Developing good coordination is a hugely important skill. From getting dressed in the morning—to succeeding at school—to using a telephone or computer, it's a skill your child will draw on throughout the day, every single day for the rest of his or her life.
Think about it: the ability to use hands and eyes together to perform a task requires kids to synchronize vision, touch, movement, and cognition. It's quite a complex feat!
Children will hit developmental milestones at their own pace. However, most hand skills are learned, which means skills will improve with repetition. And because nearly all everyday activities—from eating breakfast to doing homework—involve fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination develops on its own over time.
Still, all children can benefit from additional coordination-boosting activities, especially those who lag behind. Not surprisingly, kids with poor coordination often avoid activities that require manual dexterity, preferring, say, to play on a swing set rather than string beads into a necklace. The good news is, with so many choices, parents can find coordination-building activities that will appeal to every child.
The easiest approach is to expose kids to as many different types of activities as possible. You can give your child's development a boost by introducing playthings that require activities like grasping, aiming, sorting, and even digging. Here are some of favorite play activities that offer big coordination-enhancing benefits:
Drawing, painting, scissor cutting, and craft projects all help build dexterity as well as creativity. From modeling clay to lacing boards, the more different tools and materials you introduce to your child, the more coordination-building opportunities you give him.
Whether puzzles are made of wood, foam, cardboard, the act of fitting pieces together is very beneficial for hand-eye coordination, as well as spatial recognition and cognitive skills.
And of course, many timeless family activities—playing "patty-cake" with your baby, baking cookies with your child—build coordination as well as strong family bonds.View More Articles