Does your child or a child you love struggle with visual processing skills? These are skills that our brain uses to make sense of what we see around us. They are critical to learning in all areas of life, but are particularly important to learning math, reading, and writing. There are some fun ways to improve these skills without a child realizing that he is “working”. Below are some fun games and activities that would make great birthday, Christmas, or any time gifts!
(Note: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience and to support this website. Click on pictures to buy. To learn more, read our full Disclosure Policy.)
Visual discrimination is the ability to tell the difference between two pictures or objects, such as color, shape, or size. It also includes the ability to see the difference between p and q or b and d or words that start with the same letters such as where and when.
Spot It: There are several variations of this game, even an NHL one that we own…because hockey! It only takes about 5 minutes to play a game and is easy to take with you, so perfect for waiting at restaurants and in other similar situations. There are five different ways to play it and it can be played with 2-8 players. The goal of the game is to pick the same picture out of a group on multiple cards despite it being a different size or turned a different way. (This is also a great game for strengthening Form Constancy and Figure Ground skills, see below.) Suggested for ages 7-11.
- QUICK AND ENERGETIC: Spot It! is a fast-paced family card game that sharpens reflexes and observation skills.
- MULTIPLE WAYS TO PLAY: Enjoy 5 mini-games with easy-to-learn rules, suitable for players of all ages.
- VERSATILE FUN: Perfect for parties, gatherings, and travel - play anytime, anywhere with 2-8 players.
- ICONIC ILLUSTRATIONS: Features colorful symbols that challenge players to match identical ones between cards.
- EDUCATIONAL ENTERTAINMENT: Enhance cognitive abilities while having a blast with this exciting card game.
Blink: This is another quick game that travels well on the go. Two players race to get rid of all of their cards by matching them to the cards in front of them based on color, shape, or number of shapes on the card. You can also play a solitaire version if a child needs more practice without the pressure of competing with another person for a place to put their cards. You can set up the game as normal and then see how many cards one child is able to play before he runs out of ‘moves’. Suggested for ages 7 and up.
- Race in a head-to-head competition with Blink, the lightning-fast card game!
- Using sharp eyes and fast hands, 2 players try to match the shape, count, or color on their cards to either one of two discard piles.
- Play all the cards from your draw pile to win the game!
- Colorfully designed cards have large symbols that range from moons to triangles to stars, making it easy for anyone to play. Watch as your reflexes and response time improves round after round.
- Includes 60 symbol cards and instructions.
Dominoes: Not only does this game strengthen visual discrimination skills, but it also improves a child’s number sense skills by helping children learn how to visualize numbers. (You can read more about this in Visualizing Numbers: A Key Skill for Math.) Players take turns matching the number patterns on their dominoes to the ones already played on the table. Suggested for ages 8 and up.
- Everything You Need To Play Mexican Train
- Domino Game Set Comes In A Collector'S Tin Perfect For Storage
- The Object Of The Game Is For A Player To Play All The Dominoes Onto One Or More Chains, Starting From A Central Station
- Pefect For Game Night, 2 Or More Players Ages 8 And Up
Set: Is similar to Blink in that you are matching cards by various characteristics. Set uses four characteristics (shape, color, pattern and number) compared to Blink’s three. However, you can remove some cards and play with just three characteristics if an easier level is needed. Cards are laid out on the table and players compete to find sets of three based on the characteristics. In our family, we play cooperatively, all working together to find sets of three. Suggested for ages 6 to adult.
- NEVER BE BORED—Classic, award-winning game that is fun to play over and over again—over 3 million copies sold!
- FUN GAME PLAY—Race to find as many SETs as you can (each individual feature is all the same or all different)
- FAMILY FUN—Versatile, challenging and fun game appeals to a wide age range, accommodates any number of players, and is a great game for kids and adults to play together!
- GREAT FOR ANY GAME SITUATION—Perfect for home, parties, travel and school play!
- PROMOTES BRAIN HEALTH—Builds cognitive, logical and spatial reasoning skills as well as visual perception skills
Qwirkle: This game for 2-4 players takes longer, up to 45 minutes, and involves players matching shape tiles based on different characteristics and then playing them similar to how one would play tiles in Scrabble. It can be played from a young age and moves will then become more sophisticated as children mature. Suggested for ages 6 and up. (This is also a great game for strengthening Figure Ground skills, see below.)
