Sharpening your Child’s Hand-Eye Coordination

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

You can count on hand-eye coordination to assist in completing daily tasks, but what is it?

Hand-eye coordination means you are using visual input to coordinate hand movements in response. This is why you are able to catch a ball coming your way without missing it or being hit by it. With strong hand-eye coordination, a person can pick up an object without fail.

Hand-eye coordination is a skill we take for granted. But for kiddos who fall behind on this skill, completing tasks can be a different story.

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. 

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.

Here are a few areas to explore:

Get Active

Use sports balls for playtime. Your child doesn’t need to be part of a sports team to reap the benefits of playing with toy balls. 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

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 and 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 they have.