In preschool children, memory develops very actively, but sometimes there are problems with memorization. That is why it is important for parents and teachers to know what types of memory exist, how they are formed, what type of memory prevails in preschoolers, and how best to develop visual, auditory and arbitrary memory.
Thanks to the developed memory, children accumulate and store information, and subsequently use it in their lives, so memory can be safely called one of the key mental processes in childhood. At the same time, at different time intervals in the development of memory, their age differences are noted, so preschoolers remember everything a little differently than school-age children.
Experts note that it is up to 7 years that you can significantly improve your ability to memorize, which will then come in handy while studying at school and for the development of a child as a person.
The memory of children in the first year of life is motor and is associated with reflexes. When a child begins to walk, recognize loved ones and memorize their words, motor, verbal and figurative types of memory are actively formed, which are leading at the age of 2–4 years. Over time, the baby masters different memorization mechanisms, his mental functions improve, resulting in learning abilities.
The memory of preschoolers is characterized by selectivity and is predominantly involuntary, because kids do not set themselves the task of remembering anything.
It is largely based on the hobbies and interests of the child, so different children relate to the same subjects in different ways. At the same time, babies also quickly capture what has been repeated many times, for example, the way to kindergarten, a fairy tale often told by their mother, or a cartoon they have repeatedly watched.
There are quite a few classifications of forms and types of memory.
If we consider from the point of view of objects and phenomena that are remembered, then memory can be:
The motor helps the child to develop physically, the emotional arises when experiencing any emotions, the verbal develops when the studied words are connected with the properties and signs of objects or phenomena, and the figurative determines the formation of certain images.
As already mentioned, figurative memory for a preschooler is the predominant type. With it, the baby highlights the most striking characteristics of a phenomenon or object, losing sight of many others (sometimes more important).
If we take into account the sensory organs used to form images, then memory is divided into:
Considering whether memorization occurs by chance or a person deliberately tries to remember something, involuntary and arbitrary memory is allocated.
There is also a separate classification by duration, according to which memory is:
- short-term when information is imprinted very quickly, but for a short period of time;
- long-term when the experience lasts for a long time.
Consider some types of memory of a preschooler in more detail.
This type of memory is also called intentional because it involves the intention to learn or recall certain information. To fix phenomena and objects in memory, the child specifically learns something, making efforts of will. Arbitrary memorization begins to appear by the age of 6–7 and is one of the most valuable achievements of the preschool period.
Note that there are several forms of reproduction in arbitrary memorization. The simplest is recognition, when the child repeatedly perceives an already familiar object and immediately recognizes it.
A more complex form can be called a memory, since in it the object itself may be absent and does not affect the appearance of the image. The most active form is called recall. It is she who represents the greatest value for educational activities.
It is also worth knowing that arbitrary memorization can be mechanical and logical.
- mechanical relies on external connections and is “memorization”, and understanding of the material is often lacking. It is used to study verses, terms, physical exercises.
- Boolean requires an understanding of the meaning of the information being studied — first, the material is analyzed and divided into components that are close to understanding.
With this type of memory, the child has no intentional goal of remembering or recalling anything. This means that cases, phenomena or objects are deposited in memory as if by themselves. Such a memory precedes the appearance of an arbitrary one and is very important for the knowledge of the surrounding world.
It should be noted that children involuntarily memorize not any information. First of all, what they like is remembered, as well as what the child is enthusiastically doing.
The kid will quickly remember something bright, colorful and unusual, new, attractive, funny, distinguished by unusual tastes and smells.
When forming such a memory, information perceived by the child by ear, as a result of which certain images are created. For training use poems, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, songs. Positive influence is also noted in frequent conversations, for example, if at the end of the day you ask the child about events in kindergarten or the next day after watching the cartoon, offer to tell the story or discuss the main character. After reading a fairy tale with your child, for better memorization, you should ask a few questions about it, try to draw conclusions from the story.
This is one of the types of figurative memory, in which The organ of vision is used to store information. For exercises and games, they resort to numerous visual aids, including bright pictures, squares with dots, color cards.
The child is offered to draw something, continue the pattern, place objects, as in the example, find differences in two pictures, determine which toy is superfluous, and so on.
This type of memory also develops well with the help of board and computer games.
Formation of memory impairment
Memory problems in childhood are due to a variety of factors. For example, they may indicate underdevelopment or brain injury. In some children, memory is impaired due to an illness or intoxication.
Various unfavorable conditions also lead to certain difficulties. For example, if a child does not receive enough vitamins and other nutrients from food, often suffers from acute respiratory infections, is in a stressful state due to tense parental relationships, conflicts with peers, lacks attention from adults.
The combination of such influences can cause hypomnesia (the so-called deterioration in memory) or amnesia (if certain moments completely fall out of the baby’s memory).
You can identify such problems with a psychologist or neurologist with the help of tests. After the examination, the doctor prescribes a corrective program aimed at improving the cognitive functions of the child’s nervous system. Next, the baby is tested again to make sure the effectiveness of the developmental classes.
How to develop before school?
For memory training, a variety of exercises and exciting tasks in a playful way are used.
It is also important to create the prerequisites for the good functioning of the brain:
- organize a good nutrition for the child;
- provide the baby with oxygen through long walks on the street (according to the recommendations of doctors — at least 2-3 hours a day);
- ensure a quality night’s sleep.
One of the most effective ways to remember something is associations, because it is easier to remember interconnected things or phenomena than unrelated information.
This is taken into account in the organization of lessons to improve memory, asking the child to remember:
- adjacent elements — phenomena or objects that have interaction in time or space (this is how they remember the order of any actions);
- similar images — things or phenomena that have something in common;
- contrasting images — something that is very different from each other.
It is advisable to develop the memory of preschoolers with the help of visual materials: a variety of cards, pictures, toys, natural objects, and so on. This will increase the amount of memorization and fixation strength.
The illustrations work well. With their help, kids perfectly reproduce stories and poems.
However, one should not be limited only to the impact on vision — it is worth using other senses in classes, for example, letting the child feel vegetables and fruits, guess them by taste or smell.
To develop auditory memory, you can read 10 words to a preschooler, and then check how many of them the child managed to remember.
For successful training, several conditions must be met:
- the game should influence feelings and emotions, be interesting for the child;
- the material should be structured, with simple logical connections;
- it is important to motivate the child to learn new things;
- memorization results should be checked regularly.
Greater efficiency is also noted in group classes: if the game is played in a kindergarten, at home with family members or outside with friends. A competitive moment is added to such games, which most children like and stimulates them to better assimilate information. You can take turns inventing words starting with a certain letter, naming objects around, repeating movements after the leader, describing a neighbor, comparing two objects, and so on.
For information on what activities can be done with a preschooler to develop memory and attention, see the following video.