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Remembering two things at a time

Why is this important?
Verbal understanding is like a ‘list’ of things/items that need to be
remembered in order to carry out the task. An example of a two-word level
instruction is ‘Give doll a banana’ (e.g. children have to remember ‘doll’ and
‘banana’). If children can’t do this, it may be that their auditory memory is
not yet sufficiently developed.

What to do
• Put out four everyday objects (e.g. cup, teddy, pencil, sock).
• Say ‘Give me pencil and teddy’.

Make sure the child waits until the end of the instruction before responding.
• Hold out your hands for the items.
• Replace and ask for two different items.
N.B. Try to remember not to look at the items as you ask for them,

or eye-point during the task as this gives clues over and above the meanings of the words only.
• Work towards the same aim via different activities:
★ Play a shopping game, or put two animals into the field,

or two items of clothing into the washing machine, etc.
★ ‘Kim’s Game’ is good for developing memory and observation skills and is also
great fun. Collect a small number of items on a tray and cover them with a cloth.
Sit in a group where all the children can see the tray. Take away the cloth and
allow the children time to scan the items carefully. Re-cover the tray then ask
each child which items they can remember. The one who remembers most wins
the game.