Discovering Vision Therapy Blog

Screen-Free Activities and Toys for Kids: Fun Ways to Build Visual Skills

Screen-Free Activities and Toys for Kids

During these days of COVID-19 self-isolation, parents are looking for screen-free activities for their children.  The developmental optometrists at The Vision Therapy Center have created a list that’s both fun and builds visual skills.

“In addition to these activities, don’t forget to make it a priority to get outside for fresh air, exercise and at least 15 minutes of midday sun when possible,” said Dr. Brandon Begotka of The Vision Therapy Center. 

Dr. Begotka pulled some of his favorites from the Gift List we release over the holidays.  (Here's a downloadable PDF of all the suggestions.) Take a look:




Develop eye-hand coordination and visualization/imagination.

Building Blocks (Ages 1+)

Mega Bloks (1+)

Lincoln Logs (3+)

Tinker Toys (3+)

Legos/Duplos (4+)

Build a Fort


Balance and Coordination 

Hoola Hoop

Develop gross motor skills, laterality and bilateral coordination.

Sit and Spin (1.5+)

Hoppity Hop (3+)

Foam Pogo Jumper (3+)

Hoola Hoop (4+)

Jump Rope (5+)

Pogo Stick (5+)

Twister (6+)

Balance Beam/Walking Rail (You can use a 2x4!)

Balance Board Mini-trampoline/Trampoline



Memory Games

Memory Game

Develop visualization and visual memory. 

Memory Game (5+)

Memory Game Using Playing Cards (5+)

Draw Number/Letter/Word on Back (5+)

Simon (8+)

Chicken Cha Cha Cha (5+)


Space Perception 

Stacking Blocks

Develop depth perception and eye-hand coordination.

Within arm’s length:

Pindaloo (8+)

Don’t Break the Ice (3+)

Ants in the Pants (3+)

Egg and Spoon Race (4+)

Fishin’ Around (4+)

Jumpin’ Monkeys (5+)

Flippin’ Frogs (5+)

Pick-up Sticks (5+)

Marbles (5+)

KerPlunk (5+)

Operation (6+)

Jenga (8+)

Beyond arm’s length:

Ball (Any kind!) (All ages!)

Balloon Tap (All ages!) 

Elefun (3+)

Frisbee Rings (3+)

Dart Games (Velcro) (3+)

Nerf Basketball (4+)

Frisbee (5+)

Box & Balls (5+)

Frisbee (5+)

Ring Toss (5+)

Toss Across (Tic-tac-toe) (5+)

Cornhole Bean Bags (5+)

Oball (Good for kids who have difficulty catching balls) (6+)

Ping Pong (6+)

Badminton (8+)



Visual Thinking 


Develop visual perceptual skills including: visual memory, visual discrimination, pattern recognition and sequencing. These skills are important for academics including mathematics, reading and spelling.

Color Blocks and 1” Cubes (1+)

Wooden form board puzzles (2+)

Jigsaw puzzles (3+)

Dominoes (3+)

Old Maid Card Game (3+)

Bingo (3+)

Go Fish Card Game (4+) 

Parquetry Blocks (4+)

Checkers (5+)

Perfection (5+)

Guess Who (6+)

Mancala (6+)

Chinese Checkers (6+)

Dice Games (6+)

Connect Four (6+)

UNO (7+)

Spot It! (7+)

Battleship (7+)

Bop It (8+)

Rubik’s Cube (8+)


Fine Motor Skills

Finger Paint

Develop visual-motor integration and fine motor skills.

Finger Paints (1+)

Shaving Cream Drawing (1+)

Kinetic Sand (1+)

Pegboard and Pegs (3+)

Coloring Books and Crayons (3+)

Dot-to-Dot Activity Books (3+)

Play-Doh/Modeling Clay (3+)

Chalkboard Easel (3+)

Large Bead Stringing (3+)

Lacing Cards (3+)

Lite-Brite (4+)

Silly Putty (4+)

Rainbow Loom (5+)

Jacks (5+)



Origami Sets (8+)

Paint or Color By Numbers

Bead Craft Kits

Models (Car, Airplane, Ship, etc.)


Download Free Vision  And Learning Guide


Posted by   The Vision Therapy Center, Reviewed by Dr. Kellye Knueppel

The content in this post created was written by professional writers and then reviewed and edited for medical accuracy by Dr. Kellye Knueppel of The Vision Therapy Center.   Learn more about Dr. Knueppel's medical background