Sometimes, when babies are reaching for the object in front of them, it may take several times for them to grasp it. This actually shows that their hand-eye coordination is developing.
Research has shown that babies who can play well with balls or hammer toys have good hand-eye coordination. It can be challenging for them to develop coordination, and therefore, it is important for parents to start cultivating this ability in their first year of life.
So, what should mothers do to help babies develop hand-eye coordination?
How to improve babies’ hand-eye coordination?
During the first few months, babies can only use their eyes or hands separately. They will touch things with their fingers without looking at them or look at things without touching them. If they cannot associate what they see with what they touch, they will only passively observe their surroundings rather than actively participate in it.
To help babies connect “seeing" and “touching", mothers can use Fisher-Price’s Kick & Play Piano Gym to play interactive hand-eye coordination activities with them. For example, you may encourage them to reach for the hanging toys, or remove the toys from the arch and place near them for grasping. You may also guide them to step on the piano keys, helping them to associate “seeing" with “touching". Besides, you can even play “throwing" games with them using the soft, safe teether and rattle that comes with the gym. By grasping and throwing, babies can develop grasping skills and establish the connection between “seeing" and “touching".
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At birth, babies do not understand that their hands are part of them. They will use one hand to play with another hand, treating them as their toys. This is also why they will touch things with their hands after seeing them. As they begin to notice their own hands, they will gradually associate “seeing" with “touching".
Toys that can be easily grasped and make sounds, such as rattles and clackers, can help babies to discover their hands. When they shake Fisher-Price’s Stack & Discover Sensory Blocks Toy to make sounds, they will try to find the sound source using their eyes and ears, and they'll be surprised to discover that: it's their own hands that create the sounds by shaking the rattles!
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You can also find rattles and clackers in Fisher-Price’s Kick & Play Piano Gym to help them to notice their hands.
Once babies can associate “seeing" and “touching", you can prepare some small objects that can be easily grasped for them to strengthen their hand-eye coordination. Many mothers would let their little ones play with Fisher-Price’s Play & Learn Activity Cube! They may grasp the triangular blocks and try to fit them in a round or square hole until they find the right one, and be surprised to find that the blocks put into the cube always ended up spilling from the hippo’s mouth, which makes them want to repeat the process. By grasping the blocks accurately and pressing the number keypad on the cube, babies can improve their hand-eye coordination. Even if the action is as simple as grasping a block and throwing it, it can be useful for their development. Mothers should not underestimate these actions.
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Some parents may pay more attention to babies’ gross motor and language development. In fact, the development of hand-eye coordination has an equally profound impact on their brain, physical, and cognitive development. It can be improved through interactive play and grasping exercises. If you want your baby to master more skills, let’s start by improving their hand-eye coordination!
This article was contributed by Fisher-Price and republished on theAsianparent with permission.