Eye exams can be a scary experience for children, especially when they’re performed by strangers. Although there is no way out of taking your kids for free children’s eye tests, there are ways you can monitor and test your children’s eyesight yourself and get them used to the process! We’ve compiled a fun few ways to check your kid’s vision while getting them comfortable with eye test procedures. Here are three games you can play with your children to help!
Spot The Difference
Helping the brain and eyes, a simple game of spot the difference can help you pinpoint any vision issues your child might be suffering with in between your regular free children’s eye tests. Spot the difference is a fun, engaging way to keep your kids happy and you’ll be able to notice if your children are having difficulty with spotting simple differences in images. You can use a variety of images to test your children’s vision, from clear easy images to messy photos packed full of objects. Sit and watch your child while they play, and take note of the images they struggle on and how big or small the object is and what color it is too, as this could help to indicate any vision problems.
For colorblind flash, you’ll need to print out some flashcards with symbols from the Ishihara test. These symbols are a mixture of colored dots that form numbers in the center. For those that are colorblind, you won’t be able to see the number in the center of the symbol. Each flashcard will have a different symbol which will test for a type of colorblindness, as there are several forms. Simply show your child the flashcard and have them shout out the number on the card. If they can’t see a number on any of the cards, get them booked in for a free children’s eye test as soon as possible and bring the flashcard in so the eye care specialist can take a look.
A simple but effective way to see if your child struggles with near or farsightedness is to try pirate reading! Simply get your child to cover one eye (like a pirate with an eye patch) and have them read from a book. Make sure to switch between eyes and to move the book closer and further from them to check both eyes. You should be able to see if your child is struggling with reading from a certain eye or distance. Jot down any issues you’ve noted and make sure to let your eye care specialist know when you take your child to their next check-up!
While these games are fun for your children and great for you to check up on your child’s eyesight, they are in no way an alternative to eye tests. Along with these tests, ensure your child is having regular eye exams with an eye care specialist – many places offer free children’s eye tests, too!