When parents hear the phrase “visual perception,” they often think it has to do with their child’s vision, and whether or not they need glasses. But in all actuality, visual perception is how your brain perceives what you’re seeing with your eyes.
If your child is struggling with spacing during handwriting, lining up math problems, or finding a specific color crayon in the box, this may be an indicator that your child is struggling with their visual perception skills. It’s a broad term, and a professional diagnosis is recommended, but it is something to keep in mind.
For occupational therapy and improving your child’s visual perception skills, there are toys on the market that can be used to grow their abilities. I have a printable list of ALL my favorite visual perceptual toys, you can get it—scroll to the bottom.
I have MANY favorites, but today, I’m going to talk about just two.
Hammer and nail toy
This toy is known by a few different names. It’s a toy with pattern cards featuring different shapes, where a child must find the correct shape and place it in the right spot. In order to achieve that, they’ll need to use tiny nails to create a replica of the shape they’re attempting to copy.
The toy comes with nails, shape cards, and a hammer, which requires hand-eye coordination from the user, as it’s required to complete the shapes properly. It develops your child’s puzzle/problem-solving skills as well as spatial orientation. The toy is meant for younger children, so the ideal user is between four and eight, although you’ll need to carefully watch children during use, as the small nails can be dangerous. I’ve found that even my middle school kids like this one!
“Shape by shape” toy
If your child is in middle school, or you’re looking for a more advanced visual perception toy, then the “shape by shape” is a good option to consider. With this shape game, there are several different shapes that have to fit exactly within a square box, in order to successfully complete the puzzle. There’s a photo that acts as a guide for completing the task, but requires the child to carefully look at the box and see how the pieces fit together.
It can be fairly challenging, but there are some hints that can be used to assist your child. This toy is meant for children from ages eight and above, all the way up to adulthood, depending on the help given to your child, and how many hints you can provide.
Developing your child’s visual perception skills takes time, but it is an important investment in time and effort.
* I took the liberty of recommending some toys that I feel are so darn good. I linked them for your ease of finding them. Although I may get a modest fee if you purchase using my link, it will NOT cost you one cent extra.