Potty Training Incentive (That Kids will LOVE)

Potty training reward incentive with Kudos Banz
Potty training can be a jungle. Knowing what to expect when starting potty training can be challenging for parents. Even seasoned parents can struggle when it comes to potty training and there’s a good reason why; Every child is different! And here’s the thing: Because every child is so different when it comes to interests, strengths, difficulties, and needs, potty training incentives can be a challenge too. Potty training rewards can be helpful when the child’s motivations are included in toilet training. Maybe you’ve tried potty training charts before. Perhaps you are struggling to teach the basics of potty training, or are working on a child staying dry overnight. Today, I’ve got a motivating potty training incentive that can be just the tool to address a variety of toileting challenges.
Use potty training incentives like reward charts and potty training bracelets to help kids learn steps of toilet training.

Potty Training Incentive

First, let’s talk about what a potty training incentive is and looks like. You’ve probably seen a potty training reward chart before. A potty training sticker chart can be just the visual that helps kids progress from making it to the potty in time to remembering to stop and go to the bathroom when playing (and before it’s too late). Other kids use reward charts for washing hands after using the restroom or wiping completely. A visual reward chart like a sticker chart can address a wide variety of potty training issues.
Reward programs can be used in the home or while on-the-go while out and about in the community. A potty training visual chart can be used to work on many goal areas.
Many potty training incentives offer a reward for that persistence and patience needed in potty training. Sticker charts can be just the tool to help kids feel special and confident during the potty training process. After the kiddo achieves a goal like sitting on the toilet or making it to the potty in time, they can add a sticker to the chart. After a determined number of stickers have been added to the chart, a reward is earned.
Kud Banz is a potty training reward system that helps kids learn steps of potty training through positive reinforcement and an interactive incentive.

Toileting Reward Program That Kids will Love

I recently came across a potty training incentive program that I fell in love with. The Kudo Banz system works a lot like a sticker chart reward. However, the difference is that kids can wear a bracelet to help remind kids of their goals. They can earn Kudos for various aspects of potty training, keeping them motivated to turn positive behaviors and actions into habits.
Kids will love this motivating potty training program that helps behaviors turn into habits in a meaningful way.
Use a potty training book like the Kudo banz potty party book to teach kids aspects of toileting.
Potty Training Book with a Twist
Affiliate links are included in this post.
Part of the Potty Starter Pack by Kudo Banz, is a colorful and fun storybook called “The Adventures of Drago and George and the Potty Party”. This book gets kids and parents excited about beginning potty training by describing an adventure and a fun “potty party”. In the book, the characters discover how to earn kudos by completing individualized challenges.
A potty party is a rewarding potty training incentive that kids will love.
As we all know, kids are so different. What works for one child may not work for another. That’s why the Kudos that can be modified based on your child’s needs, strengths, and interests are really successful.
For special potty training seats based on needs of the child, check out our recent post on Potty Training Seats for Special Needs.
Kids will love this potty training incentive program that teaches toileting through positive interactions.
Using a bracelet and themed charms, kids can add a “kudo”, or charm clip, after achieving goals. They can work through the various aspects of potty training, taking kids from walking into the bathroom and sitting on the potty, all the way to staying dry overnight.
Use Kudo Banz to teach kids potty training incentives by receiving kudos for reaching personal goals.
This potty training incentive program is meaningful and motivating to kids.
Kids can use the bands and the clips to mark progress for toileting aspects such as:
  • Sitting on the potty
  • Going pee in the potty
  • Going poop in the potty
  • Learning to wipe all by themselves
  • Remembering to wash hands after going potty
  • Staying dry for specific amounts of time, such as from breakfast to snack time, etc.
  • Staying dry at nap-time
  • Staying dry overnight
Teach kids potty training with a meaningful and motivating potty training incentive.
A potty training incentive that kids will love

