We all know the obvious reasons for good hand-eye coordination such as helping children catch a ball or hit a golf ball; however, did you know there are other, non-sports related benefits to having good hand-eye coordination?
Activities such as reading, handwriting and general everyday life skills like tying a shoe, pouring a drink or dressing ourselves all relate to having good hand-eye coordination.
So how can you help boost your kid’s coordination?
Check out these fun activities!
- Suspension. Use a net or even an old stocking and put a tennis ball inside. Suspend this from a tree branch outside or rafter in your garage and have your child push the ball forward and catch it as it comes back. If they are able to successfully catch with one hand, then challenge them to try catching with their non-dominant hand.
- Crafts. Crafting is a great way to develop hand-eye coordination. Stringing beads to make a necklace, folding paper for fun origami animals, tracing objects or making homemade puzzles to put together are great ideas to build those fine and visual motor skills.
- Dress Up. If your child is younger, then playing dress up with different types of clothing options (think snaps, buttons, strings) can help them develop better hand-eye coordination and hopefully they become more independent and want to dress themselves.
- Build. LEGO® blocks, wooden blocks or even paper or plastic cups, building is a great activity to teach coordination and they’ll have even more fun knocking it over once they’ve built it.
- Balloon Tennis. Pick up a couple of plastic racquets and a package of balloons and play balloon tennis. As they become more coordinated, you can switch out the balloon with other sizes and types of balls to continue build upon and challenge those new skills.
All of these activities not only promote hand-eye coordination, but also help build strength in their hands, wrists and arms (depending on the activity).
TKD Tip: Practice makes progress. Children often get frustrated easily when learning a new skill. Make sure to give them positive reinforcement so they continue to want to practice these skills.
Parent/Child Activity: Sit down with your child, brainstorm and make a list of indoor and outdoor hand-eye activities. Find two jars or baskets and label one “indoor” and one “outdoor”. Depending on the weather, they can select an activity from the appropriate jar or basket that promotes hand-eye coordination.