A few years ago, our Ministry of Education introduced full-day kindergarten with an emphasis on play-based learning. (As well as inquiry-based learning versus theme-based learning, but that’s a whole other discussion.) It has long been thought that children learn while playing. I don’t disagree, and my second grader also benefits from this learning-while-doing concept.
In my quest for more information, I stumbled upon some web sites that feature games, crafts and activities that help with visual skill development and support. My newest discovery is Therapy Fun Zone . I couldn’t possibly do this site justice by attempting to describe it here; it really is worth visiting and seeing for yourself. Under “Activities” and then “visual perceptual” Therapy Fun Zone suggests several games, crafts and activities that support visual perceptual skills. Under “games” they feature a number of activities that encourage visual motor skills using easy-to-find materials. These include “Pool Noodle Javelin Throw” (both of my children will have a ball with this game) or “Pool Noodle Batting & Hitting Suspended Balls”. Also, be sure to check out the “Roll a Shape Game”. Under “iPad” you will find great application suggestions such as “iPad Chopsticks”.Sign-up for Therapy Fun Zone’s e-newsletter and visit their Facebook page to receive regular updates and activity suggestions. (Their site is not limited to visual development.) They also have a blog that can be found here: www.therapyfunzone.com/blog/.
Another web site I found is called Your Therapy Source . There are games for purchase at a nominal price including “Candy” a game that enhances visual discrimination skills, observation skills and fine motor skills. (Found under “visual” on their web page.)
Your Therapy Source also offers eBooks for purchase (most offer free samples) such as “Monster Mazes.” They also offer inexpensive suggestions to make these activities reusable. (I will definitely use the CD case idea.) Another electronic publication includes “Visual Motor Workbook” for the 3 year + age group featuring simple to more challenging activities. (Free samples are also offered.)
Your Therapy Source also has free activities for download found under “Free Stuff”. Scroll down to “Visual Perceptual Freebies” for a half-dozen available activities.
Your Therapy Source also has a Facebook page from which you can receive activity updates and game ideas.
No Time for Flash Cards also offers fun ideas. When you arrive at their site, click on “Activities” and then “Sensory Activities”. Choose “Sight” to find a great activity called “Five Senses! Do You See What I See?” an I Spy-like game that you can easily make at home. (No Time for Flash Cards also has a Facebook page.)
And don’t forget that Pinterest is also a resource. Search “vision therapy” to find lots of articles, YouTube links and activity suggestions. (Check out “iPad Apps for Vision Therapy”.)
These activities and games are a helpful incentive that I use with my daughter. (If she completes her homework then she gets to choose a game for us to play together afterwards.)
In our next entry entitled, It’s all fun and games (Part II) I will share some of the games and toys my children have been enjoying lately.
Learning can be fun!