Focusing on the Positive When Potty Training

Because toilet training requires so much patience, it’s important to stay positive. As parents, this can be HARD! An accident on the floor again? Wet pants for the third time today? It can be frustrating to work through potty training challenges when you’ve practiced and practiced the aspects of toileting.
Make potty training meaningful and motivating with a toileting reward system like a sticker chart on the wrist.
That’s why using positive reinforcement such as the reward charms that Kudo Banz offer is so important. It helps kids stay motivated because they feel excited to have that kudo on their bracelet, and with them at all times. It’s a great way to stay encouraged to try again because they can see, touch, and feel the evidence that they did something positive.
Kudo Banz are fun and creative potty training incentives that kids will love.
Having that bracelet right on their arm makes staying focused on incentives rewarding because kudos happen right in the moment and even when out and about. Kids can add a kudo to their bracelet when using a public restroom and see the evidence of a bathroom win…and boost their self-confidence in potty training.
Kids can pick their potty training reward with a meaningful and motivating theme.
Interactive Potty Training Reward
The thing about Kudo Banz that kids will absolutely love, besides the themed Kudo charms that they can pick, is the reward. Using an app, kids can use their reward Kudo in an interactive way to keep kids interested in their goals and motivated to earn more.
Potty training reward charms are an incentive to accomplish personal goals and toileting goals, leading to more independence.
Take it a step further:
Kudo Banz is nice because kids can benefit from the motivating and interactive factor, and even take habits a step further and be used to work on a variety of goals. Things such as picky eating, doing chores, following directions, doing homework…and many more areas that can be difficult to instill in kids can be addressed with this motivating reward tool.

Add Kudo Banz to your therapy toolbox! Grab a set here.

Potty Training Seats for Special Needs

Potty training seats for potty training special needs kids

When it comes to potty training and toileting in general, there is a LOT of information out there. And, if you ask around for suggestions for the best potty training seats, you will probably get a variety of answers. It can be overwhelming to weed through all of the potty seats out there on the market and in the local box store toddler aisle. The difficulty compounds when you consider potty training with special needs children. Today, I wanted to pull together a list of potty training seats out there on the market that are perfect for special needs kids, as well as typically developing kids. These potty training chairs help address the underlying needs that kids might struggle with when it comes to potty training. These potty training seats and supports can be the tools needed to address a variety of underlying needs when it comes to getting started with potty training.

Here’s the thing: it can be difficult to make suggestions or come up with a comprehensive list that covers ALL of the special needs out there. (That’s where your occupational therapy evaluation or equiptment analysis will come into play!) BUT, I can definitely address some of the more common potty training seats out on the market and address the underlying areas that they can address and hopefully target a best fit.

These recommendations for potty training seats are guided by development and great for kids of all needs. Use these potty training seats as suggestions when starting potty training for toddlers or preschoolers.

 

 

Potty Training Seats are Not One-Size Fits All!

Let’s face it. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to potty training. Because of the vast differences in in kids development, interests, motivation, physical or special needs, potty training can be a challenge to know where to start. This list is hopefully a start for addressing some of the areas kids need for successful potty training.

Portable Seat– This type of seat is great for kids who need a smaller opening on the toilet. Kids of all needs benefit from a larger seat area when first potty training. This one is nice because it can be carried from place to place when on the go outside of the home. Just fold it up and place in it’s carrying bag. Using a portable seat can make it easy to add interests when beginning potty training. Add interests such as special toys and items to make sitting motivating.

Squatty Potty– The squatty potty is a helpful way to provide a more stable base of support while sitting on the toilet seat. Kids can place their feet on the support that curves around the toilet base and improve balance while sitting. This base of support can help kids who need extra support or have balance needs. The Step and Go stool is another, more inexpensive option. Adding a supportive base can help calm nerves of unsupported sitting. Children can use a wider base of support with this type of stool.

Potty Training Chart– While this isn’t a potty training seat, a training chart can be used to promote extended sitting on a potty chair, and to allow kids the ability to build up patience to sit and wait on a potty chair. Starting out by using a potty training chart to encourage kids just to go to and sit on the potty seat is a great start for younger kids or those who need to accommodate for sensory needs. A visual tool such as a potty training chart can be a practical way to reinforce individual skills that make up the process of toilet training. The nice thing about toilet training charts is that they can be individualized, based on the child’s needs. Some kids with special needs or sensory needs may be afraid of walking into the bathroom. A sticker chart can be one strategy to address that aspect given various modifications or activities that can help address needs.

Step Stool with Handles– Having a handle can help little ones who struggle with balance or feeling unstable when sitting on a regular sized toilet seat. This one has a step stool that provides a base of support through the feet.

