A lot of babies have a hard time with hand eye coordination. The best way to help them is by engaging in fun activities with their hands and eyes.
That’s why we compiled a list of a few activities to help stimulate your baby’s senses! In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to play these games and the benefits they offer your baby. The following daily activities will be a fun way to assist your child develop his or her skills!
1. Play with a ball and have them try to catch it
Pretty much everything babies are doing involving their hands will help develop hand eye coordination. It’s essential to give them access to a variety of different toys and activities throughout their first year of life.
Try to find age-appropriate toys and activities that were designed to help your little one with fine motor skills. On top of toys and activities, practical life skills such as drinking water from an open cup and learning to eat with a spoon or fork are excellent for hand-eye coordination.
Lastly, you can introduce catching a ball by rolling it back and forth with your toddler. You can start doing this with your baby as soon as they are able to sit up on their own.
My husband and I rolled the ball back and forth to each other to demonstrate the concept of playing catch and then included our baby in on the action. Many times it ended up with me rolling it between her legs, and her just looking at it 🙂 but eventually, she started picking it up and attempting to throw it back to me.
Eventually, she got better at picking up balls and throwing them, which is a big step towards catching.
2. Put together puzzles
- Fine motor practice
These are the small, more precise movements babies and toddlers work so hard on when they play with physical objects, like grasping, pointing, clutching, squeezing, etc.
- Hand-eye coordination
This refers to the way hands and eyes work together to complete a task.
- Gross motor practice
Movements that work the larger muscles of the arms and legs, such as walking, jumping, and climbing, all develop gross motor skills. Puzzles tap into this too, especially the large-format kinds, like floor puzzles.
- Recognizing shapes & spatial awareness
Toddler brains benefit enormously from practice with figuring out how things fit together, how to orient and rotate objects, and predicting which shapes might fit a particular space.
Solving puzzles, even the simplest ones, is great for building short-term memory and forming neural connections in your toddler’s brain.
There’s a lot more going on, too, especially as your toddler gets older. Puzzles offer practice in resilience, teamwork, managing frustration, and even mathematical concepts like parts of a whole and symmetry.
What does puzzle-solving look like at each stage? Remember, as always, that every child develops differently and may have a trajectory with puzzles that differs from these benchmarks. It’s also good to give kids at all stages plenty of time to experiment, play, and explore—even if it’s not the “right” way to solve a puzzle.
3. Have the baby put small objects in a container
Your baby will increasingly show preference for playing with a toy in a certain manner, and will start to add new interactions to his or her repertoire, such as turning, pushing, pulling and poking.
When your baby finds a toy to be particularly interesting he or she may play with it continuously for up to two to three minutes performing the action that is most enjoyable for that particular toy.
Give your baby plenty of new textures and materials to play with, babies love exploring and novelty boost brain development! Everyday objects can be excellent toys at this stage, as long as they are safe and wont easily break.
4. Hide toys around the house and have them find them using their sense of sight, hearing, touch, or smell
Provide baby with some objects from around the house that have different textures– soft, hard, fluffy, scratchy. These could be objects such as a knit hat, a large sponge, or cotton blanket. You can also provide items that make different noises when banged together or dropped. Playing with these items will stimulate baby’s sense of touch.
5. Encourage crawling by providing different textures like carpeting on one side of the room compared to hardwood flooring on another side (This is also great because babies are more likely to crawl when they’re tired)
Crawling is the first and longest period of time that your baby will be putting weight through their hands to develop strength and stability at their shoulders. This is important because it allows them to have control of their hands for other skills such as:
- Feeding themselves
- Playing with toys
- Handwriting in the future
- Being able to get themselves dressed
Crawling is considered the first form of independent movement. It helps develop and enhance our vestibular/balance system, sensory system, cognition, problem solving skills, and coordination.
Ready, Set, Play!
These are some of the many ways you can help your baby develop their cognitive skills. As they get older, these activities will not only keep them entertained but also teach them important information about how to interact with people and objects around them. We hope this list has brought a few new ideas for games or activities to try out on your little one! For more advice from our experts on child development, check back soon for another blog post soon.