As long as jolly old Santa keeps coming back every year, we’ll keep producing our annual Vision-Friendly Holiday Gift List. This year the list includes 96 toys and games that promote visual skills such as hand-eye coordination, visualization, and space perception.

Part of the tradition surrounding the Vision-Friendly Holiday Gift List is to feature toys and games apart from hand-held video devices and home gaming systems, which can increase the risk of computer eye-strain.

We know we’re swimming against the stream on this one, but these alternatives to the electronic games can enhance a child’s visual skills, contributing to improvements in hand-eye coordination, depth perception, visualization, fine motor skills and other visual skills.

Excessive amounts of time on hand-held video devices and home gaming systems could potentially contribute to worsening functional vision problems such as focusing issues, poor eye teaming and even nearsightedness.

In particular, we want people who have a child with an existing functional vision problem to give wisely this year.

Choose toys geared to a child’s developmental age, rather than their actual age. Learning and enjoyment is usually best when the child can accomplish the activity relatively easily about 80-90% of the time, and is therefore challenged 10-20% of the time. Consider playing without being competitive.

Once again, the 2014 Vision-Friendly Gift List is arranged by visual skill and includes ideas for pre-schoolers through adults. New additions are in bold.


Building toys – Develop eye-hand coordination and visualization/imagination.


1. Kreo Sets

2. Megabloks

3. Knex

4. Building Blocks

5. Legos/Duplos

6. Lincoln Logs

7. Tinker Toys

8. Erector Set


Fine motor skill toys – Develop fine motor skills including visual skills and manual eye-hand coordination.


9. Origami Sets

10. Rainbow Loom

11. Light Bright

12. Pegboard and Pegs

13. Coloring Books and Crayons

14. Dot-to-Dot Activity Books

15. Finger Paints

16. Playdough/Silly Putty/Modeling Clay

17. Chalkboard (24″ x 36″)/Easel

18. Bead Stringing

19. Sewing Cards (craft)

20. Paint or Color By Numbers

21. Sand Art

22. Stencils

23. Bead Craft Kits

24. Models (car, airplane, ships, etc.)

25. Jacks


Space perception toys – Develop depth perception and eye-hand coordination.


Within arm’s length:

26. Egg and Spoon Race

27. Jumpin’ Monkeys

28. Flippin’ Frogs

29. Ants in the Pants

30. Fishin’ Around

31. Operation

32. Pick-up Sticks

33. KerPlunk

34. Jenga

35. Don’t Break the Ice

36. Marbles


Beyond arm’s length:


37. Bowling Zombies

38. Oball (good for kids who aren’t very good at catching)

39. Ball (any kind!)

40. Pitchback

41. Toss Across (tic-tac-toe)

42. Ring Toss

43. Nerf Basketball

44. Dart Games (velcro)

45. Ping Pong

46. Cuponk

47. Elefun


Visual thinking toys and games – Develop visual thinking including visualization, visual memory, form perception, pattern recognition, sequencing and eye tracking skills. These skills are important basics for academics including mathematics, reading and spelling.


48. Color Code

49. Math Dice, Math Dice Jr.

50. Rory’s Story Cubes

51. Amaze

52. Color Blocks and 1″ Cubes

53. Bejeweled Board Game

54. Tetris Bop it

55. Parquetry Blocks

56. Attribute Blocks

57. Make N Break Game

58. Jigsaw Puzzles

59. Rory’s Story Cubes

60. Card Games (Old Maid, Go Fish, etc.)

61. Dominoes

62. ThinkFun Bug Trails

63. Checkers

64. Chinese Checkers

65. Perplexus

66. Qwirkle

67. Battleship

68. Labyrinth

69. Blokus

70. Connect Four

71. Rush Hour/Rush Hour Jr.

72. Regatta

73. Perfection

74. Tactilo

75. Bingo

76. Memory Games

77. Chicken Cha-Cha-Cha

78. Simon Flash

79. Bop It

80. Hyperdash

81. Blink

82. Set

83. Loopz

84. Racko

85. Sort it Out

86. Tangrams/Tangoes

87. Mancala

88. Q-bitz


Balance and Coordination toys and games – Develop large motor skills.


89. Heads Up

90. Hoppity Hop

91. Jump Ropes

92. Sit and Spin

93. Slip ‘n Slide

94. Trampoline

95. Stilts

96. Twister


Source: http://www.thevisiontherapycenter.com/


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