 

Toilet Seat with Pee Guard– This seat insert has handles and slight curvature to the sides of the toilet seat ring, providing support and a sense of stability when seated on a regular size toilet. The urine guard is helpful for both boys and girls.

Three-in-one Potty Training Seat– As a mom of four, this 3-in-one potty training seat is a favorite. It goes with kids from the toddler stage when a smaller, floor potty chair is helpful in training. The ring insert can then be used when transitioning to a regular sized toilet. Finally, the seat forms a step stool for using either on the toilet or when washing hands. This is a convenient toilet training seat for families! This potty training system is great for the child who appreciates consistency.

 

 Ring Reducer– There are many styles of toilet seat ring reducers out there and they serve a great purpose; to reduce the size of the opening on the toilet seat, allowing for small kids to feel more safe and secure when sitting on the toilet. This is a good transition seat to a regular sized toilet. For kids who struggle with coordination and balance, this ring reducer can be just the ticket to potty training success.

Disposable Seat Covers– These seat covers are convenient for kids who tend to grab the toilet seat when sitting on a regular-sized toilet. When out and about in the community, it can be helpful for some kids to use a seat cover that is more effective than just using toilet paper. Some of our kiddos can’t tolerate sitting without holding onto the seat or just can’t follow the directions to “not hold onto the seat”.

These special needs potty training seats can be a guide to getting started with potty training for special needs kids.

Physical Limitations and Special Needs Toilet Training

While these potty training seat options just cover the surface of potty training, it’s important to remember to consider the underlying and developmental aspects of potty training. The therapist’s perspective can play an important part in identifying any developmental or transitioning needs when it comes to potty training. While there are many more specific tools that can be used with special needs toilet training as well as typically developing kids, these are just some of the basics. Remember that there truly is not a one-size-fits-all aspect for toileting. Some of our kids with more physical special needs or developmental considerations may benefit from a more extensive and supportive seating system. That’s where the occupational therapist comes into play with identifying needs and tools that will promote independence and function.

Use these potty training seats for special needs kids when beginning the potty training process with kids of all needs.

Potty Training Seats for Physical Needs

Toileting Seat System- There are many toileting systems on the market that address physical needs. Seating systems are intended to  promote positioning, safety, mobility, transfers, function, and quality of life of the individual. Look for a system that meets the budget and can efficiently accommodate various needs such as toileting, showering/bathing, hygiene, etc. 
 
Systems can come with a variety of ajustements and supports. Consider the need or use of the following supports:
 
Headrest
Backrest
Armrests
Lateral back supports
Harness
Seat belt
Tray
Anterior support
Hip guides
Abductor
Urine deflector or guard
Calf supports
Lower extremity lateral supports
Ankle straps
Footrest
Tilt in space (backward/forward)
Recline
Height adjustments
Push handles (for caregiver support)
Wheeled base
Molded and Foam cushions
Pan/adaptability for use over a toilet or as a stand-alone toilet chair
 
Support Station for Toileting- A standing support station can be used in assisted hygiene or assisted toileting. The standing station can be a support to transfers and can be beneficial t clothing management, self-care, skin care, and undergarment changing. 
 
The support station is a helpful tool for improving function and dignity of clients as can perform aspects of toileting, as well as participate in self-care. This is a means for reducing diaper use as well, further improving dignity. Additionally, support stations are a tool for improved safety of caregivers. When clients stand at a standing support frame, they are truly building strength, endurance and self-care skills in a natural manner within the occupation of toileting. 

For More information on Potty Training 

Watch for information coming soon to this space on the upcoming Toilet Training Book! It’s about to be released and is your go-to resource on potty training based on development and individualized needs. This book was created by occupational therapists and physical therapists who are experts in the field of child development, sensory processing, motor skills, and function. 
 
Need more information and real strategies to improve potty training success? Want insider tips and tools from the occupational therapist’s and physical therapist’s perspectives? The Toilet Training Book is here!
 
 
 
 
 

Potty Training Help

Tackling potty training is a challenge for all kids! What if you had the inside scoop on development in your back pocket? 

What if you had the know-how of occupational therapists and physical therapists with DECADES of experience to guide you?  

