åÊThis article is a continuation of the infant vision development activities provided by Dr. Gary Etting of Encino California
1.åÊAllow your baby time every day to lie on his stomach with his field of view unobstructed so that he can watch the comings and goings of things. Make sure there are interesting things to see at the 2 to 3 foot distance.
2. While he is on his back, provide an eye-hand gym for him to reach out and explore. It should have objects he can pull and objects he can control. Each day place it so he can explore it with his feet as well as with his hands.
3. Provide your baby with objects of different textures, sizes and weights.
4. Occasionally place an object so that it is partially hidden by a blanket or by another object.
5. Label by verbally naming each object that he plays with and ask him to find it byåÊcalling it by its name.
6. Allow him to experience crawling under objects as well as climbing over them.
SUGGESTIONS AND GUIDELINES FOR TOYS AND GAMES
A.åÊGeneral Motor and Bilateral Development
1. Holding your baby’s hands, gently lift him up from the crib and then slowly lower him.
2. Place your baby face down with his abdomen across a round bolster. Gently roll him over until hisåÊ hands touch the ground, and then roll him back until his knees touch the ground.
3. Put wrist and ankle bracelets on the baby so that he becomes aware of the movement of the two sides of his body.
4. Make climbing and sliding equipment out of stiff and smooth pillows and bolsters.
5. Place a kickable mobile at the end of the crib.
6. Place small objects within his reach so that he can practice grasping and holding abilities. (Make sure they are large enough that he cannot swallow them.)
B. Visual Focusing
1. Place a plastic mirror (without sharp edges) in a place where your baby will catch a view of himself.
2. Place stuffed toys of different sizes and shapes and patterns around the room for him to look at.
3. Roll a patterned ball toward him as he sits on the floor.
4. Play peek-a-boo with your baby.
5. Hang a three-dimensional face on the crib for your baby to look at.
C.åÊ Visual Tracking
Call your baby’s attention to you as you creep behind a piece of furniture and then emergeåÊ from the other side.
1. Walk in front of your baby pulling a desirable pull-toy, such as a dog on a string.
2. Jingle a set of toy keys approximately 12 inches in front of his eyes to stimulate his eye-following abilities. Do this from left to right and back and then up and down and so forth.
3. Roll objects down an incline in front of your baby so that he can watch what they do.
D. Eye-Hand Coordination- The following toys and objects provide multiple opportunities for exploring eye-hand coordination possibilities.
1. Nesting toys
2. Pots and pans
3. Banging objects, such as a drum or pounding pegs, especially large ones.
4. Tie objects onto the side of the highchair so that the baby can throw them to the floor and you can retrieve them more easily. Make sure that they make different sounds as they reach the end of the string.
E.åÊ Two-Eye Teaming
1. Attach toys to strings so that your baby can pull them toward himself. (Be careful that he does not get the string around his neck.)
2.When bathing the baby, provide toys that float toward and away from him.
3. Play a choo-choo game with some food as it goes into the tunnel of his mouth. Have him watch the train all the way into the tunnel.
4. Have your baby sit on the floor with his legs apart and gently roll a ball toward him.
5. Provide wind-up toys that walk toward and away from him as he watches.
As your baby continues to grow, always look for opportunities for him or her to explore their environment in three dimensional play.
Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D..FCOVD
Founder, Wow Vision Therapy