If your child needs extra encouragement to improve hand-eye coordination, here are some simple at-home activities to help keep children engaged and build the much-needed skill.
Hand-eye coordination is an important life skill needed to complete everyday tasks such as learning to read, write at school and play sports.
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For example, when writing your brain needs to track the position of a pencil and control the specific hand movements. The same applies when reading books as our brain needs to track the words from left to right as we read the words from a book.
Children who struggle with their coordination usually show signs of clumsiness, holding things too close to their eyes and frustration.
In general, the process of developing hand-eye coordination skills usually occur naturally through play but in some cases, children need an extra helping hand.
If your child needs extra encouragement to improve hand-eye coordination here, are some simple at-home activities to help keep children engaged and build the much-needed skill:
One of the most common and easy ways to develop a child's hand-eye coordination from a young age is by simply practising catching and throwing different sized balls for a few minutes every day or by alternating the technique by bouncing the ball back and forward.
Ball wall toss
If nobody is available to play catch, get your child to practise gently hitting and catching a ball against a wall. To keep them from getting bored, encourage your child to better their score each time by counting how many they can do without letting the ball drop.
Tell the kids the floor is lava and they need to keep brightly coloured balloons up in the air at all times. Watch as they hop about in excitement working various muscles while also trying to concentrate on the task in hand by keeping the balloons away from the floor.
Activities such as threading and lacing are a simple and fun way of passing the time. However, the other many benefits include improving fine motor skills and concentration, enhancing planning skills, inspiring creativity and of course, improving visual-motor skills.
Playing outdoors is always a fun way to spark creativity and a love for nature but with age-appropriate games or working in the garden can help gross motor skills and coordination. Have the littles sow seeds, pull weeds and make mud pies in all shapes and sizes.
Invest in brightly coloured sturdy wooden or thick cardboard jigsaw puzzles in their favourite characters to help develop and improve problem-solving skills, shape recognition, attention and of course, hand-eye coordination.
Get them cutting
A popular way of developing visual motor skills is by letting them cut various shapes and designs with child-friendly scissors. Using a variety of textures such as paper and tissue, draw lines, circles and squiggles and let them practice their cutting skills.
Get them building
Spark a creative side by offering unlimited play sessions with building blocks, Lego or construction and building sets, all of which are invaluable in helping to build fine motor skills and coordination.
If your child is having prolonged difficulties with their hand-eye coordination difficulties, have a chat with your GP, public health nurse or optometrist - perhaps there may be an underlying cause.