Advice Column, Toddler, Toptots

How does a child develop coordination?

Eye-hand coordination refers to the coordinated movement of the eyes and the hands and fingers in tasks like throwing and catching, threading beads, tracing and writing.   Children who have immature eye hand coordination will have difficulty with coordinating their movements in response to what they are seeing.  The following are only a few activities that can help you to develop your toddler’s eye-hand coordination:

Posting – Posting activities include any game where something must be placed into a hole or slit. 

Threading – Such activities would be lacing beads onto a shoe lace.  If you child is battling with the flexibility of the shoe lace, then get her to start off by threading beads onto a pipe cleaner.  A pipe cleaner is a lot more rigid in the hand that a shoelace.

Hammering – These allow your toddler to get rid of excess frustration as well as the opportunity to practice her eye-hand coordination. Hammer golf pegs into a piece of thick polystyrene.

Batting/Hitting a target – Hang a ball suspended in a netlon bag from a tree and allow your toddler to push and catch it with her hands. Later introduce a bat to bat it with. 

Bubbles – Blow bubbles for your child to catch and clap in her hands.  Excellent for strengthening those tiny muscles in the eyes.

Eye Foot coordination refers to the coordinated movement of the eyes and the feet. Good eye foot coordination enables the child to control the direction in which she moves because she is able to use her feet and legs effectively.  The following activities can help you to develop your toddler’s eye-foot coordination:

Kicking – Kicking balls of different sizes will help to improve your toddler’s eye-foot coordination. Start with a big ball and eventually get her to kick a small ball. 

Stepping games – Let your child step or hop onto the bricks of the paving or stepping-stones in your garden. You can also use cushions for this activity inside the home.

Skittles – knock down skittles by kicking a ball at them.  If you don’t have skittles, then use some empty soda bottles.

Bubbles – Blow bubbles for your child to stamp on as they fall to the ground.

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