Homeschool Diner Logo -- 1960's style sign with atomic starburst
Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
Copyright 2006 by Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's
Homeschooling Special Situations
Specific Skills Help

Advanced Level Activities for Exercising
Your Child's Short Term Auditory Memory

compiled by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2005, 2007

Some more difficult activities that help your child practice short term
auditory memory skills...

Play each game on the Advanced Level list, in the order given -- the skills
build on each other.  Keep playing them until your child finds the games
too easy or gets bored with them, then move on.  If these games are too
hard or too complicated for your child, try to modify them to suit your child’
s ability and interests... or save them for next year.

Advanced Level Activities:

  1. The Telephone Number Game
  2. Number Songs
  3. How do you spell…?
  4. Going on a Bear Hunt
  5. The Name Game
  6. X-treme Simon Says

Game Descriptions

1. Telephone Number Game
Pretend you are calling your friend – what is her number?  You can use
an unplugged telephone to add interest to this game.  Take turns making
up strings of numbers for the other to repeat.  Start with one number…
working up to four digits.  Real phone numbers have seven digits, but this
may be too many for a young child to remember.  Try adding more than
four, but realize that your child may not be developmentally ready for a
longer string of numbers – this ability increases with age.  

2. Number Songs
Attach melodies and rhythms to strings of numbers, then have your child
repeat them.  Try a cha-cha or a conga beat, the intro to Beethoven’s 5th,
or the melodies from popular songs.  Show your child how strings of
numbers can be remembered more easily when associated with a catchy
tune.  Try the Telephone Number Game using this technique.  

“Digit span” (the number of items a person can remember) increases with
a child’s age, but even a young child can learn a telephone number of
seven digits when it is attached to a melody.  Number Songs can aide in
long-term memory, as well as short-term.  School House Rock melodies
use this strategy.  So does the alphabet song.  So does the song “Fifty
Nifty United States” by Ray Charles.

3. How Do You Spell… ?  
For children who can write or type.  Dictate words to them, giving them the
spelling in groups of letters.  Begin with one letter at a time.  Instruct the
child to repeat the letter silently (only in her head), after you say it, then
write the letter.  When the child can do this, move on to two letters at a

The goal is to spell the entire word for the child, and have the child repeat
the string of letters in her head, then write them.  When you dictate the
spelling of an entire word, pause after groups of letters that match the
syllables of a word… for the word “student” say “S-T-U” [pause] “D-E-N-
T”.  This gives the string of letters a pattern, which helps the child
remember, and helps them to keep track of “where they are” in the word.

The ability to remember a string of letters or digits increases with age, so
this is a skill that will develop throughout childhood.  (Instead of telling
your child to look up how to spell a word in the dictionary, use the
opportunity to exercise short-term memory!)  

4. Going on a Bear Hunt
An old campfire story/song about hiking to find a bear, where you repeat
verses with accompanying actions – then repeat them backwards when
you run home after meeting the bear.  You can find many different
versions online and in children’s books.  Here is
one version, and
on YouTube .  One recent version is a book by Micheal
Rosen. and here is the author acting it out on YouTube :-)

5. The Name Game
This is a group activity to learn people’s names.  Play it first with groups
where kids are familiar with each other (so it won’t be too hard).  Each
person says their name, and something they like, such as “I am Mike, I like
trains.” The next person must repeat what previous people have said,
then add their own name and what they like.  “Mike likes trains.  I am
Taylor, and I like playing the piano.”  The next person will have to say,
“Mike likes trains, Taylor likes piano.  I am Zach, and I like reading.”  

If there are shy children or new people in the group, put them towards the
beginning of the line, along with your child, so it will be easier for them.  
Put older children towards the end.  Encourage everyone to help if a
player forgets.  Children learn by hearing the info repeated, as well as by
trying to repeat it themselves.    

6. X-treme Simon Says  
Like the traditional game of Simon Says, but give multiple directions.  If
your child has unusual difficulty remembering to do only what “Simon
Says”, and becomes disgruntled from forgetting this rule, change or
eliminate the rule -- it is memorizing the sequence that is important.

If these activities are too advanced for your child, try:
Simple Activities that Use a Child's Short Term Auditory

Or try out these visual activities:
Simple Activities That Require Pattern Discrimination and
Attention to Visual Detail
site map
(back to)
short term memory
(back to)
special needs