Hand Eye Coordination

Hand eye coordination is the skill that enables the eyes to guide the hands in accurate movement.

This page covers:

Why Is Hand Eye Coordination Important?

Good eye-hand coordination can help your child in so many different areas of life. Here are just a few:

  • Sports:
    Hand eye coordination can help your child to catch a ball, and to hit a ball with a bat, and then graduate to more challenging sporting demands.
  • Handwriting:
    Visual-motor integration, which is a vital base for handwriting, grows out of eye-hand coordination. The eyes need to guide the hand in forming the letters and making sure they stay within the lines.
  • Reading:
    Eye tracking skills, which are vital for reading, can be developed through the games and activities used for hand eye coordination.
  • Life Skills:
    Young children use this skill in learning to stack towers, build with lego etc. We also need our eyes to guide our hands when we tie shoelaces and when we frost cakes!

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Suspended Ball Activities

Do yourself a huge favor and suspend a ball in a net.

It will save you from chasing after countless missed balls while your kids practice their skills!

Use a net bag, the kind that you get fruit and veggies in.

Here's what to do: 

  • Pop a ball in and knot it
  • Tie it to a length of rope.
  • The rope needs to be long enough to get the ball level with your child’s chest.
  • Suspend the ball from any horizontal pole or even from a hook in a doorway.

Now try these suggestions:

Push and Catch:
Have your child push the ball away with both hands and then catch it again.

Your child needs to watch the ball carefully to catch it with both hands together, and to not let it bang against the body.

Bat and Ball:
Use a bat and have your child practice hitting the ball with the bat. Use a variety of bats to increase the challenge for your child.

Older kids can use smaller balls (eg tennis balls) to increase the challenge.

Remind your child to not hit the ball too forcefully, to avoid being hit in the face with a rebound!

For extra challenge, ask your child to clap or twirl between pushing the ball away and catching it again.

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Hand Eye Coordination Games For Younger Kids

1) Rolling A Ball

This activity is lovely for toddlers and young preschoolers.

  • Have your child sit with legs apart, as shown, and you roll the ball to your child.
  • Your child needs to try and stop the ball before it hits the body. This means your child will be watching the ball carefully and then coordinating the hands to stop the ball at just the right time.

2) Object Relays

This is a fun indoor or outdoor game and the whole family can take part!

You can use different objects, depending on the theme and occasion (holiday themes and birthday parties are great for this game)!

Works on bilateral as well as hand eye coordination.

  • The kids stand in a line and pass the ball/object to the child behind them.
  • Do it overhead, then between the legs.
  • Encourage the kids to use both hands together.
  • Make it more fun by having a bucket of objects at the front that have to be transferred to an empty bucket at the back.
  • You can do this in fireman relay style, where everyone keeps their place, or have the last kid run to the front after placing the object in the bucket at the back, that way they all get a turn to be in front.

3) Passing and Gentle Tossing

It takes a lot of concentration for a toddler or a preschooler to pass or toss something carefully with both hands!

  • Play a variety of circle or line games, like the relays above, where balls or beanbags are carefully passed from one player to another.
  • Then upgrade to gentle tossing.
  • Have the kids move one step away from each other and then gently toss the ball or beanbag to each other.

For toddlers and preschoolers, I also have some easy visual motor activities that can help improve hand eye coordination skills.

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Eye-Hand Activities for Older Kids

1) Ball-Wall Toss

Once your child has had lots of practice catching and hitting a suspended ball, you can try a ball-wall toss.

Find a nice stretch of high wall with no windows or breakable objects nearby. Smoother walls are better than bumpy ones.

  • Ask your child to toss the ball against a wall and catch it again.
  • You will need to experiment a bit to find the most effective distance from the wall – it depends on the type of ball, and how forcefully your child throws it, but encourage your child to start with a gentle toss!
  • See how many your child can catch before missing and keep a running record of the best tally. Encourage your child to better the score each time!

2) Toss and Catch

  • Tossing a beanbag or ball into the air and catching again is a good hand-eye coordination exercise.
  • If your child tends to throw haphazardly, have your child stand in a hoop or mark a circle to stand in - this can help kids throw more carefully.

3) Threading and Lacing

Threading beads and completing a lacing card, are fine motor activities that have a big eye-hand coordination component. Use chunky beads and laces if your child struggles, or have your child thread beads onto a pipe cleaner/chenille stick for extra stability.

DaddiLifeForce has a really cute idea for a bead tree that your child may enjoy!

Thank you for visiting my site! I hope you found these activity ideas helpful!

Why not sign up for my occasional newsletter to keep in touch with new activity ideas?

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