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About a third of the children we help have visual function weaknesses that hold them back. Even after we have fixed poor phonemic skills, issues like eye-tracking or convergence can prevent them from reaching their full reading potential.

We often prescribe a 10-day course of exercises to help this, which are incredibly effective.

You can supplement that rigorous program of exercise with other activities that are both fun and good for visual function development!

1. Ball sports. Any sport involving hand-eye coordination, like tennis, badminton, volleyball, or even just tossing something back and forth, will help develop this fine motor skill.

2. Walk the plank! Try walking on a beam of wood or draw a line with chalk and practice walking just on that line without stepping out of it. Excellent for gross motor skill development as well.

3. Easyread Eggi or Tetris. Both of these online games involve sustained periods of tracking moving objects with the eyes. Encourage your learner to do it without moving their head!

4. Go fly a kite! Without looking into the sun of course(!), tracking a moving object like a kite is good exercise for those eye muscles used in reading.

5. Connect the dots. Dot-to-dot drawing activities are good practice at two motor skills – tracking and writing!

Sarah Forrest is a Reading Specialist for the Easyread System, an innovative online course for children struggling due to dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, highly visual learning styles and more.