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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
Copyright 2006 by Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's
Homeschooling Special Situations
Specific Skills Help

Simple Games to Exercise Your Child's
Visual Perception and Visual Motor Integration

compiled by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2005, 2007

Some activities that help your child practice short term visual memory
skills, visual perception, attention to visual detail, and visual motor

Choose activities from these list that seem appropriate for your child’s
age, abilities, and interests.  Keep playing them until your child finds the
games too easy or gets bored with them, then move on.  If these games
are too hard or too complicated for your child, try to modify them to suit
your child’s ability and interests... or save them for next year.  

Visual Memory Games:

    Follow the Leader
    Steam Drawing
    Back Drawing
    Change Sorting
    Which is Different?
    Where's Waldo? and I Spy
    Memory Matching Game
    Close Your Eyes
    Let’s Have a Picnic
    More free games online

Game Descriptions:

Follow the Leader
Walk behind the person who is It.  Go where they go and do what they did
when you get to the same spot.  For instance, step onto the sidewalk and
wave your arms, walk across the grass taking giant steps, stop at the
driveway and spin, hop three times at the fire hydrant.  Take turns being
It.  Child learns to pay attention, remember, repeat.

Copy-cat (Also Called Mirror-Mirror)
Like Follow the Leader, but played while sitting or standing.  Do a series
of actions that your child must repeat.  Think fun and silly.  Alternate large
and small gestures.  Take turns being "It".   

Steam Drawing
Can be played on a mirror or shower door in a steamy bathroom (or, if it's
not bath time, play this while finger painting).  On a large steamed-up
surface makes shapes, letters, and pictures for your child to copy.  Make
patterns that require you to use a part of your hand or elbow -- to make it
funnier and more challenging to copy.

Back Drawing
Use your finger to "draw" a shape, letter, or number on your child's back.  
Have them guess what it is.  Take turns drawing and guessing.   

Change Sorting
Dump a bag of loose change in front of your child and have them help
you sort it into stacks of the different coins.  For older children - have
them place them in coin wrappers to take to the bank and change in for
paper money. ;-)  (Of course, be aware of and prevent
choking hazards with young children.)

Which is Different?
Xerox, print, or hand draw 5 to 20 copies of a single, simple picture.  Cut
them out, and make a small change to one of the copies (draw an
additional line or color in an area... or add a moustache ;-) and have your
child pick out which is the different picture.  Add more copies as your child
gets better at finding the different picture or add another difference, to
make it harder.  It doesn't matter what change you make -- searching, and
comparing the details to identify the changed picture is the skill.

Where's Waldo and I Spy
Both of these books require children to search for a certain picture amidst
a bunch of clutter.  Here are some free
I Spy activities and a free
Where's Waldo game you can try, too.

Memory Matching Game
There are many versions of the Memory Game sold at toy stores.  The
game consists of pairs of matching cards that are laid face down.  Players
take turns turning over two cards – if they match, the player keeps the
matching cards and continues to play. If they do not match, the cards are
turned back over and the other player takes a turn.  There are many
themed sets ranging from pre-school to fine art.  Search for a set your
child will enjoy.  Here is an
online version using rhymes. Here is a cool
online version for older kids (6 x 6).

Close Your Eyes
Show your child a photo or illustration.  Tell them to close their eyes, then
ask them questions about the picture.  Begin with simple questions, that
your child will find easy, such as, “What animal is in the picture?” or, “Is it
day or night?”  When your child is comfortable with the activity, move
towards asking them harder, more detailed questions.  

This can be played in real-life, as well as with pictures.  While standing in
line, tell the child to close their eyes, then ask questions such as, “Is there
a man or woman in front of us?” or, “What color shirt is the cashier
wearing?” or, “How many glasses are on the table?” or, “What is laying on
the seat next to you?”  

Let’s have a picnic  This game requires the child to remember and
repeat a string of items to be brought on an imaginary picnic, using visual
memory clues.  Begin by saying, “Let’s have a picnic”. Then create a rich
imaginary setting for the picnic, to help your child create a mental
picture… mention the time of day, the weather, the scenery.

Start the game by saying, “We’ll bring… ” then name an item with
memorable, descriptive adjectives.  For example, “We’ll bring a red, juicy
apple”.  Instruct your child to see it in her head (to visualize the red apple
– on a picnic blanket, perhaps?).  The next player then repeats what has
been said before, and adds her own item, such as “We’ll bring a red, juicy
apple and gooey brownies.”  Instruct your child to see it in her head – the
red apple next to the gooey brownies (maybe sitting on a paper plate?).   

The game continues, until the list is too long to remember.  Players are
encouraged to help each other with hints.  You may continue adding
items, then repeating the list by yourself, if your child is having trouble, or
is reluctant to play.  Ask for their help in remembering items.  The point is
to create a mental image of items to be remembered.

More free games online -- the Eye Can Learn website has some fun
online games similar to those above that may help with visual skills.

If these activities seem too hard for your child, try:
Simple Activities That Require Pattern Discrimination
and Attention to Visual Detail

Or try out these activities:
Simple Games to Exercise Your Child's
Short Term Auditory Memory

Or go back to:
Short Term Memory Skills
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