Memory and concentration play a crucial role in children’s ability to successfully learn to read and spell. For this reason it is a great idea to play simple memory and concentration games, such as our colour concentration game, with kids from an early age to help them to develop their cognitive skills.
Memory and concentration are an important aspect of reading and spelling for a number of reasons.
Firstly, children need to learn the sounds created by their language and the letter names and sounds associated with different letters. They then need to store this knowledge in their long-term memory and be able to seamlessly retrieve it from their memory bank whenever they hear or see a word.
Secondly, when reading a word, children need to be able to hold each letter sound in their short-term memory as they sound out the word and then mentally blend the sounds together to decode the word. A similar cognitive process also happens when spelling.
The demands put on children’s memory and concentration skills when learning to read are huge! With repeated practice children gradually becomes more automatic when reading. Children’s ability to recall letter sounds and other information from their long-term memory becomes quicker and their ability to process this information in their short-term memory also improves.
Children with poor memory skills struggle to…
- Decode words accurately
- Learn from reading or
- Comprehend texts.
Children’s ability to decode words is often slow because they struggle to find the correct letter sounds in their long-term memory stores. They are also prone to making mistakes when reading and spelling because they struggle to hold letter sounds in their short-term memory when sounding out words and often forget one or more of the letters in a word. They may also use the wrong letter altogether because they have not yet made a permanent connection in their memory between each letter and the sound it makes.
In addition to this, children with poor memory skills also struggle with comprehension. One reason for this is that a child may be putting so much effort into decoding each individual word that they do not have the ability to decipher the meaning of the sentence that they are reading. Another reason is that they may not be able to remember what they have previously read because they cannot find it in their long-term memory. They may forget characters or events in a story or not be able to remember facts that they have read.
Children of today experience huge amounts of visual and auditory stimulation through the use of interactive media such as computer games and television. This overstimulation of the senses has made children less able to tune in and concentrate on something that is not demanding their attention, such as a book.
It is important to help children to develop effective concentration and memory skills to equip them with the tools needed to learn any skill, from reading a book, to solving an equation.
Simple memory, riddle and problem solving games are a great way to help children to develop cognitive skills. In our letter names and sounds program we suggest one quick and easy game each day that builds essential cognitive skills.
Download our free and super simple colour concentration game to get started with some brain training! This game can be played with children from the time that they know the names of the colours. Colours are used for this game so that it can be played with young children long before they begin reading and spelling. It is also fun for older kids. Speed the game up and see if you have the cognitive skills to keep up!