Vision Development Toys and Games
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As you’ve probably seen from my other posts on toy recommendations, I have a bit of a love for toys with a beautiful design as I believe that these toys look great sitting on your coffee table and stay out and accessible for your little one to ward away the screen time temptation. This is such a toy and it works on so many skills as well including visual-spacial, directionality, visual-motor integration, and more
Finally time for building to get life-sized! At younger ages, you may want to stick with pop up forts, but by 5 years old, you can give them a challenge and the access to the tools and pieces to build their own and let their creativity go wild. These work on skills including visualization, visual-spacial, directionality, laterality, and more. Just make sure you also get the accessories below to complete their forts.
This classic game is just too fun and does a great job working on skills like visual-motor integration, fine motor, visual discrimination, and more with a great Action & Reaction component. I remember playing this for hours and a kid and this game has truly stood the test of time.
National Geographic makes beautiful books that kids really love turning the pages to. Foster a love for diving into books and reading with some from their amazing collection.
I remember actually making these in grade school and while that was fun and all, the real fun was scratching the black off to make the picture and the rest was just a lot of mess, lol. Avoid the mess and get straight to the fun with this 125 pack of notes! Your little one can work on their visual-motor integration and use their creativity with these and as a fun parenting hack, you could use these to leave them extra special notes in their lunch box or backpack.
While this toy is certainly acceptable for younger toddlers, I feel like there are other better developmental toys when they are 3 & 4 and at 5 you can utilize this for better learning by incorporating the cash register part more. With this pretend play you can have children add price labels to items, add them up, pay for them, and calculate and count change. I listed everything else you need below!
Hot wheels are another time-honored toy that are still just as much fun for kids as they were decades ago. While they may seem like just a toy, as your little one is tinkering away, these little cars and this crisscrossing track still work on visual discrimination, figure-ground, directionality, pursuits (as they follow the car), and more with a great Action & Reaction component.
This 3 wheel kickboard is great for getting your little one started as it has great stability and durability. With so many durability improvements in the Micro kickboards, these are sure to last much longer than mine did when I was a kid. As well as burning energy and providing a great time playing outdoors, these also work on visual-vestibular integration, eye-foot and eye-hand coordination, gross motor skills, and more.
As we list toys that are educational as well as skill developing, this kit certainly earns a position on the list. While it educationally works on vocabulary, sentence structure, and storytelling development, it also works on visual discrimination, figure-ground (when searching for the right word among the pieces, visual-motor integration, and so much more.
If you’re looking for a different creative building kit, then look no further. This kit allows for 2-D and 3-D building and kids absolutely love the versatility. Improving visualization, visual-motor integration, figure-ground, and visual discrimination, this kit provides a great medium for working your little one’s imagination while building upon many skills.
As long as your little one is supervised to reduce the risk of choking, 5 years old is a great time to start breaking into traditional Legos. I love these sets because they still incorporate fun shapes that encourage building fun characters, but they also start to lean more towards the simple and traditional pieces that will eventually require more creativity, imagination, visualization, and directionality when building. These small kits are nice starter kits as well to not overwhelm your little one. Getting just one kit at a time and adding to the collection can be a nice comfortable way for your little one to play.
As we get into the old children lists, you’ll start to really see some more techy and robotic kits and that’s because these are great toys that work on logic and problem-solving skills that will apply to fields far outside of engineering and robotics. The hard part is that developing problem-solving skills requires children to, of course, be faced with a problem and sometimes that isn’t really fun during playtime. So when we find creative toys that present these challenges in a fun way with a great Action & Reaction component that kids love, we really should dive on them. This beginning robot is just that and is perfect for getting your little one started at 5-years-old.
This game has won the hearts of many families and for good reason. Developing logic and memory as you collect clues to track down the fox. Perfect for working kids into adult board games, each game doesn’t last too long, but long enough to instill the idea of “sticking with it” until the mystery is solved.
While I always loved classic I Spy books, this game adds a great 3D element to the fun. Working on visual discrimination, figure-ground, saccadic eye movement, visual form constancy, and so much more, this game just had to make my list and 5-year-olds are certainly going to love this game as well.
I hope these provided some great ideas and be sure to check out the lists for the ages ABOVE and BELOW your little one’s age as sometimes I put items into a younger category if I think the children can handle them younger and you may find toys for older children that your little one is already ready for!
Feel free to also read on about my ABCs for choosing toys.
Remember also that vision is MUCH more than just 20/20. As a developmental eye doctor, I can’t help but always want to educate people on the 17 Visual Skills and all the ones that are specifically needed just to read. And when it comes to learning, 80% of what children learn is take in visually.
So it is vital to their academic success and success in everyday activities, as these are not problems children outgrow, that they have well developed visual information processing skills including the visual perception skills.
Feel like you or your little one are struggling with reading or any of the visual skills needed to live your life comfortably, don’t worry! Vision Therapy has incredibly high success rates for various vision conditions and lazy-eyes (or eye-turns as we like to call them). Find a specialized doctor near you who performs it at the internationally acclaimed non-profit College of Vision Development.
Game and Toy Lists
3 - 5 years
6 - 8 years
9 - 14 years
For Groups and Families