Toys and Games
Looking for fun ways to work your visual processing skills at home?! We have you covered! Dr. Baker put together a list of some of her favorite games and activities to keep you busy and developing.
While these games can't take care of everything and are not a treatment for binocular vision and visual processing disorders, they are great for working on certain skills! Enjoy!
While we don't like to promote too much screen time, the Osmo system is so great for so many great games that work visual processing and perceptual skills in a great way. With most of the tasks requiring the child to work in a space off of the screen, it's a great way to let your child have "screen time" and do something really fun and interactive while not really allowing them to stare at the screen.
I discovered this game during my pediatric rotation in my doctorate at it was definitely a favorite among the patients and therapists. With so many different ways to play it, even my 2 year old enjoys searching for images and working her visual processing skills of figure ground, visual discrimination, visual memory, form constancy, and more!
While we use this game in vision therapy in different ways, the true way to play it requires visualization, planning, problem solving and so much more. Great for the kids and adults, this classic game is a must have for every family game shelf.
If you're looking for a really good game to think, problem solve, and possibly go a little crazy looking for that perfect "set" to win, this is your game. My husband and I got this game as a gift and as I went over the directions I couldn't believe how clever and challenging this seemingly simple game could be. As I played, I could see the many skills that, when properly and most efficiently developed, would give you an advantage over your opponent. This really is a great one to have and I'm so happy we have it for a good game to enjoy and be challenged with.
I don't know if there's anything that my parents fear more than my requests to play Rummikub. Loving puzzles, running multiple complex option for switching pieces around, and using visualization and sequential memory to run through every move before I stared my attempt of getting rid of one more piece, I was absolutely obsessed with this game. I would request to play it over and over until I was falling asleep and now that I realize the visual processing and planning skills I was developing, I'm so glad this game somehow made it into our house when I was a child.
Sometimes, you just can't beat the classics. There may not be a better and more beautifully simple way of working visual and sequential memory. While my little ones are too young to play this one yet, I feel like in the next year or so, we'll be getting this to start to teach my older one about ordering things in relationship to time. This is such a great simple classic that really isolates those skills and I just love it.
How can you work in some eye-hand coordination, reaction time, decision making and more into a classic game that starts to get a bit wild and laugh inducing? With bop-it! Yes, I suppose I'm dating myself, but this was such a fun game when I was a child and my brother and I were so competitive always trying to go for as long as we could. This is certainly one that will be in our house in the next year as my older daughter turns 3. It's just so fun.
I'm sure I'm dating myself again, but I don't think I could count the hours I spent working my eyes together as a child and learning that I had to control where they aim without even knowing what I was learning. These books require you to separate where you aim your eyes from where you focus the lens and are a great way to practice "feeling" your eyes work and move!
A frequent homework assignment, hidden pictures are great for working countless visual processing skills and, in my humble opinion, a must have in every home. Great for passing the time, introducing a challenge, and sneaking in some visual processing skills, kids love the fun and creative pictures and get a great vision workout!
Moving the next step up and working some different skills, word searches are another great way to work several visual processing skills. A great activity to do at night under a soft non-fluorescent light, this is a great alternative to teens scrolling through their phone and can help them wind down a bit too.
Working on skills of smooth eye pursuits, figure ground, and more, mazes are a common homework assignment in vision therapy and another great activity book to have at home. Great for traveling and another great activity to do at night to wind home, a good book of fun mazes is always good to have on hand.
Another game that we utilize in our therapy sessions in various ways, twister is such a great way to work on your directionality and laterality. As both the right and left parts of the body are required as well as the hands and feet and moving our head into positions of facing down and up instead of a usual forward facing position, this is just such a phenomenal way to really work everything!
As with many games, I often love to highlight that the simpler the game is, the more ways you can actually use it and either simplify it or make it harder. Being able to simply this game, you can start kids at an early age and control what they have to do without using the spinner. Since teaching right and left be a bit... boring, this game can certainly make it more interesting and will certainly be in our rotation at home for teaching right and left through play.
No partner required, this game is so fun. I got this game as a gift and quickly found myself ignoring everyone and challenging myself through the levels. Working skills of spatial relationships, visualization, figure ground, and so much more, this is a great game to play if you're looking for a fun and different puzzle so solve. (bonus: puzzle games on your phone may be fun, but this doesn't include the added glare and brightness than can keep you up at night. Ditch the phone and satisfy your puzzle craving while making your eyes and brain that much happier.)
Used in our therapy session for our patients of all ages and abilities, the seemingly simple act of putting these pictures together actually require many skills. Finding the piece you want and building the picture requires figure ground, visualization, spatial relationships, and more. This game can also be made difficult by requiring yourself or your little one to build the images rotated 90 or 180 degrees or making the images for memory.
See below for some different versions including a magnetic set!
Geoboards are a favorite in therapy and are a great way to work your little one's creative skills at home. Working visualization, spatial relationships, form constancy and more, this is another toy/game that is simple enough to then be used in several ways with countless difficulty levels. You can have your little one make the pictures while seeing them, do them for memory, make them rotated 90 or 180 degrees, or just make images your describe. The only limitation for this game is your imagination.