Continuous Motion

See Also: Continuous Motion Eye-Hand

Download: Continuous Motion

PURPOSE: To improve planning of visually guided fine motor movements.PROCEDURE: On the attached worksheet, circle the number 1 as long as needed until number 2 is found, then draw a line to the number 2. Circle it as long as needed until number 3 is found. Continue to circle each number in numerical order until reaching number 30. The pencil should be moving at all times; do not lift the pencil from the paper. Try to get through all the numbers smoothly without any mistakes or head movements. See 132 Visual Hygiene.


  • Try allowing the child to circle each number only (x) times before they must move on. Also, try circling odd numbers clockwise and even numbers counter-clockwise. As always, if this is too hard, wait until the child is more comfortable with simpler variants of the activity.
  • Be sure to spend some time with the non-dominant hand (no more than 10% of your time).
  • As always, encourage the child to determine the pace of things and to challenge himself with progressively faster speeds. You might also have them do their own continuous motion pattern. Patterns can contain either letters, or numbers, or a combination, but should not exceed about 20 stops. So, for example, the following sequences are allowed:
  • A-B-C-D-E-F-G, etc., 1-2-3-4-5-6, etc.,  Z-Y-X-W-V-U-T etc.,  A-1-B-2-C-3, etc.,A-a-B-b-C-c-D-d, etc.
The question was raised about what to do if the number the child is looking for is hidden by a hand or an arm. There are a few options.

*You could simply rotate the page to bring the number into view (this is a nice riddle for some children – if the number cannot be seen, then where is it? what can you do about it?).

*You can try attaching the paper to a vertical surface, like a wall. It is harder to draw smooth circles with the hand when the page is vertical, but this can also be considered a means of loading the activity.

*Ideally, the writing surface is at the Harmon distance (search ‘harmon’ in the search box above), and at a bit of an incline, say 20-30 degrees (such as with an architect’s drawing table). This would make the targets easier to see.

*Create your own continuous motion sheets. Begin with a blank page, and print out some numbers scattered all over the page. Start with a low number, like 1 through 5, and use bigger numbers (like a 36 pt font). Be sure to be fairly random with the distribution. Increase the number of targets gradually, and make them smaller. Too many numbers is too challenging and boring, so don’t go beyond 25-30.