Inspiration for activities which stimulate vision and that make it more fun to get through vision training with an eye plaster/patch can be found below. Also check out the shop to get even more inspired.
The family can gather around a board game while the child is vision training. However, it’s best to adapt the rules to consider the child’s impaired vision while they are wearing a patch/plaster. Memory or card games such as ‘go fish’ are two suggestions that can be used to pair up motifs and that support the visual memory.
If the child is at an age where they can read, then reading is a good exercise when training with an eye plaster or patch. You can borrow books from the library in large-print capitals if necessary. If the child is not yet reading then picture books are also a good exercise where you can ask the child to find specific things in a picture or count the number of a specific thing on a page.
Activity books, colouring books
Colouring books and activity books, for example ‘find the difference’, mazes and so on, are good activities that promote close-up work when a child is training with an eye plaster. Be aware however that the child’s vision in the eye that needs training can mean that an activity book for younger children is more appropriate for an older child. The lines in such a book will often be thicker and the level of detail less complex, and thus more suitable, also if you increase the difficulty level gradually as the vision improves.
Playing with a ball, either by kicking, catching or rolling it, is a good activity when it comes to strengthening hand-eye coordination. There does not need to be more than two people standing and rolling/throwing the ball back and forth. Sensory balls can also be a fun and quite wonderful experience, for example when they change direction when you roll them.
If you’re blowing soap bubbles, a good exercise is to get the child to poke a hole in the soap bubbles with their index finger (not their entire hand).
A ball maze combines concentration and coordination skills.
A home-made obstacle course in the garden or living room is good for developing balancing skills and provides the child with a good framework for training their motor skills.
Some families find it also works well to make some of the time spent wearing an eye plaster the time when the child is allowed to sit and play on a computer or iPad. As parents, we were recommended this when our daughter was 7 months old and had just undergone eye surgery. Examples of vision-stimulating apps for the youngest children can be found on the page ‘Getting started’.
For the youngest children, blocks can be a good exercise. They can be used to stack, topple and sort, all of which support hand-eye coordination.
Jigsaw puzzles are an activity that most children can enjoy. For children that have to wear eye plasters, it can however help to keep the number of pieces down to a minimum to avoid them feeling frustrated or defeated when trying to assemble a puzzle while wearing an eye plaster rather than a success (we suggest 10-25 pieces for slightly older children).
Drawing and cutting
Draw and cut along the lines. It doesn’t need to be perfect. The success lies in the act of doing it…
Besides playing the game, dominoes can be used by the youngest children to place upright in rows and topple over by pushing on the piece at one of the ends of the row. The game itself can be a good activity for slightly older children.
Lego / Duplo
There are so many ways to be creative with these colourful bricks. A fantastic exercise is simply to assemble the bricks according to the child’s imagination.
Ask the child to draw a circle around a specific letter in a text, for example in a newspaper. If the text is too small for the children to decipher it, you can make a text yourself on the computer and print it out in a font size that makes it possible for the child to do the exercise.
The font size can be gradually increased as the visual training progresses and the vision improves.