Gift giving season is fast approaching. If you plan on purchasing a gift for a child, you may want to consider choosing one that supports healthy visual functioning.
Here’s our list of children’s gifts that benefit their visual health in a fun and enjoyable way.
Building toys help children develop hand-eye coordination and visualization skills. They also help enhance visual-spatial skills — an essential component of reading readiness. Understanding how to create a structure refines children’s spatial-organization skills.
Playing with building toys perfects skills like problem-solving, patience, and focus.
Some popular building toys are Legos, Duplos, Mega-Bloks, Clics, and Magnatiles. Many building toys are appropriate for children aged 1-9, but follow the age recommendation and warning labels listed on the packaging.
Visual Thinking Games and Toys
Jigsaw puzzles, memory games, dominoes, checkers, Rush Hour, and Bingo all help children to build visual thinking and processing skills. Visual thinking, also known as visual/spatial learning or picture thinking, is the ability to think and analyze what you have seen. This skill is needed for math and reading comprehension.
Visual thinking games are a great way to cultivate abilities like visual memory, form perception, eye tracking, sequencing, and pattern recognition.
Space Perception Toys
What better way to develop a child’s hand-eye coordination than with a lively game of catch or ping pong? Space perception toys also promote a child’s awareness of the space around them, as well as three-dimensional depth perception, eye tracking, and accommodation flexibility (the eyes’ ability to continuously change their focus between near and distant objects).
Other examples of space perception toys include marbles, pick-up-sticks, Jenga, and any game or sport that involves a ball.
Let’s Support Your Child’s Vision Together
A child’s vision enables them to succeed academically, building self esteem. When a child has a problem with one or several visual skills, it can cause them to struggle in school or develop attention and behavioral issues.
That’s why it’s important to provide children with toys, games, and opportunities that support and refine their visual skills.
If you suspect that your child may be struggling with their vision, bring them to Thompson Family Optometry for a functional visual evaluation, where will test their visual skills and processing abilities.
Even a child with 20/20 vision can have visual dysfunction that will likely go undetected in standard eye exams or school screenings.
If a problem with their visual functioning is found, we may recommend a personalized program of vision therapy. Vision therapy is an evidence-based treatment method that has been proven effective for a wide variety of visual dysfunctions. This form of therapy can be thought of as a “gym” for the brain, as it helps to retrain the eye-brain connection and speed up a child’s visual information superhighway.
For more information or to schedule a functional visual evaluation, call Thompson Family Optometry today.
Thompson Family Optometry serves patients in Brampton, Milton, Mississauga, Etobicoke, and throughout Ontario.