Visual processing is an important cognitive skill for children to develop, and there are many fun games that help to strengthen this skill.
What is Visual Processing and Why is it Important?
Visual processing is a visual cognitive skill that allows us to process and interpret meaning from the visual information that we see through our eyes, and it plays an important role in reading, math, and spelling.
What Are the Cognitive Skills that Make up Visual Processing
Visual processing involves a number of cognitive components:
- Visual Processing Speed: the ability to process visual information at a rapid pace.
- Visual Scanning: the ability to look at and absorb all parts of visual information and text.
- Visual-Spatial Skills: the ability to mentally manipulate 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional figures.
- Visual-Spatial Reasoning: the ability to perceive the spatial relationships between objects.
- Visual Construction Skills: the ability to organize and manually manipulate spatial information to make a design.
- Visual Memory: the ability to remember what is seen.
- Visual Motor Integration: the ability to translate visual perception into motor planning, sequencing, control, coordination, and speed.
- Visual Synthesis: the ability to unite visual information into a coherent whole.
- Visual Sequencing: the ability to determine or remember the order of symbols, words, or objects.
- Visual Closure: the ability to make sense of visual information when some of the image is missing.
- Visual Reasoning: the ability to find meaning and make sense out of visual information.
What Are Some Games that Can Help to Develop These Skills?
- Set: Set is a card game of recognition and deduction. Each card contains one of three symbols (squiggles, diamonds, ovals) in varying numbers (up to three), colors (purple, green, red), and degrees of shading. A player arranges 12 cards, face up, and all the players quickly discriminate "sets" of three cards linked by combinations of sameness or difference. This game works on visual discrimination, processing speed, reasoning, sequencing, and visual scanning.
- Tricky Fingers: Who can match the pattern card first? Non-removable marbles are manipulated. This game works on visual processing speed, motor integration, sequencing, construction skills, spatial skills, and synthesis.
- Spot it: Spot it is played with 55 cards, each decorated with eight symbols varying in size and orientation. The object of the game is to be the first to spot the one symbol in common between two or more cards. This game works on visual processing speed, scanning, motor integration, discrimination, and memory.
- Logic Links: Each puzzle is comprised of a series of clues that instruct the player where to place colored chips to solve a puzzle. This game works on visual reasoning, sequencing, and visual scanning.
- Blokus: The goal of this game is for players to fit all of their pieces onto the board. The player who gets rid of all of their tiles first is the winner. This game works on visual-motor integration, reasoning, sequencing, construction skills, spatial skills, and synthesis.
- Pixy Cubes: Pixy Cubes uses challenge cards for players to match or they can design colorful pictures with 16 colorful cubes. This game works on visual-motor integration, memory, processing speed, spatial reasoning, sequencing, construction skills, spatial skills, and synthesis.
- Q-Bits: Q-Bitz will challenge your visual agility. Players puzzle over how to quickly recreate the patterns on the game cards using their set of 16 cubes. This game works on visual-motor integration, processing speed, spatial reasoning, sequencing, construction skills, spatial skills, and synthesis.
- Q-Bits Extreme: This is the same game as Q-Bits, but the cubes are not all the same and the puzzles are more challenging. This game works on visual-motor integration, processing speed, spatial reasoning, sequencing, construction skills, spatial skills, and synthesis.
- Blink: Blink is a quick game where two players race to be the first to use all their cards. Players quickly match cards by the shape, count, or color on the cards. The first player out of cards wins. This works on visual processing speed, discrimination, and scanning.
Following Directions Primary:
Following Directions Primary, offers a 49-page download that includes coloring activities and process of elimination activities. Cute animals and aliens as well as numbers, letters, shapes, and arrows are used to develop visual processing, listening skills, linguistic abilities and the core cognitive skills needed for reading. If you are interested in learning more about this publication and would like to download free activities click here.
Reversing Reversals Primary:
Reversing Reversals Primary strengthens the foundational cognitive skills needed for reading and math. It also develops visual processing and perception such as reversals that impacts students with dyslexia. This publication is available as a download, and it offers 72 pages of activities as well as a game. If you would like to learn more about this publication and also get free activities click here. I hope you found this helpful. If you know of other card or board games that you find benefit visual processing, please share them below.
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY. To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz