Visual motor perception skills

Visual motor perception skills: Visual motor perception skills are required to copy geometric shapes, letters, and numbers in a proper way. Visual motor perception skills are needed to do well at school because the emphasis is on reading and writing. We use these skills to guide our movements based on the visual information. Children with poor visual motor processing skills have difficulty in drawing geometric shapes, sticking to margins, writing within lines etc. We use visual motor processing skills while playing games like football, cricket, and tennis because our hands and legs should move based on the position and speed of the ball.

Activities for improving visual motor perception skills

  1. Drawing lines and shapes/ making shapes with objects

    If the child has poor visual motor perception, then teach how to draw lines- horizontal, vertical and slanting lines. While drawing horizontal lines, have the child draw from left to right. Slanted lines and vertical lines are to be drawn from top to bottom.

    The next level is to draw loops and curves. Go on to teach the child how to draw shapes- squares, triangles, diamonds, circles etc. Gradually make her draw more complicated patterns. If necessary, guide her hand to draw the required shape. She can trace the shape with her fingers for tactile memory. Drawing on a tray of sand is useful for developing memory of shapes. A board provides a large surface area for the child to draw. Drawing on a board with large movements of hands improves kinesthetic memory.

    Drawing with both hands is another useful activity to develop visual motor perception skills. Have the child draw, on a board, vertical and horizontal lines using both hands. Similarly, shapes can also be drawn with both hands at the same time. Draw pictures with both hands.

    The activity of making shapes with objects also promotes visual motor perception. Beads, seeds, buttons and other objects can be used to make shapes. Beads can be used to teach shapes of letters.

  2. Dot to dot activity

    Prepare a dot paper. An example is given below.


    Prepare a page with dots and take photocopies as and when needed. Draw patterns on the dot paper. Ask the child to copy the pattern. She can also connect the dots and draw rectangle, square, triangle etc. Children who have difficulty in recognising alphabets / numbers can connect dots to form alphabets. Initially, have the child copy the alphabets in the dot paper. Later, she should draw alphabets from her memory. Graph papers can also be used.

    The internet offers plenty of exercises with dots.

    Related activity in the website: Connect the Dots

  3. Other activities
    1. Use of flashlights. Switch off the lights. Tell the name of an object in the room and the child has to flash the light on the object. This activity tests her visual memory. Draw shapes on the wall using a flashlight. Have the child make shapes using the flashlight.
    2. Play catch with the child. Throw the ball and she has to catch it. She can play catch game alone by throwing the ball on to a wall and catching it. Another activity is to throw the ball and the child has to hit it with a bat. Play with rackets. Playing football is another useful activity to have the body move to match the visual information. Make balls with paper and let the child aim and throw them into a basket kept at a comfortable distance from her.
    3. Threading needles, sewing buttons, pasting objects using glues, paper folding activities, making envelopes, using scissors are activities that improve visual motor perception skills. Many such activities can be thought of.