Activities to do with your toddler when patching or wearing glasses!

Our Ophthalmologist encouraged us to make sure patching time was active learning time. This encourages both sides of the brain to interact and is better for this age than traditional eye exercises.  One-on-one activities will help strengthen our children’s eyes as well as providing a strong educational foundation. We found it also helped keep the patch and now glasses on.  Here are some of my favorite learning activities to do with toddlers when patching or glasses.  Please ad to the list if you have some other great activities to do with your little ones!


  1. Puzzles * Peg ones that require sorting as well
  2. Play dough
  3. Rice pouring using little pitchers
  4. Making a pillow obstacle course (great for balance)
  5. Throwing a ball into a clothes basket
  6. Blocks *
  7. Trips to playground
  8. Have a play-date with another toddler
  9. Sing Clapping songs; BINGO, This Old Man, If Your Happy and You Know It, Pat-A-Cake, The Wheels on The Bus
  10. Making music with instrument
  11. Building sandcastles in the sandbox
  12. Pasta playtime (I put a large container of pasta in the kitchen for her to play in while I am cooking – like an indoor sandbox)
  13. Catch (throwing or rolling) with a ball
  14. Put her on a towel and pull her around the living room (also good for balance)
  15. BUBBLES!
  16. Crank up the music and have a dance party
  17. Color with crayons, markers, pencils, pens and more! Encouraging them to stay in the lines of coloring books *
  18. Stickers
  19. Have a pretend Birthday Party, wrap up their toys and let them unwrap them.
  20. Scarf dancing
  21. Bathing baby dolls
  22. Cooking with mom in the kitchen
  23. Computer games that require kids to drag and drop *
  24. Reading picture books and talking about the pictures


*Star activities were recommended by the ophthalmologist.

12 responses to “Activities to do with your toddler when patching or wearing glasses!

  1. Great suggestions! I almost want to wake Zoe up so we can play. Almost.

    Do you do computer games with Elly yet? I don’t think Zoe has the coordination for using a mouse (and certainly not a track pad).

    25. Legos or Mr. Potato Head or other toys that involve lining things up the fit them together.

    25. Playing with the cats using the cat toys (but only if the cats are tolerant of accidentally being hit by the toy)


  2. We really limit Elliana’s screen time and do not even own a TV, so I am not ready to let her play computer games. Maybe we will re-visit the computer games at age 3 – I included them because they were recomended to me.

    We like Mr. Potato Head too!


  3. Mr Potatohead is a winner with our guy too. Nicholas’ potato head guy came with a pair of glasses, so it is encouraging to watch as he ensures theyre on right.

    Sometimes, mom or dad will ‘accidentally’ spill something…like raisins, or cheerios..and encourage N to help clean up. It helps with hand eye coordination when patched…


  4. Pingback: Coloring page! « little four eyes·

  5. Ok. We recently started working with a vision therapist because we have been patching our Ellie’s eyes for six hours a day without any improvement in the unpatched eye. So, I thought it can’t hurt to try something different and see what happens. Our first appointment was last week and here are some activities that we got as “homework” assignments that you might be able to add to your list: 1. Picking up raisins/craisins with a toothpick and then getting to eat them. 2. Stringing cheerios on a piece of yarn, making a cheerios necklace. 3. Playing shape bingo (make a chart with 12 squares, place a shape (circle, triangle, cross, square, star) into each square, make another chart with empty squares and cut out the shapes and have your child look at the chart, find the matching shape for each square and duplicate your completed chart on their empty chart. A side note: When we first started this with Ellie, she could hardly recognize any of the shapes taped on a wall about four feet away, so I taped the chart to a cereal box right in front of her and with each day, we have moved the box a little further away. 4. Let your child find O’s in magazine headlines and fill in them in. This is a great activity while you are waiting somewhere. 5. Let your child track a toy from side to side and up and down for one minute on each eye while the other is covered. Your goal should be that the movement of the eye following the object is smooth and not jerky. Now, we also got some assignments for the time that the eye is not patched to help the two eyes work together for binocular vision: 1. Catching a balloon that you drop from way above your child’s head. A balloon moves slowly enough to let your child see it coming closer and being able to catch the object while a ball comes way too fast to perceive it’s coming closer. 2. Catching bubbles. Okay, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for this to be so long. I just wanted to share this information because I, too want to do all I can do to help Ellie’s eyes get better, and doing these activities while being legally blind is not something Ellie enjoys doing, but they are helping her see better and they are rewarding for her. We are to do these kind of activities at least two hours a day while patched. Each day gets a little easier! Thanks for the suggestions, amomofelly!


