Therapy in Disguise: Develop Visual Tracking Skills Through Play

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DEVELOP VISUAL TRACKING SKILLS THROUGH PLAY

Vision Therapy in Disguise Help Children develop visual tracking skills & learn through play!

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When I work with children I focus on positive reinforcement and skill building through play so when I became a parent it felt natural for me to apply that focus to my own child. This really came in handy when I decided to find ways to help my son develop his visual tracking skills.

   

A few weeks back we took L to the eye doctor for his annual appointment.  Everything checked out fine except that the doctor noticed that L’s visual tracking skills were a little delayed.  He said it wasn’t a big concern but that we should implement some vision exercises to strengthen his visual tracking skills.  

What are Visual Tracking Skills?

Visual tracking skills are the ability to quickly and accurately look (fixate), visually follow a moving object (pursuit) and efficiently move our eyes so we can fixate on objects from point to point (saccades: more information here). It’s a skill we use every day to explore our surroundings, play sports, and in reading and writing which can affect academic performance.

Visual Tracking

Doing Vision Therapy at Home

This afternoon we made our own version of a standby vision therapy exercise “the pendulum ball”. We hung several balls and large water balloons from a rope that we strung between our patio and a tree. For the next hour or so, L entertained himself (and us) as he batted at the balls and balloons with various objects (tennis racket, wooden paddle, baseball bat, etc…). 

This was a simple activity to set up and it captivated his attention far longer than I expected. It was especially exciting when he was able to burst the water balloons and the water sprayed in a magnificent waterfall. He had a lot of fun and therapy disguised as fun is always a good thing.

Watch a video explaining Saccades

Vision Therapy in Disguise Help Children develop visual tracking skills & learn through play!

37 Comments


  1. I worked as a preschool teacher before I was a mommy and also use a lot of those learned skills in my daily mommy life. It is so important to make learning and developmental tasks fun so that they don’t feel forced! Love this skill for visual tracking practice and just every day fun. Thanks for linking up with #BeyondMommyingSiS

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  2. This is such a brilliant activity — develop those visual tracking and gross motor skills, while staying cool and having fun!

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  3. If you ask me, there’s no better therapist and teacher than play. Great post!

    Thanks for linking up with our Parenting Pin It Party x

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    1. That is so true, Tricia, and we love to teach while we play.

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    1. It’s fairly common. We will be posting more about vision games soon.

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    1. Thanks, leave it to two play therapists to tun every activity into “therapy”. 🙂

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  4. “Therapy in disguise” … I love it! Any kid would love that!

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  5. What a great idea! This looks like it would be so much fun! And imagine the possible things you could put in those balloons besides water that would make it even MORE fun!! (glitter glitter everywhere!!!!!!) Thanks for the share!

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    1. Ooh, glitter sounds fun! We also thought of putting letters or words on the balloons to encourage early reading. Or you could put numbers on them, too.

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  6. That’s pretty awesome! I love the photo of the water balloon exploding everywhere!

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    1. Thanks, that was a lucky shot.

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. We hope your kids enjoy the activity!

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    1. Thanks, Kristen. We believe that we learn more when it’s fun.

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  7. Gr8 activity. I think it is way better to follow this approach towards a therapy than any other. Fun is a bonus. Loved ur creativity.

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    1. Thanks, Jaya. We love figuring out fun ways to build skills.

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  8. You can’t find a better therapy than that! He looks like he was having fun!

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  9. I LOVE this activity! I studied Recreation Therapy and so any activity that uses play to teach is a total winner in my book. I am so excited to be featuring this activity tomorrow at the Love to Learn Linky. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. What a great compliment from someone who has studied Recreation Therapy, Thanks!

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  10. I love activities like this one where the child is having so much fun they would never suspect they are learning! Thanks for linking up to the Love to Learn Linky!

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    1. Thanks, we like to sneak the learning in while we play. 🙂

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  11. This looks like so much fun! And…it is great that he is learning and you are helping him too. 🙂

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  12. That is such a creative idea to help your child and have LOTS of fun at the same time. Thank you for taking the time to link up at the Homeschool Linky Party hosted by me and The Squishable Baby. I look forward to checking out more on your blog and don’t forget to link up with us again next week!

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  13. It’s great that Layton had fun while learning and I’ve learnt something new, too! #WordoftheWeek

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    1. Thanks! That is so true! We believe that children learn best when they are engaged and having fun!

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