Thursday, February 23, 2012

Elementary Activities: Memory Trick


by Deborah Pace Rowley

Last night my nine-year-old daughter came running in excitedly from the car. She had gone to the store with her dad and he had taught her a simple memory trick. She recited all the things they bought together and didn’t forget a single item. She begged him to give her another list. Her dad readily agreed and gave her a list of 10 items she needed to do to get ready for bed. She quickly zoomed through the house, remembering and completing each item. She still hadn’t gotten enough of this fun memory game. She then proceeded to use the memory trick to remember what she wanted to pray for that night! Think of the possibilities: turning chores into a fun game, listing 10 items needed to clean up a room, memorizing 10 facts for a science quiz. The way you can use this memory game is limited only by your imagination. Here are the instructions for this simple trick that you can teach your kids.

First, attach these rhyming words to the numbers 1 to 10. 
1- Bun
2- Shoe
3- Tree
4- Door
5- Hive
6- Sticks
7- Heaven
8- Gate
9- Line
10- Hen

Then you create a mental picture of the things that you need to remember connected somehow to the items above. For example: Here is your shopping list: spaghetti sauce, ice cream, oranges, apples, lettuce, milk, eggs, Cheerios cereal, bread, and jam. (All these ideas came from my nine-year-old. She is helping me with this post.)

1. Imagine a jar of spaghetti sauce inside a bun and you are about to bite into it. (The stranger the picture, the easier it will be to remember.)
2. Imagine scoops of ice cream piled into a shoe.
3. Imagine planting an orange and it grows into a bright orange tree.
4. Imagine the door handle is made of an apple core.
5. Imagine a big lettuce leaf draped over the top of the hive.
6. Imagine stirring a big glass of milk with some sticks.
7. Imagine some eggs on a cloud glowing as brightly as heaven.
8. Imagine the Cheerio loops stuck on the pickets of the gate.
9. Imagine the longest loaf of bread you have ever seen in a long line, going up and down hills as far as you can see.
10. Imagine jam all over the hen’s wings so she can’t fly.

Once you have remembered this list and you don’t need it anymore, there is one final step. You need to erase it out of your mind by repeating the number and the rhyme several times quickly. 1-bun, 2-shoe etc. This will reset your memory and allow you to attach different pictures without getting confused.

Click HERE to get the free downloadable list of numbers and pictures to help your kids learn this memory trick today.

*If the item does not automatically download, click on the gray box that says, "Download This File"
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