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6. Hand-eye coordination

Good hand-eye coordination requires perceiving the locations of objects in the environment (visuospatial awareness) and coordinating this with our movements. This is important for lots of classroom activities, from getting changed, participating in PE, and navigating the classroom, to handwriting, drawing and copying from the whiteboard.

Maths involves lots of activities that rely on visuospatial awareness, or good hand-eye coordination, such as aligning numbers in columns, reading data from a graph, telling the time and recognising shapes.

Compared with children born at term, children born preterm are at greater risk of having difficulties with visuospatial awareness and hand-eye coordination. Research also shows that children born preterm are at greater risk of Developmental Coordination Disorder which involves both fine and gross motor difficulties.

Motor control and visuospatial awareness can be assessed with tasks similar to the one pictured here. In this task the child is instructed to copy the top image as accurately as possible. Children who have poor visuospatial awareness or poor fine motor control are likely to find this sort of task challenging.

Hand eye coordination