While infants are beginning to experience the world through their developing senses, young toddlers take that experience to the next level through physical exploration and interactions. One of a parent’s primary responsibilities is to ensure their child develops at an age-appropriate pace – including their visual development. To help, the American Optometric Association released a separate set of guidelines for parents with children up to 2 years old.
They suggest, for toddlers between 9 months to 1 year:
- Parents should play interactive games like peek-a-boo to help the child develop visual memory.
- Parents should point out and name objects in a room to help their child learn to associate visual objects with auditory words. This helps build the child’s vocabulary, as well.
- Caregivers should encourage the child to crawl and explore the visual environment around them.
For toddlers between 1 and 2 years:
- Parents should roll a toy, such as a ball, back and forth in front of the child. This helps the child learn to track the object with their eyes and maintain focus on an object in motion.
- Tell detailed, descriptive stories to the child so he or she can learn to visualize and imagine various scenarios. This will help the child process lessons and abstract concepts as he gets older.
The AOA recommends that all children visit a doctor of optometry by the age of 6 months, regardless of the presence of visual development issues. After that, a doctor on your True Dental Discounts, vision plan will work out a healthy schedule for you and your toddler. The most important thing is that parents make visual development a priority from the start. Congratulations on taking that first step!