For parents and grandparents of very young children, the holidays are a fun time to spoil those children with all sorts of bright, colorful presents. But why not also buy them some toys that will help improve their hand-eye coordination? For the first six months of their lives, babies use their hands and eyes separately. Proper hand-eye coordination means they can perform both activities simultaneously, allowing them to be more active participants in the world. Toys that improve hand-eye coordination will help improve a child’s reaction times and increase their productivity. They will also help improve their visual perception skills, which will help them read and process information when learning. Below is a list of five great toy suggestions: Building blocks: This classic toy teaches children how to stack items on top of each other. As your child’s coordination develops, they can also build larger objects, like buildings or whatever else their imagination comes up with, with their blocks. Stackable toys: Toy sets, like stackable rings in decreasing sizes and different colors, are excellent options. Not only does the child learn how to put the rings on the stacking pole, but they also learn to identify different colors and sizes. Large stringing beads: These toys teach a child to string a rope through a small hole. However, parents should be cautious with these toys, as the strings can be a choking hazard for young children. Connecting toys: Tinker Toys, Duplo bricks, and the like are all very beneficial for children. The skills needed to connect these toys will only develop with practice, and your children can build some fun, exciting creations, too. Puzzles: Whether they’re boards with simple shapes cut into them or more complex interlocking pieces, your child will learn about how different shapes go together and interlock. They will also learn that they can create new, complete images from these smaller pieces. Safety first As much as your children are learning and developing while they play, it’s important you make sure they safe while they do. You don’t want them scratching their eyes, swallowing a small toy, or sticking a foreign object in your ear. “Grandma always said, don’t put anything bigger than your elbow in your ear,” CEENTA ENT doctor Darrell Klotz, MD, said. That advice applies to their eyes and mouth, too. Parents should check the packaging on all toys they buy to make sure the parts aren’t too small for your child and could cause them harm. And after your child finishes safely playing with their toys, why not make an appointment with one of the pediatric eye doctors at CEENTA? They’ll help ensure your child’s eyes are developing normally and are helping them be an active participant in the world around them. This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. To make an appointment with an eye or ENT doctor, call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.