Even before you became a parent, you must have noticed friends and family celebrating little things like their baby rolling over or pulling themselves up to sit! That’s because these really are milestones.
Movement and coordination of arms and legs are crucial parts of a child's growth and development. Hand-eye coordination is important in a variety of tasks including handwriting, eating, playing sports and more.
Small toys like dolls, cars, rattles, blocks, can fit into your kid’s hand and are easy to hold and carry. Smaller ones such as beads, buttons, can help develop their grasps.
Eye-tracing is an essential skill needed for fluid reading, coordination tasks, and body awareness. And these are achieved through the right toys and activities you give your child.
Kids are drawn to toys because it entertains them while simultaneously exposing them to their surroundings, and develops their physical and mental skills. Your child can start benefiting from educational and developmental toys as early as 1-month old.
Here are 5 types of play to exercise your child’s eye tracing and hand-eye coordination.
Building blocks is a fun activity you and your child can play together. It offers your child freedom to explore, reach, grasp, take apart, and put back together the block structure they made. As your child reaches for, lifts, and moves the blocks from one place to another, it strengthens their fingers, hands, and arms, and improves their eye tracking skills.
You can participate by giving your child directions. Say for example, “get the red block and stack it above the green block” and so on. It’s also a good prop for pretend play.
Your child also learns to understand the connection between their eyes and hands when they pick, stack and connect the interlocking pieces of these toys. And the more you spend time doing this activity that involves hand eye-coordination, the easier the skill will become.
When your child picks, flips, turns, and removes the puzzle pieces, and puts them into their slot, they learn the relationship between their hands and their eyes. It develops their small muscles in their hands and fingers and allows them to grasp and move the pieces.
There are several types of puzzles you can give your little ones. Regular jigsaw puzzles, wooden and knob puzzles are great examples. You can show your child how to do it, or just let them explore the toys first, so they’ll be able to figure out how it works.
Ball activities can keep your child bouncing in excitement during play time. Balls are just so fun and versatile for physical, cooperative and pretend play.
Ball Tracker Ramp is a ramp race track toy which encourages your kid’s hand-eye coordination and attention span. This also trains them about cooperation and turn-taking when they play with their peers or siblings. Your child will learn to grasp, and follow and track the ball as it rolls down the ramp.
Your child can also do bottle bowling. You just recycle juice or soda bottles to create bowling pins. Or a simple game of throwing and catching a ball is a great eye tracing and hand-eye coordination exercise.
Try bouncing a ball on a racket with your child too. Let your child hold a racket, palm facing up, or hold the racket along your child so they can see first what to do. Then, take a tennis ball, or a shuttlecock and have them bounce it as many times as they can without dropping or missing the ball.
It's a fun game you’ll both enjoy! It develops your tot’s eye tracking skills as he or she looks where the ball goes and bounce it on the racket so it won’t fall.
You probably see your own shape sorter toy in your baby photo albums. There's a reason all godparents buy this as a baby's first toy! It's always there in the infant toy section because it develops a baby's hand-eye coordination skills.
The shape matching exercises your child's observation and analytical skills. Then the physical part of hand-eye coordination happens as they learn to grab, twist, and push the shapes into the right holes.
It may take several attempts for your kids to finally fit the right shape, but that’s fine because your kids will learn to identify and recognize details in visual images and be more familiar with the shape’s characteristics.
Take part in this activity too. You can tell your child the names of the shape, and point to the corresponding hole. Like, “this shape is square, while this green one is a circle”. Have them repeat it for mastery.
This exercises your child’s fingers and muscle strength, and improves their eye-tracing skills.
This toy has three or four bright-colored toys, a wooden hammer and a curved bench. Your child can hammer the balls or pins through the built-in holes.
Your little one can enjoy this toy with friends or siblings which also teaches them sharing, turn-taking.
Good hand-eye coordination helps your child in many areas of life. It's a vital base for handwriting, because the eyes need to guide the hand in forming letters. This is also important for reading, tying shoelaces, holding utensils and other daily tasks.
Your kids will be good in sports and improve their self-esteem too if they exercise and develop their hand-eye coordination.