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Visual motor skills involve both classical hand-eye coordination skills, but also the ability to move the eyes with great speed and accuracy. Hand-eye coordination (visuomotor) and eye-movement (oculomotor) skills are learned starting at birth, and are based on a strong sense of ‘body in space’.
Before we can ever hope to achieve great visuomotor skills for playing piano, or oculomotor skills for quick scanning of text, we need to be standing on a foundation of three well-developed and well-integrated core senses:
Visual Input: This is the main sensory information sent from the eyes to the brain and includes information about the light and images being perceived, but also regarding the position of the eyes and the status of eye focusing (accommodation).
Body Position & Awareness (aka somatosensation): Sensors in the body give us information about temperature, pain, pressure, and the stretching of joints and muscles. These all produce a map of our bodies in our brains.
Balance (vestibular sense): These sensors are in our inner ears and tell our brains if our heads are moving. This allows us to keep our balance and to determine if objects are moving around us or if we are moving around the objects (or both).
The Core Four activity set is designed to be accessible to most people and each of the four activities answers the visual needs of growing children by providing integrated challenges to each of the three areas mentioned above.
These activities are inexpensive, available to everyone, and truly do help build a strong foundation for visual growth. We hope you enjoy these and enjoy as much recommending these to your own clients!
Be sure to watch out for more tips and activities to build visual motor and visual perceptual skills!