|Visual Training Toys
Toys are a very useful means of stimulating your child's
vision development. Take care however, for they can also
be a hazard and the safety of your baby is always your
primary concern and responsibility. Make sure the toys
you buy and use for the suggested activities in this web
site are not so small that they can be swallowed or put
into a nose or ear. Click on the appropriate age range
for suggested games and activities to stimulate your
Given the importance of efficient visual function in our
modern way of living, it is recommended that vision
development not be left no chance. Ideally all children
should be examined at the age of 6 months, 3 years,
and yearly thereafter.
General motor and Bilateral development
Playfully move your baby's arms and legs, separately then in various combinations.
Raise and lower your baby while you look into each
Bounce your baby gently on the bed or on your knee.
Gently and playfully massage the baby's body with baby
lotion or powder.
Place a picture of a face 20-40 cms from the baby's
eyes. The face should be about 18 cms in diameter and
the eyes in the face should be about 2 cms in diameter.
Place the face on one side of the bassinet and change
sides regularly until the age of about two months. Then
hang it form the middle to the bassinet. Make sure you
place the face so that the baby has the opportunity of
looking towards each side of their body.
Provide multi-colored objects for your baby to look
at. Place them in various positions within baby's view,
giving opportunities to look in different directions.
Make sure your baby doesn't face on side of the bassinet
or a wall, using one eye all the time. Change the
position of your baby or that of the bassinet
Take a large patterned object (eg. A doll or balloon)
with a bell attached, and move it in front of your
baby's face, 20-30 cms from the eyes. Move the object
slowly from side to side.
Place noisy rattles with different textures in your
baby's hands so that they can be shaken and placed in
the mouth. Remember to talk and sing to your baby.
Make a bridge between the two sides of the crib and
hang objects that will invite swatting. Make sure that
the objects change pattern or make a noise as they move.
General Motor and Bilateral development
Place a kickable mobile at the end of the bassinet.
Place a plastic mirror (without sharp edges) in a
place where your baby will catch a view of themselves.
Roll a patterned ball towards your baby while sitting
on the floor.
Play peek-a-boo with your baby.
Walk in front of your baby, pulling a desirable
pull-toy, eg. A dog on a string.
Jingle a set of toy keys approximately 30 cms in front
of your baby's eyes to stimulate eye-following
abilities. Do this from left to right and back, then up
and down and so forth.
Tie objects onto the side of the highchair so your
baby will throw them to the floor and you can retrieve
them more easily. Make sure they make different sounds
as they reach the end of the string.
At bath time, provide toys that can float towards and
away from baby.
Play a 'choo-choo' game with food as it is spooned
into the 'tunnel' (mouth). Have baby watch the 'train'
all the way into the tunnel.
Provide wind-up toys that walk towards and away form
your baby while they are watching.
General Motor and Bilateral Development
Creep through, around, over and under a family
furniture obstacle course.
Hold your baby's hand and encourage jumping off a
small step. Try to do it over a very low object.
Play nursery games like Patty-Cake and Ten Little
Allow your baby to climb a safe set of stairs.
Identify objects in large baby books.
Sort pictures of different family members. Ask your
baby to identify which picture is of which family
Provide a grab-bag of objects to identify by reaching
in, guessing what it is, and then pulling it out to see
if it is right.
Play ball on the floor.
Occasionally use balls that have unpredictable
Stacking and Nesting toys.
Fill-able objects and pouring toys
Binocular co-ordination: Two-eye Teaming
When your baby is on a swing, stay in front of the
swing and maintain eye contact.
Have your baby use a large plastic hammer with large
Have your baby pour water into a container. As this
skill improves, provide containers with smaller
Ball or beanbag throwing onto an area of the floor or
into a basket.
Try a balloon catch.
Size, shape and spatial concepts
Have your baby place objects together that belong
together, like all cups, all spoons, plates, cars, or
Hide an object and have your baby find it.
Scramble a stack of Lego blocks and then have your
baby pick out only one type of block. For example, pick
out all the blue ones, although there are red and blue
scattered together. Or pick out all the blocks that look
18 Months - 3 Years
General Motor and Bilateral Movement
Incline boards or varying widths
Wheelbarrow game. Hold the child's legs (at the thigh
or knees if necessary) and have your child walk on their
Playing jump on the trampoline
Visual Focusing and Identification
Puzzles with geometric shapes, animals and community
On a trip to the supermarket, let your child find
objects you are looking for. Make sure they only have a
narrow field to search.
Large wooden beads for stringing.
Sort three different shapes. Place 3 cups in a
horizontal row before your child. Ask your child to
place the buttons into the first, marbles in the second
and pegs into the third, etc.
Living room bowling: roll a ball to knock down milk
Visual-Motor Co-ordination (eye-hand, eye-foot and
Wind up toys
Slap a floating balloon (try to keep it from touching
Finger paints and modeling clay
Place a magnet on a string and hang it from the end of
a stick. Have your child 'fish' for metal objects.
Help feed Daddy. Put food into Daddy's mouth.
Place coins in a coin box or piggy bank.
Size, shape and spatial concepts
String beads or buttons according to size and shape.
Learn to help set the table.
3 - 4 Years
From this age on, most games stimulate an intricate
combination of the necessary developing motor and visual
skills (visual tracking and binocularity). The following
games are recommended at this stage:
Wagons and wheel-barrows
Crayons and paints
Water play and sand play
Dressing dolls and lacing shoes
Toys with large nuts, bolts and wrench
During this stage, it is time to help with the
development of visual memory. Toys and games for this
Match photographs to a past holiday or place visited.
Hide and object and explain where it is, then have your
child find it.
Build a simple pattern with blocks and hide it. See if
your child can remember and build one like it.
Continue to describe all the things and qualities your
child sees in their environment. This will include
descriptions of sizes, of color, of weight, of relative
positions, of time sequence, etc. When you read to your
child, have them point to the pictures to show you what
you are reading about.
This is also a good time to let them draw, finger paint,
or sculpt the things from the stories you have read to
them. All creative expression should be appreciated for
what it is - their own inner imagery of a fertile,
As a parent, you should watch for signs that may indicate a vision development problem, including a short attention span for the child's age; difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination in ball play and bike riding; avoidance of coloring and puzzles and other detailed activities.
4 - 5 Years
The following toys and games are recommended at this
Trapeze and swinging rings
Cars, dump trucks, bulldozers
Easel and paint
Cutting and pasting materials
Scooters (bicycles with trainer wheels)
Construction toys such as Tinker Toys or Lego
Tracing within a maze
This is the time to encourage and help foster
visualization abilities. Dressing up and role playing
are excellent ways for your child to develop the ability
to see and feels if he or she were another person in
another place. Provide play material and costumes for
acting out the parts of Mommy and Daddy at work or at a
favorite pastime, a community figure such as a fireman
or policewoman, or someone you have read about or seen
on a visit together. Start off the game by asking What
if you were _______? What do you think you would do?
What would you feel? What do you see?