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Top 10 exercises to develop hand-eye co-ordination

Annabelle Lombard
Great ways to facilitate the development of fine motor skills in your pre-schooler.

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Hand-eye co-ordination is an important skill that you child needs to develop. Luckily, you can use everyday games and activities to challenge and improve your pre-schooler’s hand-eye skills.

Drawing and colouring
Paper-based activities are a very popular way to encourage children to use both their eyes and hands together. Use stencils, tracing paper and different colouring mediums to spice things up. If your child doesn’t like colouring, tempt them with decorating a t-shirt or mug.

Jigsaw puzzles
The analysing of pieces and constructing of puzzles will benefit your child greatly. Choose increasingly more difficult puzzles and also consider 3D and virtual puzzle software apps as a fun challenge if your child enjoys puzzles.

Ball games
Catching, hitting or throwing big and small balls is another classic way to train the hand and eye to work well together. Use a racquet, bat or hands to improve aim, and be sure to practise these games outdoors so you don’t have too many obstacles and potential accidents!

Construction toys
Research suggests that building things is one of the most valuable exercises for a child. Use any blocks, Lego or other construction apparel to build a model, house or vehicle.

Boxing bags
Hitting a moving object will help with hand-eye skill. Boxing bags are a great way to learn the art of boxing without having to get any bruises.

Computer games
Computer, video and tablet (or iPad) games force visual perception and precision hand timing. Thousands of apps for tablets and cell phones are designed to improve hand-eye co-ordination. However, remember to limit “time in front of the screen” as creative and outdoor play are so much more important at this age.

Doing crafts
Beading, lacing, pottery, crocheting and card making are all examples of crafts that will improve hand-eye co-ordination.  Creating something with needlework, hitting a nail into a piece of wood, gluing, cutting with scissors or moulding clay are all fun (supervised!) activities for your pre-schooler.

Dressing dolls
Picking outfits and putting them on a doll has great educational value. Even boys can benefit from this game, although they may prefer playing it with action figures or setting up stories using farm animals. 

Making music
Hitting the drums or tambourine, playing the right notes on a xylophone or strumming a small guitar are all wonderful ways to develop small motor skills. Allow your pre-schooler to use all kinds of musical instruments, or even bang on pots and pans if you can stand the noise!

Kitchen fun
Use every opportunity you can to let your pre-schooler help you bake and cook. Whether it’s spreading, measuring, stirring or licking out the bowl, they’ll enjoy themselves and develop fine motor skills without either of you realising it.

These are just a few ways to develop hand-eye co-ordination – from indoor activities to outdoor games. In your experience, what’s the best way to develop good co-ords in pre-schoolers?

BabyGroup says…
This article has been checked by Dr Claudia Gray, Paediatrician. A member of the BabyGroup Medical Council.
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