Dr. Marsha Sorenson, FCOVD, is back for another weekly issue of the blog series that helps keep your kids off screens–VISIONary Play! In honor of August is Vision & Learning Month, we’re taking a look at toys, products, games, and activities that Keep Summer Learning in Sight. This season, prevent summer learning loss by keeping your eyes on the learning prize and providing your children with vision-enhancing toys and a comprehensive vision exam before the fall!
Today’s visual development activity is none other than the popular playground game of hopscotch!
Hopscotch is a great game for kids that builds their motor development and coordination. Hopscotch involves hopping on one foot and rapidly switching between feet. Being able to cross the midline of the body is an important foundational skill for visual development. Body bilaterality is important for understanding right and left concepts, which are important for academic success. When children first learn letters and numbers, they must learn to form them facing the correct way. If they have difficulty with laterality and directionality, they may reverse letters and numbers.
Hopscotch also helps develop visual motor integration, or eye-hand coordination skills. Usually the game begins by tossing a beanbag onto a number, and then hopping to the number. The numbers are in boxes in a grid on the playground, and the child has to understand the space and distance to toss the beanbag and jump accurately. Visual motor integration is an important foundational skill for handwriting.
Hopscotch is great outdoor summer activity! Spending time outdoors is also associated with preventing the development of nearsightedness, so head outside and play some hopscotch this summer!