How to Help Children Develop Observation Skills

By Bailey Shoemaker Richards
Help your child develop observation skills by playing simple games.

Helping your child develop his or her skills of observation is about more than just teaching. It's also about interacting with your children and sometimes learning along with them. Although there are many ways to aid your child as he or she begins to develop various visual-spatial skills, some of the best come in the form of simple games that you can play with your child.

Cover the items you plan to use with dark paper or cloth and sit down with your child at the table. Explain that you are going to reveal each item as your child attempts to figure out what it is by utilizing his or her senses.

Start with something familiar to your child. Using a toy, slowly reveal parts of it to your child and encourage him or her to try to figure out what the item is, using only senses and observation.

Continue revealing items one at a time while your child tries to guess what they are using sight, touch, hearing and smell. Talk your child through, using observation skills on each item, and help if he or she gets stuck.

Finish showing each item to your child as he or she deduces what it is using the senses of touch, sight, smell and hearing. Talk to your child about how he or she used his or her observational skills to figure out each item.

Repeat the game, this time with your child blindfolded. Removing the sense of sight will help your child develop his or her other senses and not rely entirely on seeing the object to be identified. After the game is done, discuss with your child exactly how he or she deduced what each item was.

Tip

Repeat this game with fruit and food or outdoor objects like sticks, rocks and shells; constant positive reinforcement of the observation skills used will help develop better skills in every situation.

About the Author

Bailey Shoemaker Richards is a writer from Ohio. She has contributed to numerous online and print publications, including "The North Central Review." Shoemaker Richards also edits for several independent literary journals and the Pink Fish Press publishing company. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Ohio University.