What Are Memory Games?
You might use luminosity and your parents might enjoy crossword puzzles. These are both terrific examples of memory games that enhance cognition and memory. The same benefit derived from these adult games can be achieved by utilizing memory games for children.
At first it was thought that cognition was developed later in life but now it’s proven that these previously held assumptions were inaccurate. As mothers we know, having witnessed all the miracles from birth, that our children are learning and developing and rapidly. However, a recent study confirms that in fact, 90% of a child’s brain is actually formed by the age of 5! This startling research has altered the way in which we are interacting with our precious children and in turn the importance we now place on cognitive development.
What Is Cognitive Development?
Cognitive Development is a child’s ability to learn and solve problems. Piaget, whose theory of cognitive development is well regarded, believed that “children took at active role in the learning process”. The Urban Child Institute expertly reveals the science behind what is occurring in your child’s brain. “Genes provide a blueprint for the brain but a child’s environment and experiences carry out the construction”.
We are all familiar with the nature vs. nurture debate, and this is at the center of the discussion, as these two components influence the way in which our children grow, develop and ultimately succeed in life. Our children and therefore their brains too are ‘coded’ via our genetics. However, the other vital component impacting our children’s brains and development is their environment/experiences. It is this component that we as mothers can greatly influence, nurture and mould. As parents, we all strive for the same goals with our children, we want them to succeed and be the best they can be.
This greater understanding of cognitive development reveals that engaging in games aimed at enhancing cognitive ability and developing problem solving skills is essential to your child’s future success. You might be thinking, ‘Oh there’s time, my daughter is only 3 years old’. Unfortunately, you would be sadly mistaken.
We are now cognizant of the fact that the first five years of our child’s life are extremely important. They form our child’s future “health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement at school, in the family and community, and in life in general.”
However, what many might not know is that “the first three years are the most critical in shaping the child’s brain architecture”. Early experiences provide the foundation for the brain’s “organizational development and functioning throughout life”. There is a direct correlation between early experiences and how children acquire learning skills, as well as social and emotional abilities.
The most important thing to realize is that it’s not too late to positively impact your child’s cognitive development. Interestingly, “in the first three years, a child’s brain has up to twice as many synapses as it will have in adulthood”.
What Can I Do To Enhance My Child’s Brain Development?
The US department of Education provides useful information about children’s brain development. They strongly urge parents to “encourage your child to sort and match objects during routine tasks”, warning that “without proper cultivation, children can lag behind”.
No mother would willingly deny their child the optimal circumstances in which to flourish and now armed with the correct information, will take the necessary steps to ensure their child is being afforded every opportunity possible. This is precisely why certain reputable companies have dedicated themselves to providing educational games specifically targeting cognitive development.
Cognitive Development and Play
Learning while playing is easy to master with the assistance and assurance of trusted games for your children. Studies reveal that the sooner you cultivate your child’s cognitive abilities, the better.
Improving your child’s concentration is especially vital in today’s technological society. Over-stimulus, a detrimental effect from all of our 21st century gadgets, has unfortunately created many troublesome problems for our children. Attention deficit disorder being one such notable condition, not to mention the alarming studies showing that people’s attention span is less than a fish. In order to avoid such issues in your child’s life, you need to ensure that their concentration and therefore memory skills are cultivated.
Why is Memory Important?
Boosting a child’s memory capacity is one of the greatest gifts you can afford your children. Studies reveal that increased memory capacity also improves self-awareness, communication skills, social skills and self-confidence. Improvements in concentration also aid future learning.
Does Technology Affect My Child’s Cognitive Development?
The simple answer is yes, it can. In order to better understand how and why, it’s useful to journey back in time before technology became such a prevalent part of our lives. In 2008, it was recommended that TV and video time would not exceed 1-2 hours. Like many parents today experience, the use of iPads and smartphones have become all too consuming. To encourage brain development, it’s imperative that parents limit the amount of time spent with technological gadgets.
A survey of Canadian media consumption by Microsoft concluded that “the average attention span had fallen to eight seconds, down from 12 in the year 2000. We now have a shorter attention span than goldfish.” It’s shocking to read such findings as an adult let alone when you consider our children’s young minds. However, the good news is that as a parent you can make a difference that will ultimately challenge these alarming statistics.
Whilst digital games and puzzles certainly have a role to play in education, it’s important we weigh up the merits of physical verses digital puzzles, and which is better for cognitive development. See our related article on this topic.
Other Benefits Associated With Memory Games
The incredible benefits are not only limited to your children, as whomever plays with them will reap the rewards too. If you consider your own parents for a moment, you’re probably thinking of ways in which you can enhance their cognition. The wonderful part about these types of games is that they’re terrific for all ages. A grandmother in her late ‘60’s will derive much benefit from playing memory games too.
In this way, these games are multi-generational and especially when grandparents are babysitting, you can be rest assured that your children will be engaged in stimulating activities that enhance their cognition. Similarly, you will have the added bonus of knowing that your parents too will be activating their own minds when playing with your children.
In today’s world where we’re ‘connecting’ on multiple platforms, yet not really connecting, it’s imperative that we have ways to share, learn, stimulate and grow and these can be achieved via educationally sound memory games.