Visual Sequential Memory

help develop visual sequential memory skills for reading and spelling

Visual Sequential Memory is the ability to remember visual details in the correct sequence.

  • This is an essential skill for spelling and reading, where your child needs to remember the sequence of letters in order to spell the word correctly.
  • When doing multiple digit addition and subtraction, visual sequential memory is essential to help your child copy the numbers in the correct order.

The following activity ideas are seamlessly adapted from basic visual memory games. Playing these games may help your child develop the skills needed for good spelling and reading in school.

Whenever I play a visual memory game with my children, we start off with the conventional visual memory aspect then adapt the game slightly to work on sequential memory skills in the same sitting.

These visual perception activities are intended to encourage your child's normal visual perceptual development.
If you suspect your child has visual perceptual delays, please seek a professional opinion.

Use Matching Cards for Visual Sequential Memory

Cards that are used for memory matching games are ideal, but you can also use other matching card games if you have those on hand.

Start with 8 or 10 pairs of matching cards.

Split the cards between you and your child so you each have one of each picture.

In this pic, you can see this child has her set of cards laid out neatly on her left, so she can easily find them.

Behind a divider, set out 2 of your cards without your child seeing.

Two cards are set out behind a divider

Move the divider away for a few seconds so your child can see your cards.

I try to move it so that the divider covers the line of sight to the child's own cards. This forces your child to concentrate on the revealed cards and not to try to spot them among the pool just yet.

I reveal the cards, while at the same time blocking the child's view to her own cards

Return the divider to its place and let your child attempt to place the same cards down in the same order.

This child has reversed the order...

The child attempts to replicate the cards in the correct order

So I am giving her a chance to correct it.

At this point I reinforce that she should look at the cards from left to right.

As your child improves over a few sessions, you can increase the number of cards in the sequence.

You can find some great matching cards on Amazon that you can use for these visual sequential memory activities. I link to a few here for your convenience.
These are affiliate links and I earn a small commission if you purchase something through my links - however, you are under no obligation to purchase anything!

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Use Kim's Game for Visual Sequential Memory

Kim's Game is a well-known Scouts game which is used to develop the scout’s ability to notice details and recall what was seen. I use simple adaptations of this game as effective visual memory activities, and on this page I explain how you can adapt the basic concept to make a visual sequential memory game.

You will need a plain tray, a variety of household objects and/or small toys, and a cloth to cover the items.

Very Important:

Make sure your child knows the names of all the objects you will use in Kim's Game. You can adapt the game according to the age and ability of your child by altering the number of objects shown and/or the time given to look at them!

If your child struggles with verbal skills, then have a duplicate set of items, with some additional objects, on the side, and your child can point out the ones seen on the tray. So if you have 4 objects on the tray, make sure you have the same four objects on the side, in between a few extra objects.

How To Play

Show your child a few objects on the tray for a few seconds.

Cover the tray, put your hand under the cover and rearrange the objects.

Now ask your child to place the objects into their original position.

Increase the challenge by using more objects...

...and by jumbling them up to make it harder for your child to rearrange them.

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Thank you for visiting my site! I hope you are inspired to help boost your child's visual sequential skills with these simple activities! 

If your child struggles with reading, writing and spelling, I always recommend that the eyes be assessed by a behavioral optometrist.

These professionals will assess whether your child's eyes are working well together in order to track the words they are reading and copying. If your child's eyes are not working together properly, then it is much more challenging for your child to remember what was seen.

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