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Visual activities for infants and children

 
It has been found that in many cases, children that are not performing well at school tend to have a higher incidence of poorly developed visual skills compared to children that are succeeding at school. In fact, as a leading behavioural optometry clinic in Browns Plains many of the children we see each day are experiencing some form of schooling difficulty.
 
Thankfully, there are many steps that can be taken to address any issues, including vision therapy,  eye testing, spectacles and more however we are also often asked what parents can do to assist their children's vision from infancy. , we have a specific interest and a deep knowledge 
 
When it comes to infant and children's vision, early intervention and prevention is the key. These simple, fundamental visual skills/activites develop in infancy and by carrying out these simple and enjoyable activities, you can ensure these important visual skills for learning are developed to their fullest capability.
 
Many of these activites are simple and fun for your child, whilst having the added bonus of helping to make the outcome of school more enjoyable and fostering a lifelong enthusiasm for learning.
 
If you have specific questions about your child's vision, our skilled behavioural optometrist can help. You can contact us online to call us on (07) 3800 1988 today!
 
Some examples of early intervention activites you can perform with your child include:
 

Ball swings

Have your baby lie under a ball that is held by a string. Make the ball very colourful. Start rotating the ball from either side, with a swing no larger than about 15 cms. If this is too difficult, you can use a coloured balloon instead.
For toddlers, have them sit and watch the ball as it swings. Encourage them to touch the ball as it comes into reach in order to keep them engaged.
 
As they improve at this activity you can increase the size of the swings. For infants and toddlers alike, this is wonderful early eye hand coordination and tracking skills activity.
 

Peekaboo

An old one but a good one! Hide behind a pillow and reveal your face from either side of the pillow randomly. When you make eye contact with your child, hide your head behind the pillow again and go to the other side.
 

Near point convergence

Hold the child above your head with your arms fully extended. Make eye contact and pull the little one right to your nose and the do the reverse moving the toddler away still maintaining eye contact.
 

Saccades

Have coloured pictures or object hidden and then come out to the side just where the child can visually see the item . Then do the same procedure to the other side and then up down and to the diagonals. The aim is for the child to mak an eye movement over to the object or picture.
 
 

Mirror rotations

Have the infant seated on the floor. Have a mirror with a sticker in the centre positioned about 1 m away from them. Once the child has seen his or her reflection in the mirror, rotate the mirror up and down to the side and in closer.
 
This encourages the child's focus to move in and out to different distances. Having the sticker on the mirror may encourage the child to alternate focus from the sticker to their reflected image. The mirror should be about 15 x 15 cms.
 

Marble tin rotations

Have a cup ready and then have the infant drop the marble into the cup. Move the cup and watch the child hear and see it move. Vary the distance of the cup. Ie a longer fall. Also vary the cup size or use a cake tin so they can watch the marble rotate around the cake tin. For younger infants, a block can be used.
 
Be careful that he item is not put into the infants mouth.
 

Ball roll push ups

Have the toddler sit upright with their legs in a 'V' position with you behind to support. Have someone else, perhaps an older brother or sister, roll the ball to the child and have the child watch the ball come to them. This is great for developing early tracking and accommodation skills and the ball rolls closer and closer. 
 
These activities are designed to assist your child with basic visual skills that can assist them when starting school in later years. It is important to note that these activities can be helpful, however your child still may have a visual problem that requires vision training. 
 
Overall however, a better outcome is afforded to the child who may require vision therapy  but has good visual skills practiced from infancy. To never have leaned these skills is more devastating than simply losing some of their earlier skills
 
The above is an extract from - Infant Vision Guidance written by Claude A Valenti.
 

Do you have questions about your child's vision? You can contact us online or call (07) 3800 1988 today!