Fun Summer Visual-Motor Activities for Kids

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Summer is the perfect time to work on the type of eye-hand coordination and visual-motor skills that will help children with their fine motor, gross motor, and academic skills. Here are a few ideas that will keep your kids engaged during the summer break with some fun visual motor activities.

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Fun Summer Visual-Motor Activities for Children

Many of these activities can be set up with things you probably already have in your home. 

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Copy patterns/pictures using shapes, pegs, etc

Put models together

Dot-to-dots pages

Mazes

Hidden picture searches

Word searches

Put puzzles together

Cut grass with scissors

Cut flowers for a flower arrangement

Simulate cutting motions by transferring objects with bubble tongs

Cut straws into small pieces and slide them on a string to make a necklace

Cut play dough/putty/clay

Cut shapes out of foam

Cut pictures from magazines or cereal boxes

Put origami designs together (check out my ocean animal origami ideas here

Keep reading to learn a little bit more about visual-motor skills and why they are important in child development. 

What are visual motor skills?

In short, visual-motor skills are the ability to respond to visual sensory input with a motor response. You may also see it referred to as visual-motor integration. Visual-motor integration happens when your child is able to integrate both visual and motor movements together for effective responses and movement. 

Visual-motor skills include visual perception and gross motor and fine motor skills working together. 

You can read more about visual perception in my post here (there are 7 sub-categories of visual perception!) 

What are visual motor skills important for?

Visual motor skills are important for many different types of activities that kids need to do throughout their day. Some of these include gross motor skills like kicking a ball, and fine motor skills like cutting with scissors, or handwriting. 

How do you practice visual motor skills?

You can practice visual-motor skills at home in a variety of ways. The great thing is that all gross motor and fine motor activities also require visual-motor skills in order to do them. 

You can still focus on visual-motor skills by doing a lot of scissors and cutting activities, kicking and catching a ball, or any of the activities I shared above! 

If you feel like your child is struggling with visual-motor skills it's important to first get their eyes checked by an optometrist or developmental optometrist to rule out any physical issues with the eyes and to see if they need glasses or not. You will also want to talk to their pediatrician or doctor and ask for an Occupational Therapy evaluation. Occupational therapists are specially trained to look at all areas of child development to help improve their ability to complete everyday activities that might be impacted by visual skills.

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Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
All information on the Website is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for medical advice from a physician or your pediatrician. Please consult with a medical professional if you suspect any medical or developmental issues with your child. The information on the Websites does not replace the relationship between therapist and client in a one-on-one treatment session with an individualized treatment plan based on their professional evaluation. The information provided on the Website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.

Do not rely on the information on the Website as an alternative to advice from your medical professional or healthcare provider. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided on the Website. All medical information on the Website is for informational purposes only.

All activities outlined on the Website are designed for completion with adult supervision. Please use your own judgment with your child and do not provide objects that could pose a choking hazard to young children. Never leave a child unattended during these activities. Please be aware of and follow all age recommendations on all products used in these activities. Growing Hands-On Kids is not liable for any injury when replicating any of the activities found on this blog.

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