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Children's VisionPlaytime activities are an excellent way to develop your child's vision. Regardless of age, your child can learn or sharpen many different vision skills while at play. And it can be done very cleverly without interfering in their fun.

How Toys and Games benefit Vision Development

From birth, your child begins the process of learning to see. Vision commences as a blurry world of light and dark and eventually develops into the school-going child's sophisticated ability to manage complex vision tasks. During infant and toddler stage, toys, games and playtime activities help by stimulating the process of vision development.

But it's possible, without you knowing, that an aspect of your child's vision development needs attention. That is why experts strongly recommend a comprehensive eye examination at age six months. Your optometrist can detect any vision problem immediately and take remedial steps to ensure your child's total development can proceed smoothly without any adverse effect on learning ability.

Tips for Toys

Homemade toys and simple childhood games can be just as effective as their commercial counterparts in helping your child to develop and improve vision skills.

If you prefer commercial toys, don't skimp on price as poorly made toys can be dangerous. Select those that are solidly made and appropriate for your child's age and level of maturity. Use the manufacturer's age rating as a guide, but keep in mind your child's individuality, as children develop at different rates.

Older children will need appropriate safety equipment when participating in eye hazardous sports and when using BB guns, sleds, shop tools, chemistry sets or other items potentially dangerous to the eyes. The majority of eye injuries suffered by children occur during play or sports activities and can be prevented.

List of Toys and Activities to Improve Vision

Below is a list of toys and activities suggested by experts that can help your child develop and improve vision skills.

The toys suggested from birth to around age 5 months will stimulate your baby's sense of sight.

Those recommended for older groups will assist in developing or sharpening your child's general eye movement skills; eye-hand coordination skills required for writing and sports; shape and size discrimination skills needed for reading; and visualization and visual memory skills needed for comprehension and the ability to visualize abstract things.

Birth to 5 months

Well made crib mobiles and gyms; large bright rattles and rubber squeak toys.

Peek-a-boo; patty-cake.

6 - 8 months

Stuffed animals; floating bath toys.

Hide-and-seek with toys; reading to child

12 months

Bright balls; blocks; zippers; rocking horse; riding toys pushed with the feet.

Throwing a ball; reading to child.

24 months

Pencils, markers, crayons; bean bag and ring toss games; peg hammering toys; sorting shapes/sizes toys; puzzles; blocks.

Reading to child; outdoor play; catch.

3 to 6 years

Building toys with large snap-together components; stringing beads; puzzles; pegboards; crayons; finger paint; chalk; modelling clay; simple sewing cards; large balls; match-up-shape toys; tricycle; connect-the-dot games; sticker games.

Climbing, running; using balance beam; playground equipment.

7 years and older

Bicycle; jump ropes; pogo sticks; roller skates; different size and shape balls; target games; more sophisticated building toys; puzzles; remote-controlled toys; timed shape/size sorting games; plastic disks for tossing between players.

Active sports; cycling.

Obviously this is not a complete list and there are many other ways to help improve children's vision with toys and games. You'll be amazed at what a little creativity and imagination can do.

Computer learning games and programs are very useful and your optometrist can further suggest specific toys and activities for your child's healthy vision development.

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