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!

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Kids often need something to help pass the time during summer road trips, or while waiting at a doctor’s office or restaurant.  These days, many children like to play with smartphones or tablets to help pass the time, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends consistent limits and screen-free zones, so having other activities available is important. What’s an easy, analog exchange for portable, quiet fun? Good, old-fashioned activity books!

Activity books are easily-packed, mirror many of the same games found on their digital counterparts, and can be a great activity to develop visual skills These classic books often have pages filled with a variety of different things to do, but we’ll highlight two of the most common activities, which just happen to be great for vision development!

Making the connection with Dot-to-Dots

Dot-to-dots are great activities to enhance visual development.   A child must use a pencil, marker, or crayon to connect the dots and complete the picture.  Dot-to-dots help develop a lot of important visual skills- eye tracking, eye hand coordination, and visual closure.  Eye tracking, or oculomotor skills, are important to help a child keep their place while reading.  Eye hand coordination, or visual motor integration, is an important foundational skill for handwriting.  Visual closure, or the ability to recognize a picture when only a portion of it is seen, helps kids recognize sight words.

Finding the way with mazes

Mazes are another great activity.  Mazes also improve oculomotor and visual motor skills, and they help improve directionality- or left and right knowledge.  Directionality skills help kids form their letters correctly. Problems with directionality may lead to letter reversals.

Pick up some activity books to make your summer road trips more fun and to Keep Summer Learning in Sight: more time on skill-building activities means better readiness for Back-to-School!

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