When it comes to their children, parents are always going to want the best for them. Whether that means success in everything life has to offer or overall health and well-being, we want our kids to be happy, healthy and, well, perfect! There is no denying that many children today suffer from poor vision, as well as eyestrain. But what can you do to help your children – are eyeglasses or contacts really the only viable solution to correct a child’s vision? While contacts and glasses are certainly a safe way to ensure your child can see properly, neither of these products really fix the root of the vision problem.
Did you know that 35 percent of children ages 13-16 need prescription glasses or lenses? Unfortunately, contacts and glasses can’t prevent your (or your child’s) eyes from growing weaker over time, which only results in needing stronger corrective lenses. But, there is another option! Eye exercises are a great way to help children build and maintain strong eyesight naturally, without the use of contacts or glasses.
Why Eye Exercises?
Parents often encourage their children to do strengthening exercises for their other muscles, especially when children play sports. However, they often neglect to remind their children to take care of their eyes! Eye exercises are a safe way to do just that. They are also designed to strengthen the eye over time, improving vision instead of just placing a lens in front of a damaged eye. A lens, whether it is in the form of glasses or contacts, will do nothing to help improve your child’s vision. You simply can’t correct the source of the problem with lenses.
Performing eye exercises is also easy and fast. Even young children can be taught to use basic eye exercises to improve their vision. Eye exercises are ideal for children of all ages because teaching kids to strengthen their eyesight early on will benefit them as they grow older – the longer they can avoid corrective eyeglasses and contacts, the better!
Eye Exercises for Kids
Below are some really easy eye exercises you can teach your children. Be sure to help them understand the importance of caring for their eyes. Also, make sure you supervise your kids until you are sure they can handle the eye exercises on their own!
Memory games: These kinds of exercises can be located online and are especially fun for children. The purpose of these games is to increase your child’s visual memory. In most games of this nature, a picture is shown briefly, and then the participant must try to remember as much about the picture as possible. The more you can recall, the better! You can also recreate this type of exercise with your own pictures or by playing memory board games.
Eye shift exercise: It is really important for children to learn to shift their eyes quickly between objects at different distances. One exercise to help with shifting vision involves a pencil and a calendar. Place a calendar on the wall and have your child stand at least 10 feet away while holding a pencil vertically in front of his/her face.
Instruct your child to focus on the pencil, and then to look at the numbers on the calendar. Then, have the child look back at the pencil. Repeat this at least 10 times. You can also change the amount of distance between your child and the calendar.
Tracking exercises: These exercises are great for kids because they help the eye keep track of words while reading. Kids who struggle with skipping over words, switching up the order of letters, and losing their spot while reading a text may be suffering from dyslexia in addition to having poor vision. They will benefit from this by doing the exercise regularly.
To do this exercise, hook a ball to some string or a shoelace. Hang the ball so that it is even with your child’s nose. Then, ask him/her to watch the ball as you swing it back and forth. Repeat this exercise while swinging the ball side to side. Your child should be following the movement of the ball with his/her eyes only – no head movements! This will strengthen the same muscles your child needs to do their reading at school and throughout their lives, so it’s really a great tool.
Rotating exercise: This one is really simple! Instruct your child to rotate his/her eyes in a clockwise motion. After completing one full circle, your child should blink and then proceed to rotate his/her eyes in a counter-clockwise motion. Repeat several times, making sure they are blinking in between.
Eye “writing” exercise: For this exercise, have you child face an empty wall, preferably not one that is a bright color. Tell them to write something, anything, with their eyes only. Do not let your child move his/her head to do this. Moving just the eyes in the shape of many different letters can really strengthen the eye muscles. It’s also a more entertaining exercise for children!
“Clock” exercise: To begin this activity, first tell your child to imagine a large clock. Have them look at where the center of the clock would be to start. Then, say a number and ask your child to look where it would be on the clock. Finish by looking back at the center. Repeat this at least 10 times and remember to instruct your child to use his/her eyes only!
After teaching your child the simple exercises above, you can also check out our other free eye exercises and our Ocu-Plus Formula. With your assistance, your child can greatly benefit from a daily eye vitamin like this.
Ocu-Plus contains 17 vitamins we recommend taking to support eye health. However, please keep in mind you should consult with your child’s doctor before starting him/her on a vitamin. Just make sure your children are getting all the necessary vision-boosting nutrients – a good diet coupled with these eye exercises will help your child enjoy the benefits of naturally healthier eyes!