Visual Perception Activities
For Older Kids

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It is often tricky to find visual perception activities for older kids that can build their skills without making them feel juvenile.

As my own kids have grown older, there are a bunch of visual-based games and activities that we have had lots of fun doing as a family, and I have used these same resources to help build the visual perceptual skills of older kids that I have worked with.

The best part is that they can easily be given as gifts, or added to the family game cupboard, without anyone feeling like they are being given a therapy activity!

So here are my favorites - with a brief explanation of how I use it to encourage the development of visual perceptual skills, and any tips that might help.

This page contains affiliate links (#Ad) - I will earn a small commission if you purchase something through my links, which helps to support my free website. However, you are under no obligation to purchase anything!

my page of visual perception activities for older kids and teens

Spot It! (Also Called Dobble in Europe)

Spot It! and Visual Perception Skills

This fast paced game is a huge hit with my own kids and their friends, even into the teen years. The best part is that it develops visual discrimination, visual scanning and figure-ground perception skills, while still being loads of fun!

Once the center card is visible, players have to quickly scan the center card and the card in their own hand to find an object which is common to both cards.

I personally also think it brings visual memory skills into play, because you learn to take a quick mental "photo" of one card to match up the items with the other card

Spot It! is a great game for practicing visual discrimination, visual scanning and figure-ground perception skills!Spot It!

Tips For Playing Spot It!

  • I strongly recommend that you play the game one-on-one with your child the first few times.
    The reason for this is that the game, when played as designed, is very fast paced, and players have to be able to scan and identify very quickly.

  • One way of slowing it down is to only show the center card once your child has time to look at their card  (rather than have the new center card be visible as soon as someone makes a match, as this is rather hectic, and your child may need more time to process)

  • Another tip is to make sure your child knows the names of all the objects on the cards, so have your child practice naming all the objects on the cards as quickly as he/she can, to get the hang of the verbal demand. If your child struggles with the verbal aspect, change the rules a bit to enable them to grab the card when they see a match and then to point out the matching object to you for confirmation, instead of requiring a verbal call-out.
  • It takes a bit of practice to learn how to visually scan each card, and to develop the visual discrimination skills needed in order to make the match. This takes time, so you as the parent can "go slowly" to give your child time to see the cards without too much pressure. The "before you start" instructions in the game box can help with this.

  • In addition, you may need to prompt your child to try and take a "mental photo" of the card. The pictures are colored exactly the same way, so the heart is always red, the web is always purple, so prompt your child to take a quick color scan to try and speed up the matching process.

View Spot It! On Amazon:

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Doing Jigsaw Puzzles

Using Puzzles As Visual Perception Activities For Older Kids

Jigsaw puzzles can be fun, yet challenging activities for older kids and teens. Depending on the number of pieces, the size of the pieces and the picture itself, your teen will be boosting figure-ground perception, visual discrimination and spatial perception/orientation skills.

If your older child or teen has not really been interested in puzzles before, you may find it tricky to get started. I have put together a page of tips and strategies to help you spark your teen's interest in doing puzzles - check it out!

You can view some lovely 500 piece puzzles in the Ravensburger store on Amazon#Ad - these are the ideal size for older kids and teens, and there are all kinds of themes to catch your child's interest.

Cloudberry are a British company that make beautiful, funky puzzles that appeal to teens and young adults. I can vouch for the puzzle quality!

We have framed quite a few puzzles over the years to match our kids' bedroom decor!

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"Seek And Find" Type Books

Visual perception skills in "Seek & Find" type books

If you are going on a road trip anytime soon, or if your child appreciates quiet down-time, these books make ideal visual activities for older kids. There are a number of seek-and-find type books that have been created for older kids, with "real" themes such as art, history and geography.

"Seek and Find" type books are very helpful for working on figure-ground perception skills - these ones are great for slightly older kidsLovely seek&find books

I love the fact that older kids can learn about art history, or famous landmarks, or classical literature, while having fun with these books.

And working on visual scanning and figure-ground perception into the bargain!

"Seek and Find" type books for slightly older kids - helps with figure-ground perception and visual scanning skills

Tips for using "Seek & Find" type books

  • Encourage your child to pay attention to detail, and show them how to systematically work through the page. You can show your child how to move a finger across the page and have the eyes follow the finger.
  • Work from left to right, gradually moving down the page.
  • You can also prompt your child to look in specific areas of the picture – "Have you looked in the house?", "How about the tree?

Here are some lovely "seek and find" type books on Amazon which can be used as great visual perception activities for older kids...

View "Seek and Find" type books on Amazon:

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Kaleidograph and visual perception skills

Kaleidograph is a fantastic activity that is a regular go-to for my own older kids and teens when we are heading for a long car trip or a quiet weekend away.

Kaleidograph can be used for creative free play, where your child just plays around with the different layers and colors, or it can be used for focused copying of one of the designs given with the pack.

The focused design copying aspect is what will help develop visual perception, spatial perception and planning skills.

Your child will be using figure-ground perception and visual discrimination skills when they study the picture to discern the different elements of the design.

Kaleidograph is a good activity to help older kids develop visual and spatial perception skills as well as planning skillsFun with Kaleidograph

Tips for using Kaleidograph

I have a full review of Kaleidograph on my site, and on that page I have laid out various tips and strategies to help kids who struggle with any aspect of the activity.

So do pop on over and see photos of this game in action, as well as honest feedback about various aspects of the different sets.

The different sets make great visual perceptual activities for older kids and I highly recommend them.

  • All the different Kaleidograph sets are available from Red Hen Toys (#ad) as well as specialty toy shops.

I hope this page has helped to inspire you with some visual perception activities for older kids!

My links to the products on Amazon were for your convenience - you may be able to find the products in your local department store, in a thrift shop or maybe even borrow them from a friend!

They also make great gift ideas for birthdays and holidays!

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