Working memory is remembering and using information while in the middle of an activity.  For example, when you are cooking, you are using working memory by remembering all the different steps of a recipe.  In the early years, children use working memory to learn their letters, sounds, shapes and colors. Later on, it is a crucial skill for taking notes and following multi-step directions.  It also plays an important role in reading comprehension.  You can help develop your child’s working memory skills through fun games and practice. On today’s post I am going to share with you some fun activities to boost working memory skills with your children.

Play Card Games

Playing cards is an excellent way to improve working memory.  When your child has to remember the rules of the game, which cards he or she is holding while also remembering the cards the other players have played, your child is exercising working memory.  Playing 10 minutes of Uno, Go Fish, Crazy Eights or War each day is so easy. You can carry a deck of cards with you anywhere.  Plus, kids love card games.

Play Memory

This game is so simple, yet so powerful.  It really helps kids boost their working memory skills.  The memory cards are placed face down. Your child will pick up 2 cards trying to make a match.  If the cards do not match, then the child has to put it back face down (exactly where it was). Then it is your turn.  If you make a match, you keep the cards. While you are turning over the cards, your child has to focus on the cards at all times, in order to remember where the card was placed.  Whoever gets the most matches wins the game. Can you see how this game really builds memory skills?

I am Going to the Beach…

The aim of this game is to remember as many items packed as possible!  You will start the game by saying, “I am going to the beach and I am bringing an umbrella.”  The child then continues, “I am going to the beach and I am bringing an umbrella and a frisbee. Then you continue with, “I am going to the beach and I am bringing an umbrella, a frisbee, and a chair.”  Keep playing and continue taking turns to remember the items in order as the list gets longer and longer.  You can change the game to many different scenarios. For example, “I went to the store and I bought…” or “I went to school and took…”

Twenty Questions

You think of an object and your child asks up to 20 questions that can be answered only with “yes” or “no.”  Then switch roles. The objective is to remember the clues and guess the object.  This is a great game to help your child’s working memory because it challenges them to think beyond what they can see in their current surroundings and forces them to visualize.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post today!

If you have any wonderful activities that you want to include on this list, please share with us in the comments below.

While you are here… check out the PRIDE Reading Program!  This Orton-Gillingham reading curriculum is heavily scripted out and easy to use.  It is perfect for teachers, tutors and parents.

Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at or visit the website at

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