Let There Be Light: Flashlight Play for Visual Processing

Let There Be Light: Flashlight Play for Visual Processing

Oc-You-Low-Motor.
Oculomotor relates to the motion of the eye. The eye muscles are just like any other voluntary muscle, they need to be exercised! This flashlight activity is the perfect example of activating and exercising the eye muscles and still having fun.

Materials: 

  • 2 flashlights (one for you and one for your child)

What to do:

  1. Have your child lie on their back on the floor or in bed in a dark room.
  2. Shine your flashlight on the ceiling and move the light slowly, telling them to follow it with just their eyes and keeping their head still.
    -Move the light slowly across the room, forming vertical/horizontal/diagonal lines and shapes
  3. Keep moving the light and have them point to it with their finger and follow its path.
  4. Have your child turn on their flashlight and using both hands, play with the light on the ceiling.
    -Let them draw lines, squiggles, shapes, or even letters and numbers
  5. “Jump” your light from one spot on the ceiling to another and have your child follow and land on your light with theirs.
  6. Make slow and steady paths on the ceiling and have your child follow your light with theirs.
    -Try wavy lines, zigzags, hills, Figure 8s, etc.

It’s okay if your child can only do a few of these tasks at a time. You can try again each bedtime to build eye strength and endurance. 

What else can you do with a flashlight?

  • Flashlight Tag. It’s like Tag, but with a flashlight in a darkened room. Just make sure the floor is clear of tripping hazards when playing this game. If you have older kids, you can also play outside in the evening.
  • Catch the Light. Just like a cat who sees a laser light on the wall, have your child try to “catch” your light. 
  • The Floor is Lava. Add to this classic game by lighting path from point A to point B with your flashlight where the child must stay in the light. They could also use their flashlight to help build a path, like a frog jumping from one rock to another to get to the other side. 

For more activities, check out our Activities list and the Child(ish) Advice Pinterest page

Source:
Kranowitz, C.S. (2006). The Out-of-Sync Child has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorders.

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