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What Is Visual Memory? And 8 Visual Memory Activities For Kids

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Table of Contents

What is Visual Memory?

Visual memory refers to one’s ability to recollect any information that has been received in the past through the eyes. The information can be a symbol, word, picture, activity, or any other object. This ability is essential for children in the learning process.

Mainly, there are two forms of visual memory: short-term visual memory and long-term visual memory. Let’s find out what they actually mean.

Visual Short-Term Memory

It is the ability to recollect images one has just viewed. This helps to copy notes from any board or book. An individual with poor short-term visual memory faces difficulty in transcribing notes as they are not able to remember what they have just seen.

Visual Long-Term Memory

Visual long-term memory refers to the ability to recollect information that has been received in the recent or distant past. This ability has massive storage which is important to acquire for children. Advanced visual long-term memory is extremely useful for kids to perform better in their academic settings.

Hand playing memory board game, strategy concept.

Importance of Visual Memory

As the name suggests, visual memory is the ability to remember the characteristics of any shape, symbol, object or form, seen through the eyes. It is necessary for an individual to remember information to perform any activity.

If your kids face difficulty holding back the information in their working memory, it will also be a struggle for them to process and transfer the information to the long-term memory.

In some cases, kids with visual memory problems don’t have any problem with their auditory memory.

For example, often it is observed that some kids tend to repeat words while reading. It is because they try to compensate for their bad visual memory with their auditory memory.

Bad visual memory can be a trouble for children when it comes to the recognition of the shape and form of words. This can appear to be a serious problem as they have frequently been facing issues with comprehension.

Visual sequential memory is the capability to remember characters and symbols in the original order. This is an important skill to spell words correctly. Children with poor visual sequential memory have difficulty forming any spelling. This letter sequence visual memory activity is something that an occupational therapist does if a child struggles with the ability to recall visual information. But you can do this with household items and objects at home!

Incorporating additional alphabets, leaving alphabets out, and switching words are some of their commonly faced problems. They also face problems remembering and recognizing shapes and patterns in order to perform academic tasks. With the lack of these skills, they also face major difficulties not only as students but also later in life.

kids playing games at the kitchen table with blocks

How Can You Identify if Your Child Has a Poor Visual Memory?

Incorrectly recognized or processed visual information is difficult to be integrated with the other senses. It actually weakens one’s learning experiences instead of strengthening them.

For example, the ability to learn music is an integration of visual-auditory skills. Similarly, learning dance by watching and following the choreographer is a visual perceptual skill that is an integration of visual-motor skills and visual memory.

Visual memory is what helps a child to recognize as well as remember visual stimuli such as letters and words, along with their meaning. Identifying, remembering, and applying information easily and quickly is vital for performance in reading comprehension. The student needs to have a healthy visual memory for easy comprehension.

Poor visual memory is also one of the common causes for letter reversals. A student with a visual memory problem is more likely than his peers to keep reversing letters, such as p and q and b and d. This is because they may recall the shape but not the correct directionality or laterality.

Confused Toddler
Confused Toddler

Signs of Poor Visual Memory

If your child displays many of these symptoms, poor visual memory could be at the underlying reason.

  • Difficulty in copying information from the board or a book
  • Difficulty in recognizing numbers or letters
  • Problems with sight words (sounding them out instead)
  • Appearing lazy in written work
  • Confusing letters or words when writing
  • Weak math skills
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Weak spelling skills
  • Slow handwriting
  • Difficulty in identifying similar-looking words
  • Trouble in numbers on a calculator or finding letters on a keyboard
  • Trouble in memorizing basic information like phone numbers

Other than these, recollecting contact numbers, following tasks that involve visual cues, and getting confused with letters or words are some signs of poor visual memory. Once identified, these issues need to get immediate attention and treatment.

How to Improve Your Child’s Visual Memory


There are a lot of fun activities that help to improve visual memory deficits. Exercises in the form of a game or fun activity are more encouraging for children to practice regularly.

Therefore, it is considered to be the best way to refine your child’s visual memory skills. Here are some solutions that are beneficial in improving poor visual memory skills:

Missing Items

Put some random items with which your kids are familiar. Allow your child to look at those for just a few seconds (around 10 seconds is good) and then cover them up.

Now, have them mention the objects as far as they can recall. You can always customize the difficulty level according to your child’s ability.

This exercise helps to stimulate your child’s brain to activate visual memory and can be beneficial if performed daily.

multiethnic kids playing chess board game at school

Magic Cups

This game is fun. Keep an item under a cup and continue moving it around other cups to jumble them up. Now have your child identify the cup with an item under it as soon as you stop moving. This exercise is extremely helpful to improve children’s visual memory and visual system.

Complete Recollection

Display some images and ask your kid to look at them for a maximum of 10 seconds. Now ask them to recollect the order of the images.

You can also ask them to draw the pictures. The difficulty level can be adjustable in order to stimulate your child’s visual memory. Matching cards is a great way to improve these types of visual memory.

Detailed Picture Study

Make your child look at a piece of art and study it for a minimum of 30 seconds. Later, ask your child to describe the picture in each detail like the shapes, lines, used colors, actions, characters, location, and so on.

You can ask questions of your choice to make your child recollect the memory and answer it. This task involves their visual memory and improves it with consistent practice.

Kids playing cards on the floor at home

I Spy Game

This is also another game that you can play with your children to improve their visual memory. You just need to find an object with your eyes only and ask your kids to guess it.

Reverse the role and play it. This game allows your child’s brain to focus only on what they see and recall it. Thus, it helps to improve their visual memory.

Puzzle Games

Introduce your children to puzzle games. Choose the difficulty level according to their age and ask them to solve it. This game helps to improve their visual memory.

Recall the Day

After returning home from the school or park, ask your child to recall their day. To answer your question, your kid needs to consult their visual memory and explain the happenings that took place.

This small step is essential and can have a great impact on improving their visual memory.

Recall Dreams

Instruct your kids to recall and describe their dreams to you. With dreams, there are often visual components and therefore attempting to remember what happened in them can help with visual memory.



Improved visual memory aids many skills including those needed for one’s academic performance. It helps one to be a better speller and also advances their mathematical skills.

Visual memory skills have a vital role in improving the problem-solving ability of your child. Children with a strong visual memory are able to remember most of the information that they receive through their eyes.

If your child has experienced brain damage or has a learning disability it would be best to consult an occupational therapist to assist with their visual perception skills and visual memory. It is very common for visual memories, spatial memory & the ability to create a mental image to be heavily affected in this regard.

Visual memory needs to be integrated with the other sensory systems in order to achieve overall cognitive development. To conclude, it is important to pay attention to and take care of the visual memory of your child during their early days of development. To help your child with these visual memory activities are the best way to help your child today.


Visual Memory Activities for Kids. (2022). Retrieved 10 January 2022, from

How to Improve Working Memory in Kids | Understood – For learning and thinking differences. (2022). Retrieved 10 January 2022, from

How to Improve Children’s Visual Memory. (2022). Retrieved 10 January 2022, from

Metivier, A. (2022). Visual Memory: What It Is & How to Improve It. Retrieved 10 January 2022, from

12 Visual Memory Games and Activities for Kids. (2022). Retrieved 10 January 2022, from

The Properties of Human Memory and Their Importance for Information Visualization. (2022). Retrieved 10 January 2022, from

The Importance of Visual Sequential Memory/Inner Pieces Gallery. (2022). Retrieved 10 January 2022, from

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