26 June 2013
As technology increasingly becomes ever-present in children’s day-to-day lives, it’s important to learn ways to harness the good it has to offer. As a child-development specialist, I often encourage continued engagement in physical activity to promote development of fine and gross motor skills, social interaction, and overall health and well-being. Yet, it is important to remember that there are times when a child (or parent) needs a break, and often quiet-time is facilitated by means of some electronic diversion. With the growing popularity of app-enabled devices, accessing fun and sometimes educational games and activities has become easier. In this post, and the following two posts, I will share some of the apps I recommend that are not only fun, but can help support the progress of fundamental skills to enable success in your child’s development. These activities can be used alone, or in conjunction with other activities, in that your child might “earn” a “regular” game after completing one round of an “educational” game.
Visual perception is the ability to locate and extract information from the environment. Visual perception involves a number of sub-skills including: visual discrimination, figure-ground, visual memory and sequential memory, form constancy and spatial relations. An individual with poor visual perception will likely have difficulty learning in the classroom and in other areas, such as discriminating between certain letters and numbers, finding a matching pair of socks, and putting a puzzle together.
To promote visual perception, here are some of the apps that I have used and love:
- • Pick-Up Sticks: Clear the sticks by tapping the upper-most stick; helps to work on figure-ground skills.
- • Highlights Hidden Pictures: Find the objects hidden in a busy scene; work on visual discrimination, figure-ground, and form constancy.
- • Matrix Match 1 & 2: A more challenging activity, this app requires the player to match the shapes and colors of the stimulus in a graph form,which also helps to develop skills for learning to read and interpret graphs; works on visual discrimination, form constancy, and spatial relations.
- • Look Again (Lite): This is even more challenging than the Matrix games, in which the player must find the components of the stimulus within a
timed period; works on visual discrimination, figure-ground, scanning, and form constancy.
- • One Minute Mania (Lite): This fun game requires the player to find a certain number of a specific object on the screen filled with many other
items, within a minute; works on scanning and visual discrimination skills.
- • Simon Says: This classic game lights up colors in a sequence, and the player has to repeat the pattern in the same order; working on visual memory and visual sequential memory.
- • Mazes, like iMazing (and many others!): Find your way through mazes of increasing difficulty, while working on visual memory, scanning, and
- • Toddler Puzzle Shapes: Designed for the younger ones, a friendly voice instructs the player to find a certain shape (also outlined in the top-right
corner), and drag the shape to the stimulus. Includes basic and more complex shapes; helps develop visual discrimination and scanning skills.
- • Visual Attention TherAppy (Lite): With test and practice modes, the individual has to locate specific letters in a screen filled with letters and
symbols; working on visual discrimination, visual memory, and scanning.
I hope your children enjoy the apps, and you enjoy the quiet time!
-Nechama Berlove, Occupational Therapist at The Therapy Spot