A few weeks ago, we discussed how vision is related to the learning process. Because poor vision can negatively affect a child’s performance in school, it is extremely important to monitor their grades and keep track of their homework habits. Parents need to look out for signs that a trip to the eye doctor is needed. However, that’s not the only way to help keep your kids vision (and grades) in good health.
There are many quick exercises that you and your children can do together to help keep eyes strong and vision sharp. While this is no replacement for an annual, comprehensive eye exam, these exercises can be a “fun way to help sharpen ‘learning-related’ visual skills that are critical for success in school.” Eye Can Learn says these skills include perception, tracking, focusing, and eye teaming. Below are a few suggested activities for each.
Perception – Visual perception allows people to comprehend, analyze, and interpret what they see. Memory games help build visual perception by requiring us to take note of the details of a picture and then recall what you saw once the picture is taken away.
Tracking – Visual tracking skills are those that allow us to follow along while reading without losing our place. Many childhood vision problems are discovered when a child has trouble reading, so this is an important skill to practice. Exercises that require your child to follow a moving object with their eyes without moving their head can help strengthen their visual tracking.
Focusing – The ability to see items clearly and up close is a part of focusing. It is the ability to shift the line of sight from something up close to items farther away – think about looking up from a book or paper to the board at the front of the classroom. To help with focusing, print a small chart of numbers or letters onto a piece of paper and post a larger version of the numbers and letters on a wall. Hold the piece of paper a few inches from your nose and concentrate on one number or letter. Then, look up and find that number or letter on the wall. When you look up and find it on the larger version, is it blurry or can you see it clearly? Keep notes on the progress made over a period of time.
Eye Teaming – Our eyes must work as a team to avoid experiencing double vision. Training the eyes to work as a single unit helps our brains process what each eye is seeing and turn it into a single image. Eye teaming helps build one’s eye aim, depth perception, convergence and divergence and can include activities like the cross-eyed method.
What eye exercises do you use to help keep your kids’ eyes strong? Share with us.
Don’t forget that a part of keeping eyes strong and healthy includes protecting them from the sun’s UV rays. Visit Real Kids Shades to check out our stylish and protective sunglasses for kids.