Eye and hand coordination is one of the important factors in a child’s development. We don’t need any major test to see how important it is for a child. Tasks like drawing, tying shoe laces and throwing a ball requires eye and hand coordination. Just by observing their behaviour in every day routines, parents can further understand and help their child. We encountered one such situation over the weekend. Sometimes parents can be a bit unsure about what is going on with the development of their own child. They have an inclination that something might not be right but that first step of acknowledging can be a difficult one.
We often invite children to scribble and draw at our table. That is a way for them to familiarize themselves with our stencils. Most kids just enjoy the simple act of being creative. Most times we can see the development of a child be it their IQ or emotional intelligence when they do this simple task. It is about having conversations and how they interact back as well as the ease of how they finish up a drawing.
Over the weekend, we met a boy who was about 5 years old. We guided him in the process like all other kids that come over. His response was a bit slow. Some kids are a bit shy and they need extra time to process but he seemed a bit lost and could not articulate what he wanted to do. We did a lot of probing and suggestions and yet he was not still not responsive. His mom would peek here and there as she was busy chatting. He would smile when mom encouraged him but yet took no further action in finishing his drawing.
The very first thing we noticed was his hand grip of the marker. Holding a marker seemed unnatural to him. Even with guidance his grip maintained to be weak. He also switched between hands as if unsure of which hand to use. This has weakened his eye-hand coordination. The fact is, that he cannot commit to which hand is dominant.
His father approached us and wanted to see what he was up to and explained further that the child has a habit of wearing his shoes on the wrong foot. This happens even after numerous reminders and constant coaching. The obvious question we asked was if the child loves his electronics and of course like most kids these days, it would be a yes. Our quick suggestions was to let him explore coloring and handling pencils and markers. Let him decide which hand is more prominent and the more comfortable he gets with it he will be less confused and hopefully in time his grip will improve. Muscles are not actively utilize when kids constantly swipe left and right on the phone and ipad. Some parents argue that their kids become utterly smart watching YouTube videos on numbers and letters. They do pick up information easily but it is also at the expense of physical growth and lack of coordination. We want them to know their ABCs but also have fun when playing and able to aim while throwing a ball.
The lack of connections and communication between the hands, muscles and brain is a contributing factor to any child’s growth. That is why doing tactile activities like coloring does have an impact on eye hand coordination and hand muscle. By spending time with your child, parents will get a better understanding of the child's abilities. With that comes a better understanding on how to help. This small step can help them tremendously. So let’s get that coloring book out and get coordinated.