The Brain Needs Language
Because memories are stored and accessed through words, kids rarely retain anything that happened before they can talk. "That's why people don't remember experiences from infancy," explains Lise Eliot, PhD, associate professor of neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School. "Once kids can verbalize things in detail, they're far more likely to remember them."
Make an impression: Help kids develop their ability to narrate their own experiences by talking about your time together. For example, after a trip to Grandma's house, ask your child what her favorite part of the visit was and what she wants to do again. Another conversation starter: Look at photos together and describe the scene. Pull up a slide show on your computer and say, "In that picture, you're wearing your favorite purple jacket. What else are you wearing?" Having your child tell you about where you were, what you did, and what she loved most will help her paint a vivid image of the scene, making it easier to recall.