Hand Eye Coordination

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Hand Eye Coordination is the ability of the eyes to guide the hands in movements.

Try these easy activities and games to improve your child's skills!

Hand Eye Coordination

This page covers:

Why Is Hand Eye Coordination Important?

  • Sports:
    Hand eye co-ordination can help your child to catch a ball and hit a ball with a bat.
  • Handwriting:
    Visual-motor integration, which is a vital skill for handwriting, grows out of a good hand-eye co-ordination base. 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, and we even use hand eye coordination to tie shoelaces and frost cakes!

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A Handy Tip!

Do yourself a 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.
  • 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.
  • See the activity suggestions below to see how to use the netted ball!

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Hand Eye Games For Younger Kids

1) Rolling A Ball

This activity is lovely for toddlers and young preschoolers.

  • Have your child sit with legs apart, and you roll the ball between the legs.
  • Your child needs to try and stop the ball before it hits their tummy.

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.

4) Suspended Ball Activities

Use a suspended plastic ball and have your preschool child or toddler play some games with it. Make sure they don't hit too hard or it may rebound and hit their faces.

  • Push and Catch:
    Your child needs to watch the ball carefully to catch it again 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.

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

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Eye-Hand Activities for Older Kids

1) Suspended Ball Activities

Older kids can use smaller balls (eg tennis balls) to increase the challenge. Have them push and catch the ball, or hit the ball with a bat as described in the activities for preschool kids.

For extra challenge, ask your child to clap or twirl between pushing and catching.

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

2) Ball-Wall Toss

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!

3) 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.

4) 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!

Related Pages

Pop over and read these related pages on my site for more information and activities.

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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