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Ol' School Rocks

I came across an article recently, about issues that a number of teachers in preschools and kindergartens are dealing with. In recent years,  more and more of it has to do with the lack of communications and eye-hand coordination skills that they see in children. I tend to agree with this observation.

What is hand-eye coordination? It is a  very important part of a child’s  development. It is the ability of the vision system to coordinate the information received through the eyes to control, guide, and direct the hand to accomplish simple tasks, for example,  handwriting or catching a ball, tying shoe laces,  to bigger learning and sporting, physical tasks. A child who is challenged in this area has difficulty coordinating body movements in response to what he/she is seeing.  

It has to be noted, that while it is recognized by the term hand-eye coordination in medical sources, and most psychological sources would also refer to this as eye-hand coordination.

We are going to be talking about old school games that perhaps are not so popular now. These games are great for eye-hand coordination and motor skills.  It would be great if we were to bring back some of these games to  our classrooms or  at home to help nurture these skills.

  1. Pick up sticks


Pick-up sticks or pick-a-stick is a game of physical and mental skill in which a bundle of "sticks", between 8 and 20 centimeters long, are dropped as a loose bunch onto a table top, jumbling into a random pile. Each player in turn tries to remove a stick from the pile without disturbing any of the others.

2. 5 Stones

      The game of 5 stones is believed to have originated in ancient Asia, during the Siege of Troy in 1184 B.C., Five stones is played by 2 or more players, using 5 small stones. The object is to complete a set of eight steps. This game increases the eye sight, memory power and builds concentration and aiming skills. Great for  eye hand coordination.


A ring toss is a game where rings are tossed around a peg. It is common at carnivals. Another version of this , sometimes referred to as "ring-a-bottle", replaces pegs with bottles, where the thrower may keep the bottle (and its contents) if successful.


Plasticine, a brand of modeling clay, is a putty-like modeling material made from calcium salts, petroleum jelly, and aliphatic acids. It might be similar to play-doh but it has a harder consistency to it.

What we love about plasticine is the fact that, using triggers that creativity, but it also helps build that hand muscles that in turn also support the positive build-up of the eye-hand coordination. It produces all these in 3D.

5 .Operation!

Operation is a battery-operated game that tests players' hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. It has an "operating table", lithographed with a comic likeness of a patient nicknamed "Cavity Sam". He has a large red light bulb for his nose. In the surface are a number of openings, which reveal cavities filled with fictional and humorously named ailments made of plastic. The general gameplay requires players to remove plastic ailments with a pair of tweezers without touching the edge of the cavity opening.  If you do, you would hear that loud beep and the nose would light up!

Even though these games/activities seems nostalgic, they do contribute to learning and development factors in a child’s growth. In times like this, we are spoiled for options in what to get children, it does not hurt to go back to basics. We at  CreaTee believe in combining both the old and new together.  Having the kids design their wearable art, also enhances all the skills that are essential for children’s positive learning development. They become more creative and at the same time working on their motor and communication skills. Activities should be fun and purposeful. We had fun with all these activities growing up and we hope CreaTee would do the same for the kids today.


About the writer

Mazura Illani Manshoor graduated from Boston University with a degree in Psychology. She is a certified Early Childhood and a Montessori teacher with years of teaching experience.  

Ms. Manshoor is a co-founder of CreaTee with strong passion for children and education causes

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