Practice Hand-eye Coordination with your Kids

by Jodi Gilray-Szostak PT, DPT, C/NDT, NTMTC, Jodi Gilray Pediatric Therapy

Hand-eye coordination — you just do it like it’s second nature, right?

This is a skill that allows you to perform many daily tasks well and with ease such as driving, writing, or playing ball with your kiddo. For kids who are still developing these skills, it’s important to encourage using hand-eye coordination during play as well as throughout the day.

What better way to improve hand-eye coordination than with a little practice? Repetition helps kids learn. If you know what your child likes to do and is interested in, you can use that knowledge to help suggest hand-eye coordination activities.

When your child is playing, you can bet they are learning, too.

Here are a few areas to explore. 

Get active — Use sports balls for playtime. You can play catch with your little one or allow them to bounce the ball around as a solo activity. If your child still isn’t a fan, replace the ball with a different item.

Try bubbles, for example. Blow bubbles and see how many your child can pop with a single blow. Keep a tally and challenge your child to beat their score each time they pop a bubble.

Use pen and paper — Is writing boring? Think again! Writing can be a total blast while keeping your little one entertained. They may even want to come back for more writing time later. Just have fun with it! 

Puzzles, board games, blocks — Many classic toys and games offer a way for your child to work on hand-eye coordination skills. It goes to show you that you don’t need fancy or expensive toys to help your child learn and grow. What matters is that they are having fun and learning from the experiences that they have. 

Kids with poor hand-eye coordination may avoid certain activities, neglect personal hygiene, struggle academically and miss out on social opportunities such as playing sports with their friends. You may also notice other symptoms such as clumsiness, poor attention, holding objects too close to the eyes and frustration.

Poor hand-eye coordination can be a symptom of conditions like cerebral palsy or developmental delays. Occupational therapy is a recommended go-to for kids with hand-eye coordination issues. An occupational therapist will assist by assessing your child’s individual skill level.