These Activities for Children Are Boosting Memory
With technology today, many of the activities for children include playing video games, watching TV, or socializing on social media. When I was growing up, activities for children didn’t include any of these things. Activities for children including climbing trees, riding a bike, or running around the neighborhood with all the other kids on the block. A recent article by PsyBlog discusses research that has found that dynamic activities for children can boost working memory by 50 percent.
Memory Boosting Activities
Improving working memory can have multiple beneficial effects on different areas of life. Activities like climbing a tree, balancing on a beam, or navigating around obstacles all use proprioception. Proprioception is the brain’s awareness of the body’s position in space, which allows us to know where our body is without looking.
To determine if activities using proprioception increased working memory, researchers compared the activities to two control groups. The first group were given a lecture to see if new information would ignite increases in working memory. The second did yoga, which is static compare to climbing a tree. Neither control group experienced the same benefits to working memory that resulted from climbing trees.
Researchers believe that activities using proprioception are more effective, because memory is forced to work harder. As surroundings such as terrain and environment change while climbing a tree, the brain has to constantly update its perception of its surroundings. The difference between yoga and climbing a tree, is that yoga does not have enough environment or terrain changes to drastically boost memory.
How These Activities Can Help
Researchers suggest that by doing activities that make us think, we can exercise our bodies and minds. Choosing more unpredictable activities for children that require us to consciously adapt to our movements can boost their working memory to perform better in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. Maybe it’s time to put down the technology and pick up more old school activities.