Visual Perceptual Skills

Visual Perceptual Skills


Visual perception activities can help a child to make sense of the information that the eyes are sending to the brain.

Visual perception

.A practical definition of visual perception is the capacity to interpret or give meaning to what is seen. This definition includes recognition, insight, and interpretation at the higher levels of the central nervous system of what is seen (Buktenica 1968).

Visual discrimination. 

A child’s ability to match or determine exact char­acteristics of two forms when one of the forms is among similar forms. (i.e what is different, find the same).

Visual memory.

A child’s ability to remember for immediate recall (after four or five seconds) all of the characteristics of a given form, and being able to find this form from an array of similar forms.

.A child’s ability to determine, from among five forms of identical configuration, the one single form or part of a single form that is going in a different direction from the other forms. (copying shapes from one item to another)

Visual form constancy. 

A child’s ability to see a form, and being able to find that form, even though the form may be smaller, larger, rotated, reversed, and/or hidden.

Visual sequential memory.

A child’s ability to remember for immediate re­call (after four or five seconds) a series of forms from among four separate series of forms. (remembering telphone numbers)

Visual figure-ground.

A child’s ability to perceive a form visually, and to find this form hidden in a conglomerated ground of matter.

(hidden pictures)

Visual closure.

A child’s ability to determine, from among four incomplete forms, the one that is the same as the stimulus form (i.e., the completed form).

Activities to Promote Visual Perceptual Skills:

Visual Discrimination:

Younger children with poor skills may struggle to

match clothing, socks, or cutlery, especially when the differences are subtle

see the difference between similar objects (eg coins, especially foreign coins which are similar to local currency) 

A school-going child with poor skills may struggle to see differences between similar looking letters and words (eg b / d, b / p, 5 / S, won’t / want, car / cat), complete spot-the-difference type activities, and read maps.

These types of activities help to promote visual discrimination skills:

Preschool Sorting and Matching Games

Paying Attention To Detail

Matching Identical Objects/Pictures

Visual Memory and Visual Sequential Memory:

Visual Memory Activities can help develop the memory skills that your child needs in order to learn sight words.

The ability to recall or remember the visual details of what you have seen is known as visual memory.

Children with poor visual memory may struggle to:

recognize numbers and letters

remember sight words

copy work from the board or a book in good time, as they struggle to remember what they saw on the board and have to keep checking

The following visual memory activities can be seamlessly adapted to demand visual sequential memory skills as well. Click on the quick links below to view instructions and photos for each game.

Concentration/Memory Game

Kim's Game

Kids who struggle to remember numbers and letters

Visual Memory Games and Resources

Visual Sequential Memory is the ability to remember visual details in the correct sequence. This is essential for spelling and reading, where your child needs to remember the sequence of letters in order to spell the word correctly.

Form Constancy:

Form Constancy refers to the ability to recognize and label objects even when they are viewed from a different angle or in a different environment.

Kids who struggle with form constancy may not recognize shapes, numbers and letters

when the color, size or font changes,

or when they are presented in a different context (for example when they see them in the playground instead of in the classroom). 

Make use of the activity suggestions below to promote your child's form constancy skills.

Reinforce Shape Form Constancy

Reinforce Number and Letter Constancy

Figure-Ground Perception:

Figure-ground perception is the ability to focus on one specific piece of information in a busy background.

Visual figure-ground is the ability to see an object in a busy background; while auditory figure-ground helps a child pick out a voice or sound from a noisy environment.

Figure-Ground Perception Can Help You To:

find your favorite socks in a messy drawer

find the ketchup bottle in the pantry

find a specific toy in the toy-box

find a favorite t-shirt in the cupboard

find a dropped item if it fell onto a similar colored background (eg a green button on the grass)

A Child With Poor Skills May:

struggle to find information on a busy blackboard

find it hard to copy work from the board as the child keeps losing his place when copying

lose his/her place on the page while reading.

have poor dictionary skills

struggle with map work

struggle to find personal items in a cluttered place

The activities below may help your child to develop this important skill. 

Toddler Figure-Ground Activities

"Active Eyes" Activities

Games and Puzzles

Puzzle Books

Visual Closure Activities

Visual closure is the ability to correctly perceive an object or word, even when it is partly hidden.

This ability helps you to quickly make sense of what you see, even if it is not all visible to you, which means you do not have to see every little detail in order to recognize something. 

You are visually completing what you see when:

you can figure out what a road sign says, even when the writing is partly hidden by graffiti

you can make sense of words on a smudged page

you can recognize an object even when you can only see part of it

you can find a missing item when it is partly hidden

In school, kids need visual closure skills to:

help them read more fluently

quickly recognize words by their shape or general arrangement of letters without paying too much attention to each individual letter

together with visual memory skills, to remember letters and words (especially sight words)

A true visual based closure activity should be done completely visually, without drawing to complete a picture. This requires the brain to correctly perceive what the completed picture/word would look like, without using motor skills.

Use the simple activities below to help develop your child's skills!

Preschool Activities With Toys

Preschool Activities With Shapes & Puzzles