Featured Article from the 2022 Edition of the BOOM Magazine.
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We all want to build lasting family traditions and create lifelong memories with our families. The children in our lives are young for such a fleeting amount of time, making every moment precious. Helping children hold on to the memory of every trip, birthday, surprise, and celebration is a difficult task, but there are science-backed ways to help kids hold onto those moments.
Make it a Story
Talk about your travel plans or why an event is important with your child. Do this before the event, during the event, and afterward. Let this narrative be something you often revisit with them, allowing them the opportunity to retell it to you in their own words. This repetition helps them cement the memory and gives them the language to share that memory moving forward.
Connect Entertainment to Their Interests
There is nothing quite like a child’s excitement when they get what they want or experience something aligned with their interests. Finding ways to weave in your child’s interests on any vacation or event can help them better engage, increasing the likelihood they will remember the trip.
Engage Every Sense
Studies suggest we are more apt to remember things when all of our senses are being engaged. This connection between sense and memory is why we might recall a family meal when we smell certain spices or think of a beloved toy when we touch certain fabrics. Use this connection between our senses and memories to your child’s benefit by engaging as many senses as possible when building memories.
Let Them Pick Out a Souvenir
While it is not always feasible to have a souvenir for every trip or event, having an item associated with a memory can help a child recall that memory at a later date. Once you are back in your routine, ask your child to remember the story behind specific souvenirs and toys, as this can solidify those memories.
Drawing on the Past
Drawing images of events can help children remember and recall memories. Prompting young children to depict events helps them process the information and can help strengthen their memory. This creative process also presents an opportunity for them to create a lasting memento to commemorate the event. Later, show the child the drawing (or better yet, point it out on the fridge) and ask them to tell you the story behind the picture. The repetition of recalling the event and associating it with the drawing will only further help cement the memory.
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