Visual Closure Activities

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Can you identify this household object even though it is partly hidden?

Visual closure is the ability to correctly perceive an object or word, even when it is partly hidden.

This ability helps you to quickly make sense of what you see, even if it is not all visible to you, which means you do not have to see every little detail in order to recognize something. 

You are visually completing what you see when:

  • you can figure out what a road sign says, even when the writing is partly hidden by graffiti
  • you can make sense of words on a smudged page
  • you can recognize an object even when you can only see part of it
  • you can find a missing item when it is partly hidden

In school, kids need visual closure skills to:

  • help them read more fluently
  • quickly recognize words by their shape or general arrangement of letters without paying too much attention to each individual letter
  • together with visual memory skills, to remember letters and words (especially sight words)

A true visual based closure activity should be done completely visually, without drawing to complete a picture. This requires the brain to correctly perceive what the completed picture/word would look like, without using motor skills.

Use the simple activities below to help develop your child's skills!

These visual perception activities are intended to encourage your child's normal visual perceptual development.
If you suspect your child has visual perceptual delays, please seek a professional opinion.

Preschool Activities with Toys

Visual Closure activity for preschoolers
visual closure animal activity for preschoolers

Show your child a variety of small toys (I used toy animals for the photos) and make sure your child knows all the names.

Partially hide 2 or 3 toys under a cloth without your child seeing, then ask your child to identify them.

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Activities With Shapes and Puzzles

After making sure your child knows the names of the different shapes, partially hide a few shapes under the cloth and ask your child to name them, or to decide which one fits in each shape-sorter hole (as shown).

In this activity, I partially covered 4 shapes, and placed 2 whole shapes on the side. I then asked my child to decide which partially covered shape would match the uncovered ones. This activity uses some visual discrimination skills as well.

Visual closure preschool activity

You can also make use of simple form puzzles. Partly cover the puzzle pieces, and ask your child to identify which piece would fit into each hole.

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Visual Closure Worksheets

For older kids, there are a few worksheets and e-books on the market that are useful.

The most important thing to check is that they require visual recognition, and should not require pencil work to fill in missing lines!

Here are pics of some of the fun activities in this downloadable e-book Visual Closure Games and Activities. Some of the activities are worksheet style, while others are Lotto style.

They are mostly suitable for preschool and kindergarten children, depending on the ability of the child.

I hope you found the information and activities on this page useful.

If you need more information, head over to my page about visual perceptual skills.

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