If you are looking for fun ways to help toddlers develop skills through play, then this hand eye coordination activities for toddlers is for you. During the toddler years, there is much development happening. Whether you need fun ways to help little ones build gross or fine motor skills, this hand eye coordination activity will support the cognitive and physical development the young child can use for learning and play.
Hand Eye Coordination Activities for Toddlers
Hand eye coordination refers to the coordination between visual input through the eyes and physical motor movements through an integration of the visual and motor systems in order to use the hands and arms.
These early years have many fine motor milestones that support functional skills and self-care. Additionally, the visual motor development of this age is huge!
Hand Eye coordination for toddlers is necessary for play, self-feeding, and increasing independence in young children.
This is a developmental skill that begins at a young age and progresses in skill and precision.
Examples of Hand Eye Coordination in Toddlers
Toddlers gain precision and accuracy in motor skills at a rapid rate. You’ll notice this as they become more and more refined in motor skills. Some examples of activities that require hand-eye coordination during the toddler years includes:
- Throwing a ball
- Catching a ball
- Drawing with a crayon (Read about the best crayons for toddlers)
- Stacking blocks
- Age-appropriate toys like dolls or figures
- Taking off socks/putting on socks
- Taking off clothing (shirts/pants) and putting on clothing
- Putting toys into containers, bags, purses
- Participating in pretend play
- Self-feeding using feeding utensils (Read here for tips on how to hold a spoon to encourage self-feeding skills
- Drinking from an open cup
Why build hand eye coordination in toddlers?
There are many benefits to encouraging hand eye coordination activities in toddlers. Through play, you can create opportunities for young children to gain the type of play that the young child needs. This includes fine motor play, gross motor play, and not screen use!
Some benefits for toddlers to participate in hand eye coordination tasks includes:
- Development of fine motor skills
- Participation in gross motor coordination tasks (increasing balance, motor planning, body awareness, core strength, etc.)
- Development of visual processing skills
- Age-appropriate executive functioning skills such as attention, working memory, and sustained play
- Development of cognitive skills
- Language development
Toddler Hand Eye Coordination Activities
Hand eye coordination activities for toddlers can be simple, yet fun. Some ideas include:
- Throwing and catching games
- Stringing beads
- Finger paints
- Turning pages of board books followed by paper pages in books
- Stacking blocks
- Sorting colors activities
- Playing with blocks
- Sorting toys by color
- Putting spoons into a cup
- Use any of these toddler play activities
Try the hand eye coordination activity we did using an inner tube. This is a great color activity for young children.
This was a fun little play activity for the Toddlers. Nephew (19 months) was with us one day and LOVED doing this.
I put the blue inner tube and a little basketful of balls out on the dining room floor. I put one ball into the center of the inner tube and he was INTO it! Little nephew went crazy putting the balls in the center, taking them out, putting them back into the basket. This was FUN!
What are we learning with this activity?
- Eye-Hand Coordination
- Toddler Visual-motor skills
- Cause and effect (if I throw this ball into the center, it might bounce out…)
- Learning colors
- Gross Motor Skills (throwing, rolling, bouncing)
Tips for Toddler Hand eye coordination skills
When setting up activities for toddlers, some tips include following the child’s lead. Offer support when needed, but allow the young child to participate in the process. Sometimes working and playing along side the toddler offers a model that the young child can copy if they like, but they won’t feel pressured and they still have the autonomy that gives them a sense of success.
Most of all, have fun!
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.