Visual Motor Skills

Visual Motor Skills

Visual-Motor skills enables the hands to correctly replicate what the eyes see (eye hand coordination). Visual perception and fine motor abilities are integrated in this skill, to enable the child to copy shapes, numbers and letters.

Fixation: the ability of the eyes to look at a stationary target

Scanning: the ability of the eyes to move on all planes while looking at stationary targets (i.e. moving the eyes left to right while reading) without moving your head

Tracking: the ability of the eyes to follow a moving target without moving your head

Convergence: the ability of the eyes to work together to focus on a target, bringing your eye together, as the target moves towards you.

Divergence:the ability of the eyes to work together to focus on a target as it moves away from you

Saccades: fast movements of the eyes that occur when shifting focus from one point to another the visual field

Activities that promote Visual Motor Integration :

Work on large surfaces first. Blackboards, sandpits, outside walls with sidewalk chalk, shaving cream in the shower, even on a mirror with wipe-off pens. You can also stick a large piece of butcher paper on a wall for your child to work on.

Find interesting mediums for desktop work before moving onto paper-and-pencil work. Try magnadoodles, small chalk boards, trays of sand...

If your child struggles to use a pencil or a crayon, then draw your shape on a board in chalk, or in shaving cream or sand. Your child can then use his/her finger to trace over yours.

Your child should first get lots of practice tracing the form over and over. Use different colors for a rainbow effect.

Emphasize staying on the original line, not cutting corners or going "off track".

Always have a consistent starting point. In general, work from top to bottom and from left to right.

Circles should start at 2 o’clock if your school teaches that c, a, d, g, o , q start at the same spot. Getting into the habit of drawing circles from 2 o'clock may help with those formations later.

Use rhymes and verbal cues to help kids remember where to start and how to form the shape/number letter.

After lots of practice, ask your child to draw the form with eyes closed – this is a sure sign of whether the correct formation has been internalized or not.

Remember to give lots of tracing practice before asking your child to draw the form alone.

Preferably use worksheets only after practicing the forms in large format.