The Toilet Training Book offers a developmental look at potty training for kids of ALL needs.

  • This digital e-book is a deal of a resource at $19.99

The Toileting Book is a comprehensive resource covering every aspect of toilet training.  

Details about The Toileting Book:  

  • Written by a team of experienced pediatric occupational therapists and physical therapists with decades of experience  
  • Packed with information on toilet training readiness and achievement of toileting success
  • Includes Toilet Training Guides for special populations (children with fine or gross motor needs, behavioral or cognitive challenges, physical disabilities, etc.) including Sensory Processing Disorder, Trauma-Informed Needs, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Provides information on interoception and the role this sensory system plays in potty training
  • Discusses common toileting equipment and special needs toileting tools
  • Includes tips and suggestions for individualized toilet training 

This book is available in digital, e-book format AND in a physical, soft-cover book format.

The Toilet Training Book- the potty training resource you need!

What is Visual Attention?

What is visual attention

Attention is a hot topic when it comes to learning! There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to visual attention, however. Visual attention is an area of visual processing that is more than just focusing on a task or leaning activity. Visual attention is a visual skill necessary for noticing details, adjusting to patterns, reading, and so much more of the giant visual processing umbrella. Read on to discover what is visual attention and how this visual skill impacts so much of what we do.

Visual attention is a visual processing skill that allows us to notice and focus on details. Some aspects of visual attention occur automatically and immediately, and others require integration of other visual processing aspects such as visual perceptual work, focused vision, retained attention, visual mindfulness, and more.

What is visual attention?

First, it’s important to recognize where visual attention lies in the visual processing umbrella. Visual processing is an aspect that includes the cognitive components, once visual information is received through oculomotor skills and visual acuity.

Visual attention is an area of obtaining visual information and communicating that information with the brain. This collection of information requires several eye mobility skills including: voluntary eye movements, visual fixation, smooth pursuits (or visual tracking) and visual scanning.

Additionally, visual perceptual skills are included in visual attention. These skills allow us to discriminate details and fill in “missing pieces” such as partially obscured portions of the form and to use the “mind’s eye” to visualize those aspects.

About Visual Processing…

For more information on visual processing and the aspects that are a part of visual skills (oculomotor skills, visual perception, visual motor integration, etc.) join us in a free 3-day email series, the Visual Processing Lab, as we discuss each aspect of visual processing with a fun, chemo or bio lab theme!

Visual Attention includes several areas:

1.) Alertness- Defined as “the quality of being alert”, alertness is that watchful and attentive manner of being ready and responsive to visual information. Visual alertness requires focused vision and keenness to a specific object or area in the visual field.

2.) Selective Attention- The ability of noticing and processing specific information while disregarding other, less relevant information describes selective attention. This ability to discern visual information is needed for attending visually to information.

3.) Surrounding Attention- This aspect of attention refers to the surroundings and position in space. An awareness of our body position and the environment happening around us, including distance impacts attention at large.

4.) Mindful Alertness- The ability to be mindful and aware of visual input with a concentrated effort allows attention needed for participating in a visual task. The continuous alertness in a focused state allows us to attend with intention.

5.) Shared Attention- This aspect of visual attention allows us to shift focus between visual input. This can involve filtering of unnecessary information.

What is visual attention? It's a visual processing skill that allows us to read and maintain our place on a line of words. Visual attention allows us to copy written work and notice details. It allows us to recognize faces and letters or words. Visual attention is an important visual skill that many kids struggle with.Learn more here, as well as other information on visual processing.

Visual Attention and Preattentive Features

If visual attention is depiction of and focusing on specific qualities of a form, then preattentive features are basic features of visual information that are automatically noticed by the eyes. These features are easily pulled out of a background or group in a visual display.

Preattentive features include:

  • Color
  • Orientation
  • Curvature
  • Size
  • Motion
  • Depth Cues
  • Vernier
  • Lustre
  • Aspects of Shape

How to work on Visual Attention

For more information and specific activities that can address visual attention in fun and meaningful ways, grab the Visual Processing Bundle. In it, you will find 17 digital products, ebooks, workbooks, and guides to addressing various aspects of visual processing, including visual attention. The bundle is valued at over $97 dollars for these products, and includes over 235 pages of tools, activities, resources, informaton, and strategies to address visual processing needs.


