Following on in our Visual Perception Skills Series the next area of visual perception skill development is Visual Memory. This is the ability to recall and use visual information from the past by place into memory the information that resembles objects, places, animals or people in sort of a mental image. This enables the retrieval from our memory a mental image of the original object, place, animal or person, being able to remember the location of objects and remembering lost or hidden objects.
Activities that can help develop this skill include:
Playing matching pairs help children develop this skill as they need to remember where the same pictures are throughout the game. When introducing this game to children start with just a few pairs and gradually build up to a full game. Some children may also find it easier to complete the game if the cards are arranged in neat rows rather than spread out randomly.
Playing Kim’s Game will also help develop this skill. Place a number of familiar items on a tray and allow your children to view the objects for one minute before covering and and asking them to recall the items. Again when introducing this game start with just a few items and gradually increase it as they develop the skill. If your child struggles with saying the items that are on the tray you can use duplicate items or photographs and get them to create a matching tray.
You can also do similar using books with pictures e.g First Hundred Words, First Thousand Words and Everyday Words – show your child the picture and then cover it up and ask them questions – what is the boy in the red t-shirt doing? what colour is the slide? where is the cat? etc.
Another fun activity is completing the shape / picture – show your children a shape / picture and then give them an incomplete one and see if they can add the missing bits from memory.
Last of all practicing spellings using the look, cover, write, check strategy uses this skill and can help children develop it further.