Activities supporting your child’s vision development for the first 12 months
The first years of your child’s life is arguably the most crucial to healthy development. The way you affect their environment, ie, the toys you give, the sounds you make, and the food you give them shapes their life from a series of colors and shapes to a life of purpose and reason.
Little things you do affects their malleable brains and imprints their subconscious mind. We often take for granted how we see the world, how we view color and patterns. We don’t think about how we got the way we were- we assume it’s human instinct. However this is further than the truth than you would believe. Just as we teach our children how to talk and walk, we must also teach them how to see.
Seeing is not just properly functioning eyes, it is being able to adjust, recognize, and learn from things in our environment. Every child is a potential genius, and it all starts with how they view the world. Little things for little eyes can help you unlock your child’s potential as they grow and learn in life.
Here are some examples that not only help your child’s eyesight in his or her first year, but how they view the world as well:
Ages 0-6 months
Around this age, infants can only see clearly about eight to ten inches from their faces. Bonding with your newborn is important not only to their relationship with you, but also with their eyesight and cognitive development.
|What to Do||Why|
|Move things in front of them and move things in their environment- change their crib position, change which side you feed them||It allows their mind and eyes to have flexibility in their environment and practice moving their eyes to follow things|
|Hang a mobile, and change out the floating objects every once in a while||This allows their pupils to practice moving in different directions, and may inspire them to reach towards the objects, improving hand-eye coordination|
|Paint their rooms a happy color and surround them with bright things!||No one wants an ugly boring baby room- decorate your child’s surroundings in happy colors, and name them when you interact. This will help your child understand that things they see have a purpose or a name.|
Ages 6-12 Months
At this age, your child will start to develop hand-eye coordination. Don’t start expecting them to be catching baseballs, but they will want plenty of colorful objects with different textures to hold and grab.
|What to Do||Why|
|Encourage your baby to crawl||This develops eye and body coordination even better than walking. Just make sure to watch him or her so they don’t bump into anything!|
|Play hide and seek||At this age, children already understand object permanence, so hiding a toy and helping them find it can be a healthy challenge for their minds and eyes.|
|Read picture books to your child||This encourages children to recognize drawings of objects and scenes, and helps them practice moving their eyes across a page.|
Although vision development for babies has a natural progression, the way you interact with them, and the environment they live in will significantly impact their growth. Love your baby and keep toying with their vision.
Dr. Burch and his team provide exceptional eye care in a fun and educational environment. Patient relationships are their focus, and Danada Vision Center uses the latest in eye health practices, technology and products. With offices in Wheaton and Villa Park, you can trust them to take good care of your eyes, while making sure you are sporting trending and fashionable eyewear. To make an appointment for your eye exam, visit www.danadavisioncenter.com.