Five Visual Memory Activities to Help with Academics!

Five Visual Memory Activities to Help with Academics!

One of the most important skills we work on at our Harp Learning Institute learning centers is visual memory.  This is the ability of the brain to hold and retain images that are presented visually. It is a basic skill necessary for reading, writing, math skills, and navigating life successfully.

We start right away working students’ visual memory until they can hold six or seven images in memory with ease.  Phone numbers have seven digits.  Multi-syllabic words often have up to seven letters or more.  Long division requires memorization of long digits as well as the ability to manipulate what was held in memory (working memory). When our students complete the Harp Learning System, they are strong in visual memory as well as working memory.

There are so many things you can do to help strengthen visual memory.  Following are some suggestions that can help.

  1. First determine how many images your child can hold in memory. Hold up a card with three different symbols on it.  Take it away and have your child copy the symbols after you remove the card. If your child can correctly copy all three symbols, do this again with four, five, and so on.  If your child can only copy two symbols, then that is how many images your child can hold in memory.
  2. Now practice with the amount of images your child can hold in memory. Do the same process as above mentioned with different figures and symbols at your child’s level.   Once he/she is strong at the first amount, add one more figure or symbol and continue like this until up to seven figures can be recalled.
  3. Play the game “Concentration”. You can purchase this game ready made or just use a deck of cards.  If your child is at the stage where he/she can only hold two or three images in memory, don’t use the whole deck.  Start with about 10 – 12 cards and then slowly bump up the amount.
  4. Look at board games for gifts instead of electronic games. Connect Four, Sorry, Checkers, Monopoly, Clue, Life, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, etc. all require some form of visual memory in order to play. Simple card games like Old Maid and Go Fish work as well.
  5. When you are in the car, play games with street signs or advertisements. Have your child look for signs with the letter M (or any letter) in them.  Or look for signs with the letter A and move through the alphabet. Your child must hold the letters in memory while searching for signs.

Before we can “plug in those crucial auditory memory skills, we must have visual memory skills strong.  Do what you can to help your child have strong visual memory skills, and then move on to auditory memory skills.  Both affect not only academics, but life skills as well.

Best wishes and happy memory building,


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