Good hand eye coordination is an essential skill that our kids need to learn and the best way to do this is to give our children the opportunity to practice through play.
As parents we all know how important it is for our children to exercise. One good way to have them move around and about, rather than sitting in front of a television or computer, is to encourage them to take up sports activities.
Sports lessons in particular games help kids to appreciate the importance of being active, while also learning something and having fun through it all. There are so many sports you could have your child choose from.
There are sports which require more skills and equipment than others, so when choosing you will need to make sure that this is going to be a reasonable choice for your budget as well as for your available time.
As a parent you need to be by your child’s side through it all. Good sportsmanship is very important, even when there is plenty of competition. Your child should consider this to be a nurturing and positive experience, and you should be there to support him/her. At times practicing and training may become a bit strenuous or overly demanding, so you need to be there all along to ensure that your child remains motivated and does not end up getting overwhelmed with it.
Practice makes perfect, but you cannot force your child to continue practicing a sport unless you can see that he/she is looking forward to it.
For instance, good hand eye coordination is of essence in various games. Be it baseball or football, tennis or badminton, it is important to master this key skill. There are various exercises and activities you could help your child with, so as to develop better hand eye coordination skill.
For instance, you could encourage your child to engage in fun activities such as air hockey and ping pong, which are really great to improve hand eye coordination. Air hockey is basically a miniature and safer version of hockey, which is thus ideal for young kids and teens.
Playing Air Hockey
To play air hockey your kids will need an air hockey table. The table’s top will have very small holes which release air, so that the puck floats over the top. Using a mallet, or paddle, the players will stand on either side of the air hockey table, where there are slots which serve as goals.
The players will need to be quick as apart from trying to score they will also need to protect the puck from entering into their goal. Thus hand eye coordination is key in this game.
Players will need to respond quickly and speedy actions are indispensable.
Ping pong is another good game that helps to improve hand eye coordination. Players will need to hit the ball back the opponent quickly, and precision is important as the ball is so small that it is easy to miss it.
Simple Ball Games
Improving hand eye coordination and eyesight is of essence in such games and activities. Simple ball game therapy exercises can be the starting point here.
In fact, by simply encouraging your child to throw and catch a ball, you will be helping him/her a great deal in developing this skill. You need to bear in mind that the eyes play an important role in keeping track of the ball, and then be able to react to it properly using the hand/s.
Shooting a ball, or throwing it even with your hands, and having your child be the goal keeper, is another helpful exercise. Hitting the ball with a bat or a racket is also a good way of improving hand eye coordination. At first, especially if your child is still young, you could use a string to attach the ball to the racket, so as to make the exercise simpler.
At first you can be your child’s partner in carrying out these exercises and activities. In time your child will learn how to do them on his/her own, such as by throwing a small ball against a wall and trying to catch it with one hand.
Playing the traditional game of catch is yet another great way to improve hand eye coordination skills, as well as speed. Toss the ball, or several balls together, so that your child can run and catch them as quickly as he/she can. Another interesting exercise is to mark the balls in numeric order. Your child should try to catch the balls one after the other and as he/she tries to pick up the number on the ball, he will be able to train his eyes to pick up details quickly, as well as improving hand eye coordination while carrying out this exercise.
Another interesting way to improve hand eye coordination is to encourage your child to learn how to juggle. You could have him use bean bags or tennis balls to do this exercise. Juggling is an exercise that has always been a key way to train the brain to make quick decisions, and at the same time be able to use the hands on the basis of the position and speed with which the balls are moving.
It may be a difficult exercise for a young child, and it is even a bit difficult for an older one to get the hang of it. However it is stimulating and very beneficial.
Hand eye coordination is not a skill that your child will be able to think about consciously. It is all about the ability of focusing and being quick. Practice as always is key, and by buying your child basic equipment such as an air hockey table, you will be able to give him/her the possibility to practice. So shop around to find the best air hockey table.
It is also important that you are as present as possible while he/she is practising because your encouragement is also extremely important. Use this as an opportunity to do some exercises yourself as you act as your child’s partner. Besides you will be able to spend some fun and good quality time with your child, which is so very important!
Lisa Hayden is an editor at ParentsNeed – your online resource for anything and everything related to becoming a parent. Whether you are still enjoying your pregnancy, taking care of a baby, chasing a toddler or figuring out your growing kid, you can be sure there is someone who will make sure you go through every phase without a hitch. We have everything that parents need to know!
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