Teaching Visual Efficiency with Raisins and Cheerios
Children learn through play, and here’s a fun game for young children with visual impairments. This and other activities in the book Everyday Activities to Promote Visual Efficiency: A Handbook for Working with Young Children with Visual Impairments by Rona Shaw and Ellen Trief help teachers and parents have a better awareness of a child’s visual development and how to encourage it. This particular activity is designed to help a child learn how to accurately gauge distance and perceive things in three dimensions. We recommend introducing the activity through play, such as pretending to pack for a picnic, to avoid drilling a small child on challenging skills. To order the book, go to aphcareerconnect.org/store.
The child will place small objects into a small hole in a container.
Small box of raisins or half a cup of Cheerios and a covered plastic container with a half-inch hole cut in the top.
In the Child’s Environment
During breakfast or lunchtime, after the child has eaten, is a good time for this activity.
Seat the child in an upright position at a table with a tray in front of him. Choose either Cheerios or raisins for this activity. The choice should be determined by which item makes the best visual contrast with the tray as well as which the child prefers as a finger food. Place a small amount of raisins or Cheerios in front of the child. Place the plastic container in the child’s best visual field. Say to the child, “Put a raisin/Cheerio in the container.” If the child does not understand how to do the activity, use hand-under-hand guidance to demonstrate. Once the child picks up the raisin/Cheerio and puts it in the container, say, “Let’s try that again.” Once the child places all of the raisins/Cheerios in the container, open the top of the container and let the child eat the contents for a snack.
For additional activities, order Everyday Activities to Promote Visual Efficiency: A Handbook for Working with Young Children with Visual Impairments.