How To Remember Things Better — The Fun Way

how to remember things

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.

What Helps To Remember Things?

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.

How Can I Memorize Fast And Effectively?

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.

How Do You Remember Names Quickly?

Remembering names can be really hard sometimes, especially if you meet a lot of new people at the same time. But, forgetting someone’s name can be very awkward. So, in order to prevent that, here are some tricks for remembering names quickly.

1. Repeat

When you meet someone and her his/her name, don’t just not and take that you will remember it. You won’t. Try to repeat it.

For example, if you meet a Jane, try saying “Nice to meet you, Jane”, or as a question like “Jane, how are you today?”. Keep using their name throughout the conversation, but try not to sound too robotic or pushy.

This will help you bury their names in your long term memory, so you will not have problems with remembering.

2. Spelling

If you have good visual memory, and if someone you meet has an unusual name, it is good to ask them to spell it. Or, you can even ask for a business card and keep that mental picture of someone’s name in your head.

3. Associations

This is yet another trick for people with good visual memory. It is good to make a picture of new people with something that you find characteristic to them. For example: Sara’s in sales. Apart from the fact that you have connected the words, you can also imagine her selling something and keep that picture in your head.

4. Be Interested

Some psychologists suggest that we have hard times remembering someone’s name because we are not interested in learning it in the first place.

If you try and make it seem important to you, and if you are really interested in learning someone’s name, it will be much easier even without the aforementioned tricks.

How Can I Memorize for a Long Time?

If you want to remember things for long, and why wouldn’t you, there are some steps that you should take.

The acronym is AIR: Association, Imagination, Repetition.

All learning is basically imagination. From the young age, we start with association. We associate sounds with alphabet letters, combine letters to get words, and associate words with pictures.

This is where imagination happens. The crazier it is, the better it is for memory retention.

Of course, the repetition is the key. If you don’t repeat something, it is easy to forget. But, if you repeat those mental pictures that you have, the longer the knowledge will remain in your mind.

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.

Matching Pairs

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.

fun, free memory games

Memory Games For Adults

Newspaper Puzzles

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.

You can try out Lumosity for a small monthly fee, or use Memorado, which is a similar program, but it’s full of free memory games.

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!


Natasha Wanderly

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

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