Visual-motor integration is our eyes and hands working together in a smooth and efficient way. It can also be referred to as hand-eye coordination.
It is your child’s ability to control their hand movements guided by their vision. A child who has challenges in this area can also have difficulty coordinating their body movements – gross motor skills.
Visual-motor integration is a skill required in all areas of the classroom. Your child’s ability to print letters, write words, copy from the board, draw pictures, line up math problems, complete work on time, are all related to their fine motor development.
There are many exercises you can do to help your child develop and strengthen their visual-motor integration. They can build with lego and wooden blocks copying a pattern, complete dot to dot exercises, thread large beads onto a string, use scissors to cut on lines, or use spoons, tweezers, tongs, to transfer objects.
We have a whole section in our book and videos on our site with exercises for fine motor development, from pouring and spooning to threading and sewing.
In the attached video you can see a writing activity worksheet, from our book ‘Teaching Parents How To Teach’, being used in a kindergarten classroom. The figure is being guided through the maze with a magnet. This exercise was highly recommended at a workshop given by an Occupational Therapist to help build and correct skills. You can find many more writing activity worksheets in our book for your child to trace, stay between the lines, stay on the line, cut around the lines, and a video giving further suggestions. Check them out at www.teachingparentshowtoteach.com
All research suggests the more practice your child gets the more likely they are to develop their visual-motor integration skills.
If you notice your child is struggling with these exercises, and you are not seeing progress after regular practice, then a visit for an eye examination would be advised.
Introducing your child to hand-eye coordination exercises, and helping to develop their spatial awareness, is a pro-active and preventative measure. A variety of exercises using their hands and vision together build their skills and independence.