from Phonics Pathways by Dolores G. Hiskes
These exercises are designed to improve eye-hand-body coordination. Some experts feel they will also develop eye-tracking ability. Not all children will be able to do all of these exercises. Try working through them, and see if you can come up with a small group of them that you both enjoy. It is important to practice the ones you have chosen on a regular basis, but you can vary them if you feel a change is needed:
- Have him hold his head still, and follow with his eyes as you slowly move a small object (penny, head of pencil, etc.) from far left to far right at eye level, back and forth several times. Now move it up and down, and diagonally. Then slowly bring the pencil in towards his nose while he focuses as long as he can, and out as far as you can reach. Always move very slowly and smoothly.
- Make a beanbag about 5 inches square (Bird seed makes wonderful filling!) and throw it back and forth to him. (Beanbags are easy to catch and don't roll away when dropped.) Aim for a faster throw and catch. (He may wish to change to a ball when this skill is well-developed.)
- Have him lie on the ground, and tell him to raise his left leg, right leg, left arm, or right arm. After he can raise the correct leg or arm easily, have him try a combination of two together: "Left leg, right arm," etc.
- While he is on the ground, tell him to make "angels in the snow": to move his arms and legs up and down against the ground. Then name a particular arm or leg, as in the above exercise. When he gets proficient, have him combine an arm with a leg upon command, as above.
- Have him walk on a balance board (holding his hands if necessary), or some variation of it. If this is too difficult have him walk all along a rope that has been laid across the floor, one foot in front of the other.
- Have him march to an even beat throwing opposite arms and legs forward, while you clap or beat a drum. Then have him clap and march at the same time.
- See if he can crawl. If he cannot, have him practice crawling.
- If a trampoline is available, have him jump on a trampoline. Hold his hand for safety!
- If he is well-coordinated, have him practice skipping.
- Suspend a whiffle ball (plastic ball with cutouts) from the ceiling or rafter in the garage, about chest level. Have him "box" with alternate fists, aiming for a smooth, even stroke. Then have him hit the ball with a bat, always trying to move it in the same center direction.
- Suspend this ball at foot level, slightly off the floor. Have him kick with alternate feet, aiming for a smooth, even kick, sending the ball in the same center direction each time. After awhile, as he kicks with his left foot have him move his right arm slightly forward, and his left arm slightly back, alternating arms with legs.
For more information on what vision training is and who can benefit from it,
visit any of these web sites:
(No special claims for these exercises are made, other than that they were helpful to the author's own children. They may or may not be helpful to others. Check with your doctor before proceeding.)
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