How To Improve Hand Eye Coordination
When talking about “hand eye coordination”, you might think of catching and throwing. And it’s most often talked about in reference to sports. But they are not the only ones! Every time you see an object, reach for it, grasp and control it, fill a cup and much more, you’re using hand eye coordination.
Researchers shows that the process of building hand-eye coordination starts when children are babies, and the ability become more refined and controlled as children grow. Before we learn how to Improve help children improve Hand Eye Coordination, let’s find out what it is, when to develop first.
WHAT IS HAND EYE COORDINATION?
It’s also referred to as eye hand coordination. It’s the ability to process you are seeing and moving your hand in accordance to that information, meanwhile, so that you can reach/grasp/hit an object successfully. It uses the proprioception system in the hand and/or legs and visual system to coordinate these movements. It is required for us to complete and participate in all kinds of activities, below are some examples:
※ A baby grasping his/her teething toys
※ A toddler tying his/her shoelaces
※ You are writing a sentence
※ You are making a cup of tea
WHEN DOES HAND EYE COORDINATION DEVELOP?
Hand eye coordination starts developing in infancy. It begins to develop around 4 months of age. As he’s get older, your baby will start bringing the object he is holding in his hands to his mouth, using his legs to explore around them together with visual input and developing fine motor skills.
Let's take a look at some age-specific guidelines that outline the types of hand eye tasks a child should be able to complete at different stages of their development:
✅Pick-up nearby objects - 3-4 months
✅Pass objects from one hand to another - 6 months
✅Shows hand preference - 9-12 months
✅Stack 2-3 objects on top of each other - 15-18 months
✅Throw away and catch a ball - 3 years
✅Use eating utensils, handle a pencil, use scissors - 4 years
✅Complete a jigsaw puzzle - 5 years
✅Get dressed independently - 6 years
If you notice your child struggling to do the above task, always be sure to seek help.
HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD IMPROVE THIS ABILITY?
There are so many ways children naturally build this skill from an early age as they play. Here’s some tips to help your kid improve hand-eye coordination.
1. Always encourage your child to play
Research shows how play can improve mental acuity, skills, and strategies. Children will practice hand eye coordination while playing, which is becoming a form of cognitive training. They will become more efficient with reaction time tasks and more flexible with attention-orientation tasks.
For babies, it’s suggested to train their hand eye coordination by placing interesting objects so they can learn to reach and grab. That’s why play gym, rattle toys and other sensory toys are necessary infant toys for the first year.
Toddlers may benefit more from other games, such as stringing beads, coloring activities, hopscotch, juggling, or playing with a ball.
2. Get your child into sports
It’s good idea for children around six to nine to try sports like baseball or tennis. At this age, they’re just start to develop proprioception, so letting them get into sports can help improve their hand eye coordination.
If they aren’t comfortable with team sports yet, you can also teach them how to play catch — either by tossing a ball in the air and catching it or by playing with a partner.
Here’s the list of fun ideas for toddlers, preschoolers, and children of primary school age to Promote hand eye Coordination:
- Batting at a balloon
- Kicking or catching a ball
- Playing tennis
- Playing and building with blocks
- Connect the dots
- Stringing beads
- Playing Simon Says
- Relay races
- Painting and coloring
Whether your child is slightly delayed with her hand eye coordination, or has more significant challenges as a result of autism spectrum disorder or another developmental delay, this collection of tips and fun activities that improve hand eye coordination will be a fabulous compliment to whatever other treatment plan you choose to pursue to help your child overcome her struggles.
Remember to practice often, to keep things fun, and to never, ever give up!