Some of us have big ones, some of us have small ones, some are wide and some are narrow, our feet! They enable us to move and enjoy the freedom of movement. There are so many fun ways to encourage eye foot coordination with your children and teach them how to use their feet, whether it’s kicking a ball, stamping in puddles, jumping up and down or simply just wiggling our toes.
Studies have showed that vision controls the movement of the foot, so in a nutshell, eye foot co-ordination refers to how quickly and accurately ones limbs react to the input of visual messages gathered by the eyes. I can recall the great excitement when my son kicked his first ball, and has been kicking a ball ever since, such a fundamental ability that helps our children throughout their growing years. There are so many fun activities and exercises that moms and dads can do with their little ones to encourage eye foot co-ordination as well as body awareness and exploring the sense of touch with the foot. The perfect recipe, combine a gorgeous summer day, water, balls, items of different textures and you have a very happy toddler who is learning while playing.
Here are some fun activities to do with your toddler or preschooler at home:
- Kick a ball through different size tunnels or into different sized goals.
- Kick a ball against a wall and retrieve it.
- Dribble a ball along a straight line and in and out of cones.
- Knock down skittles by kicking a ball, if you do not have skittles use some empty bottles.
- Tightrope walking – set up two parallel ropes on the floor about one meter apart and encourage your child to walk heel to toe between the two ropes without stepping on the ropes. Gradually bring the ropes closer together to make it harder.
- Encourage your little ones to explore their feet, talk about who has the biggest feet, who has the smallest feet, how many toes do you have.
- Trace your toddler’s feet onto a piece of paper, let them stand on a piece of paper and draw around them.
- Let your children stand in the bucket of water and then walk on the ground and make footprints. Let them walk on their tippy toes and then walk on their heels, show them how the footprints differ when they do this.
- Place some hoops on the ground let them jump in and out of the hoops, if you have a ladder lying around lay it flat on the ground and let them walk in and out of the ladder.
- Put different textured cushions/mats on the ground as stepping stones. Walking over them barefoot is a great way to get the toddlers to feel the various textures under their feet. Discuss with them was it soft or hard under their foot?
- What child doesn’t enjoy creative or imaginary play? Pretend we are monkeys, place some bean bags, scarfs or pegs on the ground and let your child pick up the peg using their feet only. This is a great exercise to strengthen the foot and really use their feet by working the arch and toes on the foot. It’s also a wonderful game to promote balancing skills.
Practicing your ball skills and eye foot coordination develops body control and strength, it develops eye foot coordination as well as hand eye coordination which all contributes to learning. Good gross motor skills, enable good fine motor skills.
So have fun and explore your feet with your children!