplaced. To reinforce the habit set up a system of rewards and penalties. As soon as they return from school, their first task should be to keep things where they belong.
• Use a reminder checklist for school so they know what to take with them the next day. The checklist is to be prepared the previous night and monitor them as they tick through their list and add items to the backpack. When possible, ask them to mentally recall the list and tell it to you and try to organize without it.
• Lead by example. Make and use a “To-Do” list yourself on a daily basis so that they can watch you and form a habit from their childhood.
• Brainstorm with your children about how you could work together to improve their working memory. Use every tool possible from writing on the palm to using stick notes, pocket diaries, smartphone reminders.
• Consult a speech therapist to assess their language and rule out other possibilities of conditions associated with speech and language. You can then begin to look into their working memory.
• Structure their environment such that there is less stress on their working memories. Break large tasks into smaller manageable chunks and offer information in a simplified way. You can also slow down the pace of activities and teach them strategies to cope with their working memory insufficiencies.
• Regularly give them tasks that strengthen working memory without stressing them too much.


Nov 4, 2021
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