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Hand eye coordination is the skill that enables the eyes to guide the hands in accurate movement.
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 hit a ball with a bat, and then graduate to more intense sporting demands.
Handwriting: Visual-motor integration, which is a vital base for handwriting, grows out of this coordination skill. 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 games and activities used for hand eye coordination.
Play and 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 frost cakes!
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!
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 have some easy visual motor activities that can help improve hand eye coordination skills.
Once your child has had lots of practice catching and hitting a suspended ball, you can try a ball-wall toss.
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.
All activities should take place under close adult supervision. Some activities use small items which may cause choking. The activities suggested on this website are NOT a substitute for Occupational Therapy intervention. Please read my disclaimer before you use any of the activities.
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