- Strategy Game: Qwirkle is the perfect game to hone player's tactical maneuvers, strategical planning, and forward thinking. This family game features a massive amount of choices, including 3 tiles each of 36 possible color-symbol combinations
- Easy to learn: An engaging game with easy to follow rules, Qwirkle is great for younger players while still challenging them mentally. Simply build lines by matching tiles based on either color or shape, and score points as you go
- Games that teach: Qwirkle is playable from early ages up, allowing young children and older individuals alike to develop and hone their spacial recognition, planning, and problem solving skills. Plan, win, and learn simultaneously
- Family favorite: Qwirkle is a fantastic game for families, as it can involve a wide range of ages, from children to adults. It only takes a few moments to explain, so new players, like extended family or your child's friends, can jump right in
- Award winning: This game has won multiple awards including the Major Fun Award, National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval, Parents' Choice Gold Award, and more. Includes 108 wooden Qwirkle tiles, 1 drawstring bag, and 1 rule book
Figure ground is the ability to pick out important information in a busy background. You use this skill when finding something you lost or looking for information on the page of a book or a screen. Qwirkle (shown above) is a great game for this, as well as these activities:
Puzzles: Jigsaw puzzles are great for children to strengthen their visual skills. It is important to use trial and error to pick a puzzle with a small enough number of pieces that your child will feel confident in completing it and doesn’t lose interest. Ravensburger is a great quality brand with heavy duty pieces and this planet puzzle is a fun one to start with to see if your child may need less or more pieces. Suggested for 8 years and up.
- Bestselling puzzle brand worldwide - With over 1 billion puzzles sold, Ravensburger is the bestselling puzzle brand worldwide.
- Anti-Glare surface - Ravensburger puzzles use an exclusively developed, extra-thick cardboard combined with our fine, linen structured paper to create a glare-free puzzle image and give you the best experience possible.
- Every piece is unique – None of the frustrations you find with other puzzle brands. With Ravensburger, every individual piece has a completely unique shape.
- Perfect for your child – Puzzles for toddlers and kids of every age help support a child’s development as they play, building skills such as concentration and creativity.
- Makes a great gift - Puzzles are a fun activity to do alone or in a group, and make a great gift for all ages at birthdays and holidays.
Chutes and Ladders: This board game is for 2-4 players, ages 3-7. However, I found that children who struggle with their visual processing skills struggle with playing it at the younger ages. But, it is a fun way to strengthen these skills as they get a little older. Players move their pieces around a board sometimes going up ladders and down chutes until they reach the end.
- CLASSIC BEGINNER GAME: Do you remember playing Chutes and Ladders when you were a kid. Introduce new generations to the classic gameplay of this kids' board game for 2 to 4 players
- NO READING REQUIRED TO PLAY: For kids ages 3 and up, Chutes and Ladders can be a great game for kids who haven't learned how to read yet
- CLASSIC UP AND DOWN GAME FOR PRESCHOOLERS: Spin the spinner and move the pawn up the ladders and down the chutes. Chutes and Ladders is a classic game that children enjoy playing over and over
- BE THE FIRST TO REACH THE TOP: Players scramble to the top of the game board without slip-sliding down. Land on good deeds to climb ladders, but watch out for the chutes
- KIDS CAN PRACTICE NUMBERS: Children can practice counting and number recognition as they travel along the gameboard to get to the top
Connect Four: The goal is for players to play 4 of their colored chips in a row. They will need to pick their color out of a grid of pieces to determine where they should play their next piece. Suggested for ages 6 and up.
- Add a blue disc to block opponents and lift discs higher
- Features blue Blocker Disc: This game includes blue Blocker Disc that open doors to new strategies
- Features blue Blocker Dics: this game includes blue Blocker Dics that open doors to new strategies
Swish: Players match colored balls to hoops by stacking transparent cards on a layout of 16 cards. Suggested for ages 8 and up.
- Trusted By Families Worldwide - With Over 50 Million Sold, Thinkfun Is The World'S Leader In Brain And Logic Games.
- Develops Critical Skills - Fun Gameplay Develops Thinking Skills Like Logical Reasoning And Visual Perception.
- What You Get - Swish Includes 60 What You Get Transparent Swish Cards, And A Game-Go Bag For Easy Cleanup And Storage. For 2+ Players Aged 8+.
- Clear Instructions – Easy To Learn With A Clear, High Quality Instruction Manual. You Can Start Playing Immediately!
Form constancy is the ability to know a shape is the same even when turned a different way or when it is a different size. We use this skill when we recognize a word is the same word in different types and sizes of fonts and in different places on the page. Spot it (shown above) is a great game for this, as well as these activities:
Pattern Play: This activity is for individual play and gives you pictures of patterns, which increase in difficulty and you need to use the rectangular blocks with angled ends to build the patterns. Suggested for ages 3-50.
- TOYS THAT TEACH: Use these brightly-colored blocks in varying shapes and the pattern cards to introduce significant math concepts like sorting, matching, symmetry, congruence and fractions.
- FROM THE PLAYROOM FLOOR TO THE COFFEE TABLE: By creating a quiet and soothing activity, this stimulating toy can be just as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids.
- EASY ON THE EYES: With 40 beautiful pattern cards and beautifully colored wooden blocks, Pattern Play Bright Colors allows both children and adults to create beautiful works of art over and over again.
