Hand-Eye Coordination

Hand-eye coordination encompasses the lightning-fast communication between the eyes, brain and body that allows us to effectively and efficiently use our hands based on what we see.

Hand-eye coordination involves several areas of development.

The eyes identify details that are relevant to a task: At play time a parent opens a drawer and asks their child to select a texta. The child scans the drawer’s compartments to find the texta’s.

The child’s brain processes what the eyes see, and sends instructions to the body to pick up a texta.

The hands follow the brain’s instructions – The child reaches into the drawer, grasps a texta, and pulls it out.

The vestibular system helps to maintain balance and coordinate the head and eye movements so they can focus on the contents of the drawer.

Visual tracking allows the child to scan the contents of the drawer.

Visual discrimination allows the child to pay attention to detail so they can identify the texta based on how it is different from other objects in the drawer.

Proprioception provides an awareness of how to move the body parts, and the correct amount of force they’ll need to grasp and hold onto the texta.

Gross motor skills allow the child to use the large muscles of their arm and shoulder to reach into the drawer.

Fine motor skills allow the child to use the small muscles of their wrists and fingers to grasp a texta.

Motor planning has taught the child (starting in infancy when they grabbed a dangling toy for the first time) how to reach and grasp things automatically without having to remember the steps involved.

Because hand-eye coordination is tied to countless tasks (as well as learning, communicating, and mastering basic academic skills), it’s a good idea to check in with your Pediatrician or a Pediatric Occupational Therapist if: Your child is lagging behind on milestones related to hand-eye coordination, or they are  consistently clumsy (beyond the normal fumbles of toddlerhood).

Therapy Sensory stocks a wide range of products to help support the development of these areas. The products on our page are all therapeutic whilst being entertaining games for children.