For one week, the visual processing bundle is on sale at $29.99. Grab the Visual Processing Bundle HERE.

References:
Wolfe J. Visual attention. In: De Valois KK, editor. Seeing. 2nd ed. San Diego, CA:
Academic Press; 2000. p. 335-386.

Cool You’re Still on the List

Great! I’m so glad you’re still here. I know that life gets in the way of the email inbox so in case you’ve missed some recent popular posts here on The OT Toolbox, check these resources out:

Teletherapy Activities for Occupational Therapy

Teach Letters with a Free Virtual Therapy Slide Deck

Visual Tracking Tips and Tools

Zones of Regulation Activities

Alphabet Exercises for Kids

Enjoy! It’s good to see you again!

Colleen

Activities to improve smooth visual pursuits

Activities to work on smooth pursuits and visual tracking in kids

For our kids who are challenged to visually observe their
environment, or who struggle to demonstrate visual tracking in reading or other
learning experiences, activities designed to promote smooth pursuits and eye
movement can be helpful. The visual activities listed here can be helpful in
addressing the smooth pursuits of visual input. Visual pursuits or tacking is
an oculomotor skill that is necessary part of visual processing. Read on for
various eye exercise that can be done in fun ways as a part of occupational
therapy geared toward visual processing skills.

These activities to improve smooth visual pursuits are needed to improve visual tracking needed for reading and visual processing.

Activities to improve smooth visual pursuits

First, let’s cover what visual pursuits are and how they
impact a child’s learning.
Visual skills like visual tracking, or smooth visual pursuits are a visual processing skill that allow us to perceive and retrieve visual information. This is an essential part of reading and learning.

What are visual pursuits?

Visual pursuits are another term for visual tracking. Visual tracking is an oculomotor skill that is essential for learning, reading, and so many tasks we perform. Here is more information about visual tracking. You will also love checking out these activities to improve visual tracking.

Visual processing skills have a huge impact on learning. In fact, it is one of the visual skills that can impact learning in a way that isn’t always directly observable.

Visual skills like visual tracking, or smooth visual pursuits are a visual processing skill that allow us to perceive and retrieve visual information. This is an essential part of reading and learning.

Want to learn more about HOW visual pursuits and other aspects of visual processing impact learning (in a really big way)? Scroll below to join our free visual processing lab. It’s a 3 day email series where you will learn SO much about visual processing and how it impacts everything, but especially learning and cognitive skills.

Visual tracking activites are needed for learning and everything we do! These activities to improve visual pursuits can be used in occupational therapy treatment sessions or part of vision therapy activities.

Activities to improve visual pursuits

These visual tracking activities are easy and creative ways to work on eye movement and smooth eye movements. Kids can perform these activities as part of a therapy program and while working on functional skills within an occupation.

1. Relaxing breathing eye stretches- This visual tracking activity is a way to work on smooth pursuits in a very mindful way. Just like yoga brings awareness to the body and a sense of being present, this eye stretch activity is a great way to calm a class during a busy school day.

Combine slow and deep breathing with deliberate eye movements. Kids can watch and follow directions to take deep breaths combined with slowly looking in a single direction. As they look up and breath or look to the left and breath, kids can even use this activity as a coping strategy.

2. Flashlight Tag- Use a flashlight to help kids follow a target in various directions. Try a circle, uppercase letter “H”, triangle, straight/diagonal lines, etc. To make this activity more fun, try adding a deflated balloon to the top of the flashlight. Encourage kids to keep their face steady as they use just the eyes to follow the light.

3. Craft Stick Puppets-Create small craft stick characters puppets to make a visual cue as a visual prompt for follow movement patterns. These barnyard animal puppets make a great DIY puppet tool for a visual pursuit and tracking activity.

4. Marble run activities- There are many marble run products on the market that provide an opportunity for improving smooth pursuit of the eyes. Here are DIY marble run activities that make a great activity in themselves for kids. We love to add slow moving items to marble run games too, to provide a slower object for visually tracking, encouraging smooth pursuits of the eyes. Encourage kids to keep their face steady while using their eyes only to watch the item fall through the marble run.

