Vision in preschool children (2 and 5 years) is still developing: kids enhance the vision skills developed earlier in life and gain new skills. The most important preschool vision abilities children develop are eye-hand-body coordination, fine motor skills and vision perception skills – differentiation between shapes, colors, letters and numbers. All of these preschool vision skills help children in their everyday life and prepare them for learning how to read and write.
Virtually everything a child does helps them enhance their vision. Even simple things such as buttoning a shirt or stacking building blocks “teach” your child how to use their eyes. There are also lots of things parents can do to help their children improve their vision skills.
• Encourage eye activities for kids that stimulate the development of eye-hand-body coordination and visual tracking – eye tracking exercises, block building, assembling puzzles, throwing and catching a ball and so on.
• Encourage play activities that stimulate the development of vision perception abilities – coloring, cut and paste projects, memory games, eye activities for kids, etc.
• Read aloud and let your child see the text that is being read.
Unfortunately, pre-school years are the time when some children fall behind in vision development. Two of the most common preschool vision problems that may develop between 2 to 5 years of age are amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus. Since the majority of children rarely have specific vision related complaints, it is their parents’ responsibility to be aware of the signs of eyesight problems. If you have a pre-schooler, the following sings may indicate a vision disorder:
• Your child sits too close to the TV.
• Your child tilts their head when looking at an object.
• Your child rubs their eyes frequently or squints often.
• Your child avoiding visually intense activities such as drawing, coloring and puzzles.
• Your child has a short attention span.
• One of your child’s eyes turns in or out.
Should you notice any of the above signs, make an appointment with your child’s eye doctor. Also, there are various eye exercises that can help your child enhance their preschool vision and even help with conditions such as lazy eye.
- Eye Activities for Kids: Vision Perception Eye Exercise
- Eye Tracking Exercises: Help Your Child Develop Their Vision
- How your eyes work?