Lesson 4: Working Memory & Flexibility Training

Working Memory, Attention, & Cognitive Flexibility Games

While the Dino Island games of Santorini and Shell Machine also require various aspects of attention (e.g., sustained, selective), they are primarily focused on exercising children’s working memory abilities (described in Lesson 1) by requiring them to remember sequences/orders of items that are presented to them either visually or verbally.

The Volcano game is unique in that it focuses on an area of executive functioning called ‘cognitive flexbility,’ which is the ability to adaptively shift and change our thinking to meet the needs of changing situations, etc. Please see the short video below for a brief description of what cognitive flexibility is and why it is so crucial for a child’s everyday life:

Following brief introductions to these games, additional metacognitive strategies are presented that can be used during gameplay to help children overcome increasingly difficult levels.

Please keep in mind, however, that many of the strategies presented previously may also be used on these games, depending on the specific difficulty that your child is having. Which type of strategy to select will become increasingly clear to both you and your child as you run through the metacognitive strategy steps of Goal-Obstacle-Plan-Do-Review