5. Roll a ball up a slanted surface and ask the child to keep their eyes on the ball! Some ideas include creating a sloped surface with a poster board and books. Simply roll a small ball slowly up the ramp and kids can watch the ball as it rolls. Also try having the child to sit in front of the ramp and be in charge of rolling the ball. Mark off where the ball should reach and stop so the child works on graded movement at the same time. Sitting in front of the ramp encourages visual convergence and binocular fusion as well. This activity works well with a large ball such as a kick ball and a sidewalk ramp, too.

6. Double Light Eye Tag- Use two different colored lights (light-topped pens work well). Flash one color on and then the other. Kids can move their eyes from color to color or follow directions to look at the two lights when they change.

Hopefully, these activities to improve visual pursuits is a helpful addition to your therapy toolbox. Use these strategies to work on various visual processing skills and oculomotor skills.

More visual processing activities

For even MORE visual tracking and pursuit activities to use in your occupational therapy practice, you will want to join our free visual processing lab email series. It’s a 3-day series of emails that covers EVERYthing about visual processing. We take a closer look at visual skills and break things down, as well as covering the big picture of visual needs.

In the visual processing lab, you will discover how oculomotor skills like smooth pursuits make a big difference in higher level skills like learning and executive function. The best thing about this lab (besides all of the awesome info) is that it has a fun “lab” theme. I might have had too much fun with this one 🙂

Join us in visual processing Lab! Where you won’t need Bunsen burners or safety goggles!

Click here to learn more about Visual Processing Lab and to sign up.

Free visual processing email lab to learn about visual skills needed in learning and reading.

More visual tracking activities you will like:


Visual pursuits visual tracking activities to help kids with the visual skills needed for learning, reading, and everything they do!

Free Visual Processing Lab

Free visual processing lab
Visual processing impacts everything we do! When kids struggle with things like writing on the lines, managing buttons, catching a ball, or finding a missing shoe in a messy room…visual processing skills are at play. The thing is, the components of visual processing are more than meets the eye (literally)! Visual processing involves several areas like oculomotor function, visual perception, and visual-motor skills. These underlying areas make all the difference in skills like handwriting, fine motor skills, learning, reading, functional tasks…everything!
What if I told you that there is a new resource available through The OT Toolbox. The Visual Processing Lab is here! It’s a short email series that covers everything you need to know about visual processing. And you can join us!

Visual processing lab for information on visual perception, visual-motor integration, oculomotor skills, and more.
The best thing about this email lab (besides the lab theme references) is that you will leave with tools you need to better understand visual processing. When you join us in lab, you’ll get a free 15 page lab book that is your guide to understanding visual processing.
In visual processing lab, we’ll cover:
  • The Big Picture of Visual Processing (including definitions)
  • Taking a closer look at visual processing (including specifics and “red flags”)
  • Experiments, Interventions, Reflection on the lab contents. We’ll also do two hands-on experiments as part of the lab, and intervention ideas.
This lab is going to be fun!
Join us in Visual Processing Lab!
Visual processing lab is great for better understanding visual perception, oculomotor skills, visual motor integration, and more.

What is Visual Scanning

What is visual scanning and occupational therapy activities for visual scanning in kids

Visual Scanning is a component of visual processing that is crucial to everything we do! From taking in visual information, to using that information in making decisions and enabling actions…visual scanning is an oculomotor skill that is sometimes an area of difficulty for those struggling with visual processing skills. Below, you will find information about visual scanning, including what this oculomotor control component looks like, what visual scanning really means, and why scanning as a visual skill is needed for learning, functional tasks, social emotional skills, executive function and other cognitive abilities, and just about everything we do!

To work on visual scanning in the classroom or clinic, you may want to grab this free 17 page visual perception worksheet packet that promote oculomotor skills like visual scanning as well as visual perceptual skills!

What is visual scanning? Visual scanning is the eyes movement from point A to point B, needed for reading, games, activities, play, functional tasks. Scanning or saccades, are an oculomotor visual skill.

What is Visual Scanning?