- LET YOUR MIND EXPLORE: These blocks fit into the wooden tray like a puzzle, so feel-free to create your own designs to show your creativity and originality.
- INCLUDES: 40 wood blocks in 10 vibrant colors, a 10.5” square wood building tray, 40 pattern cards.
Equilibrio: This game is basically a 3-D version of the game above. Your child will use blocks to copy 3-D structures. The structures increase in complexity. Suggested for ages 6 and up.
- DEVELOPS SPATIAL REASONING: Players use high precision geometric blocks to construct 3D structures based on illustrations. Equilibrio develops and reinforces STEM skills and problem-solving abilities through captivating gameplay.
- GRADUALLY PROGRESSING CHALLENGES: Players progress through 60 structures across 6 levels of complexity, gradually improving their spatial reasoning & dexterity skills. Check out other award-winning titles in the Brain Builder Series for more smart fun!
- PART OF THE AWARD-WINNING BRAIN BUILDER SERIES: A Smarter Fun game, Winner of multiple awards, including the Game of the Year Award from Creative Child Magazine (USA), the Seal of Excellence from Consumer Guide (Canada) and other international awards.
- LOTS OF WAYS TO PLAY: Equilibrio can be played solo or in a group. Future architects, designers, and engineers will enjoy endless free-form creative play using the high quality GeoBlocks!
- SUITABLE FOR AGES 7 AND UP: Try other captivating and games in the Brain Builder series by FoxMind for countless hours of smart fun with the whole family.
This is the ability to visualize the complete whole of an object, letter, number, etc. when part of it is missing or covered. This skill is used in reading, especially reading sight words, so the child does not have to process every letter to understand what the word says.
Blokus: Two-four players take tiles of various shapes and sizes and have to play them on the board so that only the corners are touching corners of same colored pieces. Suggested for ages 7 and up.
- Perfect strategy game for the whole family – less than a minute to learn with fun challenges for all ages!
- Players take turns placing their 21 pieces on the board: each piece must touch another of the same color, but only at the corners!
- Stake your claim and protect your territory by fitting as many of your pieces on the board as possible while strategically blocking your opponents!
- The game ends when no more pieces can be placed down, and the player with the lowest number remaining wins!
- English (Publication Language)
Visual Memory Skills:
Visual memory skills include remembering a newly learned word later in the story, remembering what has been read, following a multi-step direction, and copying information from a board or screen to paper.
Q-bitz: Can be played alone or with up to 4 players. The goal is to place your blocks to copy a pattern. If playing with others, speed wins. Suggested for ages 3 and up.
- GAME TO TRAIN THE BRAIN: The Q-bitz game is a great way to say goodbye to boredom and challenge your mind all at once. Practice your symmetry, visual dexterity, quick thinking, and competitive nature. Q-bitz stimulates the brain to use spatial reasoning and memory skill making it perfect for both the classroom and at home.
- THREE WAYS TO PLAY: With Q-bitz, it's not the same game over and over again. You get 80 different puzzle cards that you can compete to complete in 3 different ways. That's over 200 different ways to play. Combine that with different friends and you have a new experience every time.
- COMPREHENSIBLE GAME PLAY: Each game contains three rounds, each round with a different card. Players puzzle over how to recreate the patterns on the game cards using their set of 16 cubes. The first player to match the pattern wins the card. The player with the most cards, wins the game.
- AWARD WINNING FUN: Q-bitz has received accolades including Parent's Choice Gold Award, National Parenting Publications Awards' Nappa Gold. Tillywig Toy Award's Bain Child Award Winner, and the Major Fun Award. You're sure to have a good time challenging your visual agility with Q-bitz.
- PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS: Package contains (1) Q-bitz Game by Mindware. Includes 80 Q-bitz cards, 4 wooden trays, and 4 different colored sets of 16 cubes. Game design by Peggy Brown. Suitable for 2 to 4 players ages 6 years and older.
Memory: Any kind of memory game is great for working on visual memory. If your child struggles, play with less cards. Another adaptation is to place one set of matches in one group and the second set of matches in another group so the child just has to pick one card from each group to attempt to make a match. This game below is suggested for ages 5-8.
- Life On Earth Memory And Matching Game Promotes Memory And Matching Skills While Teaching Children About Flora And Fauna And Other Wild Life From Around The World. Twenty-Four Different And Colorful Illustrations Depict Animals, Leaves, Birds, Fish And More On Sturdy And Thick Tiles. A Great Skill Building Game That Can Be Played Alone Or With Others. This Memory And Matching Game Will Delight Children While They Practice Their Memory And Focus. Featuring Art By Melissa Sweet
- Developmental And Educational: Sharpens Recognition, Concentration And Memory Skills
- Each Tile Is 2.25 X 2.25 Inches. 24 Pairs To Match. Can Be Played Alone Or With Up To 4 Players
- For Ages 3 And Up. Winner Of Oppenheim Platinum Best Toy Award
You May Also Want to Read