Hand-eye coordination and visual discrimination key to literacy

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your child’s early literacy development is simply to let them play. Turn off the TV and anything battery operated then let your child pick up their toys, build blocks or duplos, or manipulate puzzles or game pieces. Not only are you giving your child the gift of childhood, something we so often fail to do in today’s hectice, achievement-oriented world, but you are actually helping them build skills that are key to learning to read and write.

Hand-eye coordination is a necessary skill for written language and the best way to help your child develop this skill is to let them play with toys and activities that involve looking at, using, and discriminating a number of elements. Puzzles are obviously a great activity for this but so are manipulative toys such as blocks, duplos, and magnetix.

My son just spent over an hour this evening playing dominos with his father — OK they weren’t so much playing as setting up complex pattterns and then knocking them down — but I didn’t tell them they were engaged in a preliteracy activity. They were just having fun together.

Studies have shown that spending time on hand-eye coordination activities improves children’s ability to learn to read and lessens the difficulty they face during the process.  In fact engaging in a variety of craft activities, which most kids love, can be very beneficial so add play dough, stickers, and glue sticks to your list of educational supplies.

Research shows that early practice of hand-eye coordination activities reduces the risk for reading difficulties.

ACTIVITIES TO ENCOURAGE

Puzzles help develop hand-eye coordination because learning to control hands and fingers according to information received from  sight is a coordination skill that aids children in early attempts at reading and writing. Determining out which piece goes where, working to fit pieces into place by making adjustments, and seeing a sequence develop in an organized pattern can be a great learning experience as well as very satisfying for children.

Puzzles, matching games, and the like are also important to help children learn visual discrimination. Visual discrimination is the ability of the brain to quickly tell the difference among visually similar letters, like “p,” “b,” and “q” or between words such as “was” and “saw.” Students with difficulty making these distinctions often struggle with learning to read, write, and spell. Playing games, engaging in activities, or with toys that help children discriminate among similar objects can be fun for the child and help them master an important preliteracy skill. My son loves to help his father sort change before rolling it to be deposited at the bank. Sure we could use an electronic sorter but our son loves to engage in the activity and it is a valuable learning experience for him.

Visual discrimination can often be learned with your child’s existing toys. Matchbox cars, dolls, and action figures all offer the opportunity for your child to learn visual discrimination.

Encourage children to work their wrist and finger muscles as well as work on their coordination and small-motor skills to help prepare them for the handwriting practice in their future. Activities to help with these goals include legos and other building sets, playdough, puzzles, pegboards, beads and other table toys. These fun, natural activities help children improve their cognitive and fine motor skills without frustration or boredom.

My son engages in many activities every day that encourage hand-eye coordination and visual discrimination. I don’t suggest the activities to him. I make the toys and manipulatives available to him and he chooses them on his own. The activities vary he may go an entire week building and rebuilding his wooden train set every day and then the next week his magnetix set dominates his play time. Some days he plays with both together and pulls in his duplos and wooden blocks for added fun. It doesn’t matter to me which activity he chooses because I know he is having fun, challenging his imagination,and learning.

In conclusion of this article – see a video on hand eye coordination drills below.

What To Do About Hair Loss After Pregnancy

After the baby is born, though, the extra hair is gradually released, and hair loss after pregnancy is much more pronounced than it was before or during pregnancy.

This is normal, so do not worry about it. It could take up to a year for the hair to return to its normal rate of falling out, a few strands at a time.

So, do not worry if you notice hair loss after pregnancy. It is normal, and a result of your hormones gradually readjusting to their normal pre-pregnancy state.

Hormones affect many parts of the body, including hair, nails, milk production, ovulation, moods, and menstruation.

During pregnancy, nails become notably harder. Just as there is a normal amount of hair loss after pregnancy, the fingernails will also return gradually to the way a woman had normally experienced them.

Pregnancy is a whole body experience. After the baby is born, the mother’s body has a lot of things to do in order to return to its usual non-pregnant state.

A mother who is nursing will have a longer period of readjustment than one who is not. Still, always remember, nine and a half months up, at least the same amount of time down!

Besides hair loss after pregnancy, a woman might notice changes in her nails. Besides hair loss after pregnancy, you may have noted other changes in your hair during pregnancy. Hormones affect the whole body, including the hair.

Hair that was normally straight might suddenly begin to grow in curlier than ever during pregnancy. Or, hair that was curly may get straighter and straighter as a pregnancy progresses.

It can take a year for hair to readjust to its normal thickness and straight or wavy state after the baby is born.

It can be startling to see such an increase in hair loss after pregnancy. You may find clumps of hair on the drain, or in your brush. You won’t see thin patches on your head, so don’t worry about that. You are simply releasing hair that was extra during your pregnancy. This can take a year to return to normal.

One of the most interesting things about pregnancy is the way it affects a woman’s hair. During pregnancy, the hair becomes fuller. That is because the follicles don’t release hair at the same rate as when the body is not pregnant.

So, hair loss during pregnancy is not very common, and hair will usually fall out less than when a woman is not pregnant.

If you are very worried about losing your hair, you can check out a website where you can find hair transplant surgeons and get free consultations.

Choosing Your Baby’s Doctor

baby eye doctorsDuring the last couple months of your pregnancy, you should start looking for a pediatrician. Finding the right doctor is very important. You should feel comfortable and know they will answer any questions you may have without making you feel like an idiot for asking.

Don’t wait until the last minute to talk to potential doctors. I had made an appointment with someone that came highly recommended. I had my son the day before the interview. Of course, when the hospital asked me who our pediatrician was, I had to use the doctor I was supposed to interview. I did like him, but my husband was not too happy with him. We changed to a different doctor in the same office after my son was a year old.

You can choose to use a family practitioner or a pediatrician. The difference between the two is a pediatrician specializes in children’s medicine; a family practitioner does not. Either one would be an excellent choice, so it’s more with whom you feel most comfortable. Of course, you can call friends, family or the hospital to get their recommendations. Talking to someone you trust might help the process go a little smoother.

When you have some candidates, it is time to call their office to see if you “interview” them. Many doctors will see you and take the time to discuss office practices, etc. But not all are available; their office may be too busy to talk to you. Once you have the interviews set up, have a your questions ready. Here is a list of questions you may want to ask the doctor during your interview:

1. What is your philosophy on raising children?
2. How much are your office visits fees?
3. How much are your hospital charges?
4. Is there a Nurse Practitioner in your office?
5. Do you charge for phone calls?
6. Who returns phone calls? You or your office staff?
7. How long are your scheduled appointments?
8. How often would you see my baby the first year?
9. Do you have a waiting area just for sick children?
10. Since there are other doctors in this office, will my child always see you?
11. Is your office available on Saturdays or evenings?

Now that you have visited and talked to each doctor, this is the time to discuss yours and your spouses impressions of each one. Your first choice may not be the one you stick with forever, but to be honest, you won’t really know how it will work out until your baby is here and you can see the doctor in action.

This article was submitted to us by the 2020 Image Eye Doctors in Chandler, Arizona.