Visual processing skills are one of the most important skills that affect academics and learning. 75 to 90 % of everything we take in is visual, so it’s crucial that these skills are sharp. But kids will crab if the activity isn’t fun or if it’s too difficult.
Following are some fun ways to help strengthen visual processing skills:
1. Mazes are excellent for helping kids train their eyes move as a team and work fluidly. Start with easy mazes and work your way up to harder puzzles.
2. Word search puzzles can be great for not only teaming skills but vocabulary building. Just be sure to start out with easy, three letter words and slowly advance to harder words. A big mistake people often make is to hand their children word search puzzles with multi-syllable words and then wonder why they are frustrated.
3. Highlights for Children is a fantastic magazine that has puzzles, stories, and hidden pictures that kids love. They have specific age or ability levels available that you can choose from. I subscribed my children to this as well as have a subscription for my grandchildren. We sit snuggled up on the couch and see who can find the hidden pictures first.
4. Dot-to-dots are great for helping the eyes move not just across the page but up and down as well. There are numerous preschool versions available that can be a fantastic starting place for any child who is struggling academically. From there, you can always build up to harder levels.
5. Mad Libs are fun for kids and help with vocabulary, grammar, and visual processing skills. Kids fill in a missing noun, verb, adjective, etc. in a sentence then read it out loud. The silliness abounds at this point, as the sentences become crazy, which they love.
6. Sudoku puzzles can often be too difficult for young children or those with dyscalculia (or me!) but there are easier versions available for young learners (or old codgers like me who aren’t good at this) with just three rows to start with. This puzzle helps build a strong foundation for math skills, patterning, and visual processing of numbers.