Here's a fun game to play with children that is also an excellent way to practice several hand-eye coordination skills that are useful for such varied activities as reading, writing, note-taking, and playing sports. It comes courtesy of developmental optometrist, Dr. Julie Steinhaeur of Vision For Life.
How to play the "Bubble Pop" game:
- Purchase a bottle of children's play bubbles.
- Blow bubbles!
- Have the kids poke/pop them with their fingers, or with a thin "pick-up" type stick, which works on even more refined motor skills. This way the game becomes even more fun while simultaneously becoming an even more effective way to work on visual motor activity.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3.
- Come up with your own variations of the game, such as trying to catch the bubbles on a spoon or in a cup, or using different wands to blow a variety of bubble sizes. Bubble size presents different challenges. A tiny bubble poses a greater challenge for little children than an oversized one. Pretend to be mosquitos popping the bubbles. Use your imagination!
The Benefits of Bubble Popping
Popping bubbles is an excellent way to have fun while working on such critical visual-motor skills as:
- Depth perception skills: This exercise requires depth perception to locate the bubble in space in relation to the child's body.
- Fine motor control skills: This game requires a child to successfully coordinate small muscles to perform fine, close-up work.
- Visual tracking skills: It takes refined eye tracking skills to find the bubble as it floats through the air, and then coordinate the visual-motor control to pop it.
- Social skills: The more the merrier. The game becomes more fun as little children interact and work together to pop the balloons. The benefit of social skills is only one of many critical skills that can be improved with such activities.