Brain Training: Arrows

Enrichment Therapies

March 21, 2017

By Haley Hall, B.A. LEAP Instructor & Learning Specialist

Does your child struggle with attention or memory? Are you looking for an effective strategy to improve your child’s ability to process information? Follow the directions below as a fun way to improve attention skills, enhance working memory, and build visual processing skills. Each level increases the difficulty by adding another mental challenge. Don’t worry… your brain can adapt and grow!

  1. Download the Arrows Training Worksheet.
  2. Choose one of the arrow sets to complete. Begin with level 1 below. As your child practices more, you’ll find that each level is getting easier, which means that they are ready to try the next level. Have your child place the exercise in front of them with their hands in their lap on beside the paper.
  3. Use this image of arrows as an example for each level.

Level 1 From the top row, moving left to right, call out the color of each of the arrows without a mistake. For example, the arrows above would say: “green, blue, red, yellow, blue, yellow, green.”

Level 2 Call out the direction of each arrow.  Do it without error in 40 seconds.  Keep practicing until you can do it in only 20 seconds. For example, the arrows above would say: “left, up, right, up, left, right, up.”

Level 3 Next, call out the direction of the arrows as if they were turned a quarter-turn clockwise.  Get that time down to 20 seconds without error. For example, the arrows above would say: “up, right, down, right, up, down, right.”

Level 4 Call out the color of the UP and DOWN arrows, and call out the direction of the LEFT and RIGHT arrows (this requires divided attention).  For example, the arrows above would say: “left, blue, right, yellow, left, right, green.” Once mastered, increase the difficulty by saying red for yellow and blue for green.  The arrows above would say, “left, blue, right, red, left, right, blue.” Try substituting different colors.  Keep track of your time and stay with it until each exercise flows quickly and smoothly.

Level 5 Call out the direction of the arrow as if red and green arrows were turned a 1/4-turn clockwise and yellow and blue were turned 1/4-turn counterclockwise.  For example, the arrows above would say: “up, left, down, left, down, up, right.” You will find yourself not only doing the familiar ones easier but mastering each new variation faster as well.  This is because your brain is growing new connections to handle the challenges!

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.

740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317


5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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