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Improving your child’s manual dexterity is a very important part of his physical and mental development. Almost all the activities that we perform, such as eating, tying our laces, playing a game, picking up objects and so on, require good hand-eye coordination.
So what exactly is hand-eye coordination? Simply put, it is the ability to track hand movements with our eyes in a precise manner, so that our brain receives signals about these movements. This requires a synchronized control of eye and hand movements. The processing of visual input by our brain then guides the movement of our hands.
This motor skill can be learned and improved with repetition. The more practice the better we get! Remember, every good batsman has excellent hand-eye coordination.
Here are 5 interesting tips to boost your little one’s hand-eye coordination:
Dress up for School
Support and encourage your child to get dressed for school on his own. Start by helping him but slowly let him do things on his own. Of course, tying shoelaces is quite a tough task to master, so he may progress to this later on in the process. Each time your child buttons his own shirt, remember he is developing his fine motor skills a bit more!
Children are visual in nature – they are easily captivated by rich colours. Start by giving your child some crayons and paper and ask her to express herself. Smaller sized crayons are easier for a child to hold. You can slowly progress to colour pencils and then keep adding different materials. You can help your child hold a pencil correctly, re-draw an image, or fill colours neatly inside an outlined image. This refines their hand-eye coordination. Handwriting practice is also great at improving hand-eye coordination.
Stringing and Stacking
Threading beads, shells or even different kinds of pasta is a great activity to help improve your kid’s finger strength, hand-eye coordination and his ability to manipulate objects. You can make this activity interesting by stringing friendship bands, bracelets, or necklaces together. If you are in the garden, let your child walk around, pick up fallen flowers and string them together to make a floral wreath.
You can do the same with blocks. Ask your child to stack blocks. Show him a model or a picture of blocks arranged in a certain way that he can follow. This improves visual processing abilities and hand-eye coordination.
Draw simple geometrical shapes on a piece of paper and let your child cut out the figures along the same lines. You can cut foam and paper in interesting shapes like fruits, stars or simple cartoon characters, and stick them in his room. Another activity that is fun and creative is folding a piece of paper multiple times and then asking your child to cut them in places to create a pattern when he unfolds it. Great for hand-eye coordination, fine motor development as well as creativity.
Yes, a game of catch can help your child develop better hand-eye coordination! Have a blast outside, playing with a Frisbee or a ball. The more space you have, the better. You can even do this inside your house with a soft ball (if you have the space!) Games like Jenga, darts, and even video games refine hand-eye coordination. However, please ensure you limit the digital time if it is a video game.
All these activities require energy, and children especially need energy to run around while building these essential skills. This energy comes from healthy food and an adequate diet. Wholesome development can only take place if the body meets its daily requirement of DHA. Enfagrow A+ is a children formula designed to provide 75mg DHA per day in 3 servings. It is also a great nutritional supplement to boost your child’s brain development, especially in his critical early years.