Visual perception activities like this one are the perfect entertainment for a snowy winter day!
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Teachers are some of the most creative people I know! Last week, I was walking through the hallways at school and a new hallway display caught my eye. The second grade team had decorated their hallway with a winter animal theme.
One of the most prominent features of this display was a huge wall of white paper that had different animal tracks coming up from the bottom. These animal tracks, all from different animals, led to white pieces of paper at the top that were hiding a picture of the animal that each set of tracks belonged to.
Now, the purpose of this display was to engage the minds of all who passed by (and it worked!), to encourage deductive reasoning (as each animal is eliminated, it becomes easier to determine which animal’s tracks are left) and to tie in the science lesson about these animals and their habitats.
The therapist in me saw a different potential for animal tracks in snow! My twist on this fabulous teacher’s creativity was to develop a visual perception and visual motor activity in which kids have to use their eyes to find and circle 6 different animal tracks.
Visual motor integration is also known as hand-eye coordination. It is the ability to use your hands and eyes together in a coordinated manner. The eyes and hands begin working together at a very young age and continue to develop in efficiency as a child grows.
Visual motor integration is very important for developmental skills like handwriting, scissor skills and even getting dressed independently. It takes practice to develop visual motor skills and activities like this are a fun way to get that practice!
Visual perception activities like this one target important skills like figure ground perception (distinguishing between a visual stimulus and a competing visual background), visual discrimination (the ability to determine similarities and differences between figures and forms), and visual memory.
How to Play:
Simply print out the Animal Tracks in the Snow worksheet, grab some colored pencils, crayons or markers and get to work! Make it a game to see who can find all of the tracks first! Or, if that is too easy for your visual superstar, see if she can use one line to connect all of the tracks of each animal!
To expand on this activity and encourage some gross motor movement, head outside for a sensory motor scavenger hunt through the snow. Can you find any footprints similar to those on the sheet? What else can you find?
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