Remembering two things at a time
Why is this important?
Verbal understanding is like a ‘list’ of things/items that need to be
remembered in order to carry out the task. An example of a two-word level
instruction is ‘Give doll a banana’ (e.g. children have to remember ‘doll’ and
‘banana’). If children can’t do this, it may be that their auditory memory is
not yet sufficiently developed.
What to do
- Put out four everyday objects (e.g. cup, teddy, pencil, sock).
- Say ‘Give me pencil and teddy’. Make sure the child waits until the end of the instruction before responding.
- Hold out your hands for the items.
- Replace and ask for two different items.
N.B. Try to remember not to look at the items as you ask for them or eye-point during the task as this gives clues over and above the meanings of the words only.
- Work towards the same aim via different activities: Play a shopping game, or put two animals into the field, or two items of clothing into the washing machine, etc.
- ‘Kim’s Game’ is good for developing memory and observation skills and is also great fun.
- Collect a small number of items on a tray and cover them with a cloth. Sit in a group where all the children can see the tray. Take away the cloth and allow the children time to scan the items carefully. Re-cover the tray then ask each child which items they can remember. The one who remembers most wins the game.