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Develop Your Child's Visual Acuity Through Play

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Play contributes to your child's physical and cognitive development. As a parent, you can encourage your child to engage in play that helps your child develop necessary skills and abilities, and meet developmental milestones. Some games and types of play can help your child develop his or her visual acuity. Encouraging your child to engage in the following games and play with the toys listed below can help your child develop strong visual perception


When they are born, babies can't use their eyes as effectively as older children. Newborns can only see clearly those items placed 8 to 10 inches in front of their face. Depth perception and visual tracking come later. To help your child strengthen the muscles in their eyes and develop their ability to use their eyes in a coordinated way, use mobiles and brightly colored toys to catch your child's interest. Gently wave toys in front of your child and allow him or her to follow these toys with their eyes. Encourage your baby to grasp toys by placing them in front of him or her.


Toddlers are still learning to use their hands and eyes in a coordinated effort. Art games like clay sculpting, chalkboard drawing and finger painting can help them with this. Shape sorters and blocks, which encourage your child to stack objects and fit objects into specific holes, also help your child learn to see objects with accuracy and manipulate those objects in their hands.

Pre-School Age

Pre-school aged children are learning to use their eyes for more complex tasks. Encourage your pre-school aged child to engage in complex visual activities like riding a tricycle or building castles in the sandbox. Have your child put on dress up clothes and encourage your child to fasten and put on what he or she can personally, without help.

School Age

School age children can benefit from some computer games that promote the development of hand-eye-coordination. Complex physical activities like skateboarding, roller skating, jump roping and playing musical instruments are also good for your school-aged child's visual development, because they teach your child to process visual information quickly and with accuracy.

Toys and Eye Safety

Some toys can be harmful to your child's eyes and should be avoided. BB guns and other toys that launch projectiles into the air can potentially cause eye injuries. Only children who are old enough and responsible enough to handle a toy that shoots projectiles should be allowed to play with that kind of toy. Science-kit toys that involve mixing chemicals should always be used with safety goggles.

An optician like Crown Opticians  can tell you more about working with your child to develop his or her visual abilities. When seeking opticians in your area, look for someone with experience working with small children.