Advice on getting a 6-year old interested in using memory techniques and making it fun


Hi, I’m hoping some of you may be able to offer some suggestions for how I might go about getting my 6-year old daughter interested in using some memory techniques.
I’m no expert in these myself although I understand the major system, peg systems and some others and am beginning to start using some of this.
What I want are some fun methods to pique her interest and want to start using them. So far I’ve never mentioned any of this to her so it will be completely new. She lives with her mum and I only get to see her fortnightly so any help I offer her is therefore sporadic.
Many thanks in anticipation.


I’d get them memorising a pack of cards without realising it.

  • Have a journey on paper in front of you, that they'd know as well as you.
  • Get them to remember a character at each stage.
  • Go through the journey afterwards and let them show-off how easily they can recall what person is at each stage.
  • Show them another piece of paper where cards are equated with characters.
  • Go through a pack of cards with them whilst they surprise themselves with their ability to recall it.
Or, you know, use candy! ;)


Thanks Graham


I’m trying to think of what other things I’ve used with my children.

I taught one of them the linking method, so that she can always beat her mum at “My Granny went shopping…”

I taught another the number-rhyme system, which was easy because she already knew the song “knick-knack” from school. We extended it to 20 and she would show-off to her friends by remembering twenty items in that Tray game.

They were never interested in memory in itself. I always had to find an angle! :slight_smile:


Here’s something I tried with my girls that seemed to work well. Find something she’s really interested in. My girls love dogs, so I printed pictures of the Top Ten dog breeds in the USA, and put them at 10 different locations around their bedroom. I went over the sequence just a couple of times, and they could recite the breeds and the order very quickly! I was amazed.


thank you Graham and Tracy :slight_smile:


Showing YouTube video footage of some of the recent feats we’ve seen by members of this forum, and others - memorising a deck in under 30 secs for example - might spark interest and some questions about how it is done. We got my 8 year old daughter the Guinness World records book at Xmas and she was engrossed with the memory pages - much as I was 30 years ago!
The XMT training site is also good, as each activity/task on there is a minute with 4 minute recall and an instant score. You do have to pay for this though. I was practicing names and faces on XMT and my daughter wanted a go. With just first names on there, some of which she could associate with people she knew or characters from tv programmes, she was quickly able to go from remembering one or two in a minute to 5 or 6. Playing it together was good fun. She saw it pretty much like any of the other apps/games she plays, like Candy Crush rather than a memory improvement game. It finishes quickly, you get your score and then you automatically start thinking about what you can do to improve. The images event on there also appealed to her.

all the best

(Badr Ibrahim) #8

hi guys …
that’s very nice thing to do …
my little sister which is 6 years old can memorize 20 cards in 2 minutes … how ?:
I just made her recognize 20 cards some are special like (K,Q,J,A) and some are not like ( 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) so … first I was just viewing them card by card and I let her to choose every card she liked to make sure that she will recognize them after that …
and then we made together some pegs with no specific system just what ever comes to our mind …
and then we made a quick review to make sure we have the images stick in our minds … and then I picked that 20 cards and shuffled them … and then we just made a story and she listen to me(the timer was on) … and we I finished I looked at the timer and it’s was 2:12 … and then I looked to her and I thought she will never remember my story because I say it to her very fast … but she wasn’t :slight_smile: … she wanted to recall them and she was very excited … and then I gave her the same 20 cards from another deck … and I told her to tell me the right sequence of the cards by pointing at he cards as story tells her … at that moment I was amazed … she got them all :slight_smile: … and I have video for that I will upload it soon if I found it …



My daughter loves doing it as well, I got a little topic about that, perhaps that could be of some help?


This may not be what you want to hear, but I feel obligated to put it out there. The problem with children learning these techniques from such an early age, is that they don’t yet have the experience of how we’ve all been taught to memorize (rote) to compare it to. If they don’t know the difference, they have no way of feeling motivated. It’s just viewed as homework, because they can’t appreciate the difference.

Additionally, you may want to ask yourself how it may affect your child socially. If he/she is not home-schooled, will these techniques cause confusion and stress because it contrasts how they are taught at school? Will they be targets for bullies? Will they be accepted by their peers for having such an advantage? What kind of person will they become, if they don’t have a chance to fit in early on? There are many, many, many possible implications. Honestly, it’s probably dangerous to start them out so young.

However, as soon as they develop good social skills, have 3 years or so of being able to know that this is just a different way to learn, that is when you should introduce them to such powerful techniques, and that is when they will benefit from it the most. They’ll be able to see how advantageous it is, they’ll already have formed good relationships and relationship skills, and they would be able to teach it to other children as well, because they know the difference.

I was reading some sort of peer-reviewed literature once on memory, and I specifically remember reading that many people with photographic (or eidetic, same thing) memories didn’t know they had that gift until, many times, after high school. I can’t factually say that this was because they didn’t know what it was like NOT having this ability, but I’m pretty sure that was the primary cause. They were viewed as extremely smart, and it’s the only way they knew. So, you have parents, teachers, peers, who don’t have a photographic memory, so they don’t understand it, and you have the person that does have a photographic memory, who as far he/she is concerned, everyone else has too. Does that make sense? An analogy is when your ear pops. It’s delightful, but you were oblivious to the fact that you had been walking around with that sort of impedence. Another analogy, is being colorblind, which I am. I didn’t know it until I was 25 or so. Green, to me, is green, I just see a different hue/tone of it. I’ll never know what it’s like to actually see green the way I am supposed to, though, and many other colors.

Essentially, what I am suggesting, is give your child the time to be able to think like other children, but have the benefit of knowing another way. Their mind will still be a sponge at this point, and you will have given that child the opportunity to learn how and why they are who they are. This is some powerful stuff! It’s like giving a child a loaded gun.

If you are set on doing this though, as for making it fun, these techniques are all based off imagery. Children love to draw. Story method. They have great imaginations. They also love rhymes, and they tend to look at people’s faces more, because they don’t give a damn about being “socially correct”. So, maybe start with memorizing names associated with facial features.

I apologize for digging in so much on this, but I just feel that you deserved to see it from my perspective over here. Thanks for reading.


The simplest method i use.
Take a grocery list, them make a story with every ‘item’ in it. Put emphasis on every Item to be sure they remember what the items are
ex: A carrot goes to the supermarket. It meet his friend who is a bootle of milk. They argue about what is better: warm butter, or yummy chocolate. So, they beguin to fight, using plastic gloves as boxing gloves. The cashier tries to separate them by throwing Strawberry Soda on them etc
Funny little stories. Then ask your kid to repeat them. Then go to the grocery and ask them to tell you what you have to buy to fit the story.
The next time, gives them ten words, and ask them to create a story about them, to get the items in the grocery.
In no time, your kids will be able to memorise dozens of items, and be proud about it.