Visual Closure Activities

activities for visual closure skills

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 use this skill 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 this skill in order to:

  • read more fluently
  • quickly recognize words by their shape or general arrangement of letters
  • remember letters and words, especially sight words (together with visual memory skills)

Often, a worksheet will be given that requires the child to complete a picture by drawing in the missing lines. This is NOT a visual closure activity! 

A truly visually-based closure activity should be done completely visually, without drawing. 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

Use toys that your child is already familiar with. I like to use toy animals as shown below.

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

Visual Closure activity for preschoolersCan your child identify these farm animals?
visual closure animal activity for preschoolersCan your child identify these animals?

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Activities With Shapes and Peg Puzzles

Make sure your child knows the names of the shapes that you will be using!

Younger children can use simpler shapes, while older children can be challenged with harder 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 the child to decide which partially covered shape would match the uncovered ones. 

Visual closure preschool activity

You can also make use of simple form puzzles or peg 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, printable worksheets can be useful. You may be able to find some "hidden pictures" or similar worksheets in activity books that you already have at home.

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

Which zoo animal is hiding behind the bars?
Find the pairs (partially hidden by the clouds) that match the top pair.

Visual Closure Games and Activities is my favorite printable visual closure resource, that I use over and over again!

Some of the activities are worksheet style, while others can be cut up to make a Lotto-style game for younger kids.

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

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If you want more information about how visual perceptual skills develop, and how they affect learning, then take a look at these pages of my site:

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