Alphabet peg works for my 3 year old

I tested it today and I was a little surprised by how affective it was even for someone so young.

We have a play mat with the letters morphed into different animals. “A” is alligator, “B” is bear, “C” is cat, and so on.

I created a shopping list and we sat at the mat and I came up with an odd visualization for each animal letter and object. We got to “K” before she said she didn’t want to do it anymore . After a few hours I asked her, “what did the alligator have? What did the bear have?” and so on. She got all of them correct except for 2. I didn’t think she would do so good. It might have even been my fault she didn’t get them all right since I may have not created effective enough images for her.

I’m so glad I learned about this stuff. This will make school so much better for my kids! I wish I had known about it.


That’s amazing!
Did you use any loci?

I just used the alphabet animals. Not sure if that counts as loci since the letters are a location of sorts. I’m going to introduce loci soon to my daughter and my son (5). I’m sure my 5 year old will understand how to use loci but we’ll see about my 3 year old.

Beautiful. A beautiful thing is to be taught by your parents with love and even sublime it is, to be taught the best way possible. Hope over the years we can hear or who knows maybe we see, the progress of your child’s training. Keep at it.


BTW, I re-quizzed my 3 year old this morning and she got 100% on the shopping list.


yes they do count as a loci, however, you’d still have to place the animal somewhere.

It would be interesting to know how she sees the shopping list item linked with a cat in her mind. where is the Cat? What does she see? I’m trying to figure out if she sees a cat in the house, or a friend’s cat in their house, or somewhere else. I assume she does think of a location where she’ll remember a cat being there, and then see the link happening there. This is very interesting as I’ve never heard of a 3 year old memorising stuff before. It’s amazing she can still recall them all 100%.

I hadn’t thought to ask her that. When my wife sends me to the store I use an alphabet peg as well but I dont imagine the characters anywhere. They just exist independently in a void acting out a crazy scene. I’ve found that’s enough for me to remember her list.

One interesting thing was that I tried to make a new list for my daughter but she had trouble attaching a new object to an animal we already used.

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This is where a loci would come in handy.
If you place a Cat on your table for example, and the cat throws the previous item on the floor, and then picks up the new item via some other exaggerated story , that should be enough to memorise and remember the new item.

Another way would be that the Cat leaves the item on the table, and Jumps onto the Chair to link the new item with a new story.

One other way would be to Chain-Link the new item to the existing one. But this is probably not useful because the previous item has to be linked with the new one, which means you’d still remember the previous item as well, and probably not good for a shopping list.

Another way would be to use the Cat itself and create 5 loci on it. The head of the cat, the paws, the body, feet, tail etc. And create little mini stories with each body part.

It would be interesting to see how and if any one of these methods would work, or be favoured by children as young as 3 and upwards.

I remember watching a Tony Buzan video about this as he was asked how early these methods would be taught to children. His answer was, as early as possible.

If they are having “fun” with it, then I think they’ll have the desire to learn more as it would be a some kind of a game to them, and as long as they keep having fun with it, they probably won’t get bored.

When I memorise stuff, I always try to create funny links. Not only I remember it better, but I want to do more of it.


Awesome! I will definitely try that to erase the previous item. Seems like it should work quite well.


Let us know your experience.

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I started using memory palaces with my kids when they were five. They pick it up pretty quickly.

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How did you taught them? I’d like to teach my cousins and some friends, but I may be too intimidating or robotic… :confused:

I made it a game. I started out by making a (pretend) grocery list together – we each got to choose the next item to add. Then for each item as we chose it I linked it to a spot in their bedrooms. Then it was easy to ask in sequence “What was behind the door? In the corner? On the dresser?” etc.

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I’d love to know how to teach that. I have a 3 year old daughter, who is quite rich in her own imagination (as opposed to our childhood).

This morning I introduced memory palace to my kids. I put stuffed animals in various spots around the house and created a visualization of the character interacting with an object. Then I took them to a different room so they couldn’t see where the animals were. I then asked them, “who was at the (blank)?” If they got that right I asked what object the character had. I only started with 5 loci but they aced it.

In the future I can make it more difficult. I can create a list and have them create the visualization, add more loci, get rid of the stuffed animals, etc.


My son is almost 6 and has been rejecting imagination sometimes. For example, when I created the first image for our game today (Slimer from the Ghostbusters riding a horse) he rejected the game because “Slimer doesn’t ride a horse.” I had to convince him to come back and play along.

Hopefully I can keep up this memory stuff and keep him from sliding away from imagination. I’ve also had him watching Studio Ghibli movies to reinvigorate his interest in imagination.