Six Fun Ways to Help with Visual Discrimination

If your child is struggling with reading, writing, or math, then chances are that visual discrimination skills are weak. It's not difficult to go back and help your child or student fill in this crucial building block for learning.

Following are six easy and fun ways to help hone this important skill:

1. Matching games of any sort help will help. You can buy or scout around for marbles, buttons, or items of assorted shapes and colors and have your child choose matches. Games like concentration are awesome and help with visual memory as well.

2. Sorting coins is a great way to help your child or student find subtle differences in objects. Start by having the child sort color, size, etc. Then you can take it a step further and sort by dates, shapes on back and front, etc. Kids love doing this!

3. Mazes help with visual discrimination by allowing the student to plot a course by finding similarities and differences in paths and by finding which paths are open and which aren't.

4. Hidden Pictures - I always keep a subscription to Highlights Magazine just for their hidden pictures. You can also purchase hidden picture activities, find them online, or use apps. They are a fun and easy way to hone visual discrimination skills.

5. Stringing beads will not only help with visual discrimination skills but fine motor skills, eye/hand coordination, and bilateral coordination. You can have your child or student string beads in patterns, with certain colors, or have competitions on who can make the longest string. 6. How to Draw books are an excellent way for children to sharpen visual discrimination skills. This can be quite hard for some kids (and adults like me, too!). But if time and patience is given, it's amazing how this simple exercise can help children distinguish differences between letters and numbers, which equates to better reading, writing, and math skills.

Strengthening visual discrimination skills doesn't have to be difficult. The problem arises when people assume kids with learning issues should already have strong visual discrimination skills because it seems so...simple. Simple but effective!

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