Learning to remember and then say the names of three things
Why is this important?
Verbal understanding can be likened to a ‘list’ of things that need to be remembered in order to carry out a task. If, for example, a three-word instruction is given (e.g. ‘Wash doll’s face’), the child has to remember ‘wash’, ‘doll’ and ‘face’. If he/she can’t do this, it may be that auditory memory is not yet sufficiently developed.
What to do
- Gather together a selection of pictures of everyday things. These could be cards or cut out from magazines.
- Place a few cards (i.e. four) face-down on the table.
- Choose three cards but don’t show them to the child.
- Look at the cards and say what they are (e.g. ‘I’ve got a hat, a cup and a pencil’). Ask: ‘Can you remember what cards I’ve got?’
- If the child is right, show your cards and reinforce: ‘Well done! A hat, a cup and a pencil!’
- If the child finds it difficult or remembers only one or two items, repeat what cards you have, emphasising the key words (e.g. ‘I’ve got hat, cup and pencil’).
- Try the activity with some action pictures (e.g. ‘doll is sitting’, ‘boy jumping bed’). Can the child copy these three-word phrases?