Monday, December 3, 2012

81 Vision-Friendly Gifts for Kids

Discovering Vision Therapy Blog

Posted on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 @ 03:00 PM

It’s back! Our 2012 Vision-Friendly Holiday Gift List. The list includes 81 toys and games that promote visual skills such as hand-eye coordination, visualization, and space perception.

You’ll note a distinctive lack of hand-held video devices and home gaming systems, which can increase the risk of computer eye-strain. It’s our hopes that we can provide alternatives to the electronics with activities that can enhance a child’s visual skills.

“These toys can improve hand-eye coordination, depth perception, visualization, fine motors skills and other visual skills,” said Dr. Kellye Knueppel, developmental optometrist and owner of The Vision Therapy Center.

It’s our hopes that these gifts will be a fun alternative to video games. By spending excessive amounts of time on hand-held video devices and home gaming systems, there is a potential for worsening vision problems such as focusing issues, poor eye teaming and even nearsightedness.

In particular, we want people who have a child with an existing functional vision problem to gift wisely this holiday season. “If you have an existing vision problem, too much time playing hand-held video games will likely make the condition worse and will not be helpful,” said Dr. Knueppel.

The 2012 Vision-Friendly Gift List is arranged by visual skill and includes ideas for pre-schoolers through adults.

Remember that learning and enjoyment is usually best when the child can accomplish the activity relatively easily about 80-90% of the time, and is therefore challenged 10-20% of the time. Choose toys based on developmental age rather than actual age, and consider playing without being competitive.

Building toys – Develop eye-hand coordination and visualization/imagination.

1. Building Blocks

2. Legos/Duplos

3. Lincoln Logs

4. Tinker Toys

5. Erector Set

Fine motor skill toys – Develop fine motor skills including visual skills and manual eye-hand coordination.

6. Light Bright 

7. Pegboard and Pegs

8. Coloring Books and Crayons

9. Dot-to-Dot Activity Books

10. Finger Paints

11. Playdough/Silly Putty/Modeling Clay

12. Chalkboard (24” x 36”)/Easel

13. Bead Stringing

14. Sewing Cards (craft)

15. Paint or Color By Numbers

16. Sand Art

17. Stencils

18. Bead Craft Kits

19. Models (car, airplane, ships, etc.)

20. Jacks

Space perception toys – Develop depth perception and eye-hand coordination.

Within arm’s length:

20. Jumpin’ Monkeys

21. Flippin’ Frogs

22. Ants in the Pants

23. Fishin’ Around

24. Operation

25. Pick-up Sticks

26. KerPlunk

27. Jenga

28. Don’t Break the Ice

29. Marbles

Beyond arm’s length:

30. Oball (good for kids who aren’t very good at catching)

31. Ball (any kind!)

32. Pitchback

33. Toss Across (tic-tac-toe)

34. Ring Toss

35. Nerf Basketball

36. Dart Games (velcro)

37. Ping Pong

38. Cuponk

39. Elefun

Visual thinking toys and games - Develop visual thinking including visualization, visual memory, form perception, pattern recognition, sequencing and eye tracking skills. These skills are important basics for academics including mathematics, reading and spelling.

40. Color Blocks and 1” Cubes

41. Parquetry Blocks

42. Attribute Blocks

43. Make N Break Game

44. Jigsaw Puzzles

45. Rory’s Story Cubes

46. Card Games (Old Maid, Go Fish, etc.)

47. Dominoes

48. ThinkFun Bug Trails

49. Checkers

50. Chinese Checkers

51. Perplexus

52. Qwirkle

53. Battleship

54. Labyrinth

55. Blokus

56. Connect Four

57. Rush Hour/Rush Hour Jr.

58. Regatta

59. Perfection

60. Tactilo

61. Bingo

62. Memory Games

63. Chicken Cha-Cha-Cha

64. Simon Flash

65. Bop It

66. Hyperdash

67. Blink  

68. Set

69. Loopz

70. Racko

71. Sort it Out

72. Tangrams/Tangoes

73. Mancala

74. Q-bitz

Balance and Coordination toys and games – Develop large motor skills.

75. Hoppity Hop

76. Jump Ropes

77. Sit and Spin

78. Slip ’n Slide

79. Trampoline

80. Stilts

81. Twister

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