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Toys For Eye Development: Dr. Koumjian’s Picks

It’s important to avoid toys that pose hazards to your child’s eyes. However, many toys are safe, and some actually encourage visual development!

The Way Our Vision Develops

Particularly over the first year of your child’s life, their vision is still developing. When they’re born, everything is mostly a blur. Over time, it sharpens until they can perceive detail, but they still need to learn how to focus their eyes, move them to follow objects, develop depth perception, and mentally process what they’re seeing.

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Toys Play A Role In Eye Development

It takes practice to process the information our eyes send to our brains, just like it takes practice to become skilled at walking and talking. Think of the items you put in your child’s world as work-out equipment for their eyes and minds. Some toys are better than others at visual and mental stimulation.

Toys We Recommend For Babies

Dr. Koumjian and the American Optometric Association suggest that parents and caregivers do the following to help infants develop their vision:

0-4 months

  • Place reach-and-touch toys (such as stuffed animals) within eight to twelve inches of the infant’s face

5-8 months

  • Hang a mobile device above the crib that the infant can pull and kick
  • Give the infant plastic or wooden blocks to hold in his or her hands

9-12 months

  • Play hide and seek games with toys or with their faces to help the infant develop visual memory

Toys We Recommend For Toddlers

Dr. Koumjian recommends that parents and guardians provide children between 1-3 with building blocks and balls of various shapes and sizes. Playing with them will help the children to develop fine motor skills and strengthen their muscles, too!

Call Us To Schedule Your Child’s Next Eye Exam!

Having the right toys to help your child develop visual skills is great, but they don’t make it any less important to schedule regular eye exams. Far too many children never have eye exams before they start school, which can have a serious impact on their ability to socialize and learn.

Dr. Koumjian participates in the InfantSee program, which means that she provides a comprehensive eye examination to infants between the ages of 0 and 12 months as a no-cost public service. Call her office at (617) 923-2323 or email to make an appointment!

We’re dedicated to making sure our patients’ children see clearly!

Top image by Flickr user Bayu Aditya used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.