Visual scanning is noticing a car parked on the corner when you try to cross the road.
Visual scanning is finding last night’s homework in a cluttered backpack.
Visual scanning is locating a matching shoe in a bin at the bottom of the closet.
Visual scanning is finding a pair of pants in a dresser to wear on a cool day.
Visual scanning is setting the table.
Visual scanning is looking for a lost parent on a busy playground.

Visual scanning is a lot of things! Rather, visual tracking is USED and REQUIRED in a lot of tasks. Scanning is needed to be independent, stay safe, make decisions, stay organized, help others, be a vital part of a workplace, succeed in school, learn and grow as an individual, and SO much more!

Oculomotor Control

Visual Scanning is a part of the oculomotor system that allows the eyes to take in information. Here is more information on oculomotor dysfunction and activities that can help address this area. Scanning makes up a piece of the visual-receptive components of the visual system.

The oculomotor control that allows us to take in information includes visual pursuit, or tracking, and saccadic eye movements, or scanning. The muscles of the eyes control these movements in a voluntary and reflexive capacity.

What is a saccade?

A visual saccade is the movement of the eye toward visual stimuli. This movement of the eyes in visual scanning allows the eyes to focus on the most important part of the visual stimuli. This allows us to notice a specific word, phrase, or topic in a body of text. You can see how scanning is needed for reading comprehension and writing essays in the school environment.

Visual Scanning Looks Like…

That precise focus of our eyes on a warm pair of clothes hidden in a closet provides safety and important information to drive executive functioning and decision-making.

The ability of they eye to focus on detail allows us to notice and locate our lost child in a busy store. These motor actions of the eyes are happening with both intention and in an automatic way so we are safe, locating the visual information we need, and safe.

At the same time, unnecessary information is negated, allowing the information we are looking for to be received and therefore processed for use in visual motor tasks, eye hand coordination, and function.

Here are activities to improve visual saccades.

Visual Scanning and Visual Perception

You can see how scanning works together with visual perception. As we scan, we need to discriminate, pull out the necessary information from background information, utilize visual closure, and sustain visual attention. Likewise, to access the information, visual perceptual skills require the ability to scan the environment.

Visual scanning is needed for reading and learning. Here are activities designed to build visual scanning in kids.

Visual Scanning Activities

Here is a visual scanning activity that includes a motor component. The eye-hand coordination couples with and requires visual scanning, visual perceptual skills, and the motor integration of that information for a task.

This visual scanning activity is a low-prep activity that can be used with a variety of themes or to address various levels.

For more easy activities that address a variety of visual perceptual and visual motor skills, you’ll love these visual scanning activities.

This Bubble Wrap Math Maze is a fun way to work on visual scanning as well as other skill areas. Kids will love the auditory and proprioceptive feedback, too. 
Tangrams and finding correct pieces of puzzles like the ones tangrams support area  great way to encourage visual scanning as well as the perceptual and motor components of visual processing. These Cardboard Tangrams are a frugal and fun way to play and develop skills. 
This Letter Seek and Find activity is a low-prep and quick activity that can be used with various ages and levels. Attach handwriting tasks to make it perfect for older kids. Younger kids can work on letter recognition while addressing oculomotor skills, visual perception, and motor components. 
Work on visual scanning with a tasty feedback, using letter cookies or crackers! This Letter Cookie Seek is a great way to work on the visual skills needed for so many areas.

Visual scanning is needed for functional tasks, using saccadic eye movements from one point to another. Here are activities to help with visual saccades.
Looking for more visual scanning activities for the kids?  Try some of these:

More visual processing activities

For even MORE visual scanning activities to use in your occupational therapy practice, you will want to join our free visual processing lab email series. It’s a 3-day series of emails that covers EVERYthing about visual processing. We take a closer look at visual skills and break things down, as well as covering the big picture of visual needs.

In the visual processing lab, you will discover how oculomotor skills like smooth pursuits make a big difference in higher level skills like learning and executive function. The best thing about this lab (besides all of the awesome info) is that it has a fun “lab” theme. I might have had too much fun with this one 🙂

Join us in visual processing Lab! Where you won’t need Bunsen burners or safety goggles!

Click here to learn more about Visual Processing Lab and to sign up.

Free visual processing email lab to learn about visual skills needed in learning and reading.


What is visual scanning? Read more information about visual scanning or visual saccades that are needed for reading, play, and everything we do!