Have you ever noticed the mind-boggling difference between learning from a fun teacher and a boring one?
Not only is learning from a fun teach a zillion (yes, a zillion) times more enjoyable, but we actually retain much more of the information taught.
Why is this? Dopamine.
When it comes to learning how to remember things, don’t forget to add the magic ingredient: dopamine. This neurochemical helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers and works as a mental “save button;” when it is present during an experience, we remember it. Dopamine tells our brain that this is something worth holding onto — it gives our brain permission to store it.
Now, aside from reading our lecture notes to ourselves in funny accents, how can we make remembering things fun? By turning it into a game. The competition, reward, and overall fun of games will generally make your brain produce a ton of dopamine.
What’s a better way to brain train?
You can train your brain to learn how to remember things more efficiently by playing fun memory games. Teach them to your kids, play them alone, or play them as a family… Whichever way, you will be exercising your memory, and, smile, — muscles; a win-win.
Memory games for kids
Spot the Difference
Stand in front of your kid and have them study what you look like and what you are wearing. Have them close their eyes. While their eyes are closed, change something. You can take off an earring, roll up a pant leg, tuck your shirt in, what-have-you. Then, challenge them to spot what you changed. This is one of our favorite memory games for kids because it is highly interactive.
Lay some playing cards face down and allow your kid to flip over two cards for each turn. The object is to try and score pairs of matching cards. This forces your child to scan their memory of what each card is after they’ve seen it. If they succeed in turning over a pair, they get to keep it and have another turn. If not, it’s your (or the next player’s) turn. The winner of the game is the person with the most matches.
Memory games for adults
You know the kind we are talking about — crosswords, Sudoku, all the good stuff. Utilizing your daily newspaper helps to make a routine of playing these fun, free memory games. These mentally challenging games promote a healthier and quicker mind by increasing active brain cells. Once a puzzle is no longer challenging, though, it’s time to switch it up and play a different one.
As one of the top rated memory games for adults, Lumosity (created by neuroscientists) teaches you how to remember things most efficiently by combining and stimulating all the different memory areas of your brain. Lumosity works with your transforming mind to create new levels of games and puzzles that will consistently challenge you and benefit your memory recall.
Memory games for the whole family
Another fantastic way to learn how to remember things is to play these memory games with people you love — your brain learns better when it’s happy chemicals (that sweet, sweet dopamine) are fluttering about.
Blind Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles are an awesome family activity; you get to create and grow together. They are also super beneficial for training your short term memory — it gets a good workout sorting through the cornucopia of shapes and colors to assemble the picture. Plus, every time your brain here’s that glorious “click” sound of snapping the right pieces together, it rewards you with yet another spurt of dopamine.
For an extra challenge, you can get jigsaw puzzles with more pieces (fancy 1,000?), or even try playing it “blind,” which means to not look at the final picture on the box.
The memory train
This game is fun because, as opposed to creating an image as a group or family, you get to create a story.
This game is commonly played using the idea of going on a trip and packing a suitcase. You can start off by saying, “I’m going on a trip! I’m packing my suitcase and I’m bringing my… flute.” Then, the next person repeats the same phrase and adds an item to the suitcase. So, “I’m going on a trip! I’m packing my suitcase and I’m bringing my… flute and my overalls.” You continue this story until someone messes up the list.
This story can be applied to any type of list, like a grocery list. However, we enjoy the suitcase list because you can get really creative with items to bring (and it may help to attract a real-life trip!). If you want to impress your family, try combining this memory game with some awesome memory techniques, such as the Memory Palace.
Looking for even more ways to improve your memory? Check out our Ultimate Guide On How To Improve Your Memory.
Do you have any tips on how to remember things better? Do you have any favorite memory games? Share with us in the comments below!