Have some of the child’s familiar books available along with familiar food containers, etc. from the kitchen.
Take a baby doll into the kitchen with the parent. Ask the parent to take out some of the child’s favorite foods. As you play with the baby doll, tell the child the baby wants Cheerios (or whatever cereal the parent has out), peaches, etc. Ask the child to get a specific book to read to the baby.
Recognition of food labels and book covers indicates memory for symbolic representations. Naming or retrieving named items indicates the child can remember without a prompt.
Help early childhood educators and parents understand that there are different types of memory: memory for actions, memory for events, and memory for images or symbols that represent something (symbolic memory). Symbolic memory is important for later learning of symbols like letters and numbers. Encourage parents to read with their child, involving the child in “reading” the pictures and sharing how it relates to their own experiences.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.