Ever noticed how when parents ask kids to do something the kids have “selective listening”? (I think it should be called “selective ignoring’) While that may be the issue, we may be sabotaging the situation ourselves by giving kids more things to remember than their memories can hold. For example, when we say “Okay, you need to put away your toys,” we are asking the child to gather up the toys, hold them, walk to the bins and put them away. That’s really 4 instructions. Giving only 1 or 2 steps at a time makes it easier for kids.
At the same time, we need to help kids remember more steps at a time and one way to do this is to practice. And practice is easier when it’s fun. Giggles and smiles can help both memory and kindergarten readiness. Here’s a way to use them to help with remembering. Give your little one 1 or 2 requests, such as go to the shelf and pick out a book. Add a little bit more to remember by saying something like, “Bring it back on your head and I will read it to you but you have to say please, please, pleeeease read me this book and give me a big smoochy hug and kiss so smoochy that I have to wipe my cheek and say yuck!” You might even suggest that that is so much to remember that it would be good idea to practice first. Or you might need the cushion returned to the sofa instead of the floor so you can ask your child to pick up the cushion, give it a big giant huge bear hug all over, growl like a bear, and then put it on the sofa.
By increasing the number of things to remember, kids stretch their memories and it’s much easier to remember when something is fun. A few silly extras every now and again will help your child develop both more memory capacity and readiness for kindergarten.