  6. These are AWESOME. I am so doing these when Elly wakes up. She is going to love making a Cheerios necklace and using a toothpick to pick up raisins! The activities sound fun and challenging. Please keep updating this thread everytime you get new activities. It is very interesting and helpful!


  7. Alright, we had another vision therapy appointment, so I will update with some more activities. We have adapted the toothpick idea for dinner now, too having Ellie pick up peas or corn with the toothpick. It sure makes for a long dinner, but then my husband eats slow anyways. 🙂 Some more activities to do I got yesterday are 1. Playing flashlight tag. If you have a small flashlight, it works better, but basically, you dim the lights in a room without any clutter on the floor or furniture they might run into (our toy room works great as there is a black foam mat on the floor), you shine a light on the floor and get your child to tag the light with their foot. Our Ellie got bored after a while, so she decided that her monkey should play tag instead, so she had the monkey catching after the light. 2. Hang a posterboard on the wall (if you have black, that’s great!). Shine a small beam of your flashlight onto the posterboard and have your child tag it with their finger. She has to hit it dead-on, and then you can move the light to another place for her to find it and tag it. I suggested using a laser light, but since there was study done that the laser lights may be harmful, it is better to use a flashlight and cover it with a piece of cardboard and cut a small hole in the middle. 3. Get a small, plastic ball (white or any solid color is good) and stick small shapes (you can print these out and tape them on or use stickers) all over the ball. Hang the ball from a string. Have your child lay down on the floor and focus on the ball while you are moving it back and forth above her. Have her find a shape on the ball and point to it while you are swing the ball slowly above her. Well, that’s all that I have for now. I did stumble upon a website that has computer “games” that you can play with your child while patching. It is It is mostly getting your child to follow an object dancing across the screen, but if you do this, you can see how the eye has to work hard following the object, building muscle strength and brain function.


  8. Thanks for listing all those activites. The comments people left were helpful also. I was running out of ideas for patch time. I was wondering do any of you know what the success rate is and how long it took? My son has been using the patch for about 9 months now with a small improvement.


    • SheilaD, I can’t tell you how long it will take with the patching, but I do know that it can be very successful when done consistently. Our daughter has worn a patch for over two years. To my shame, it has not been consistent, so I can’t say that it would have taken less time had she worn it consistently. We are now working with a vision therapist because we were not getting results with the patching. I think one key issue is keeping the patch on consistently and also doing a lot of near work that takes a lot of concentration and works the lazy eye. As to how long it will take depends on the amount of time he has to wear it, how hold he is, how severely that eye is lazy, etc. If you are patching consistently and there are no results, I would maybe ask the doctor if there is another way to approach it. We recently changed Ellie’s prescription to make the eye work even harder and it seems to be working! Hang in there! All your hard work will pay off!


      • Corrie, thanks for your response. We just upped his patching time from 2 hours a day to 3 – 6 hours per day and that seems to have helped. I was getting a little discouraged though because it seems I either read about quick results or else people that are still working on it. My son will be 5 at the end of the month so I know we still have time. It’s just easier to be hopeful when there is progress. Our doctor has put in a request for us to see someone at the Children’s Hospital so hopefully we’ll find out more info then. Thanks again for your response and encouragement.


  9. We started patching for only 2 hours a day when she was one and have moved up to 8 hours a day when she turned 2 and got glasses. Since she is not keeping to patch on consistantly, we are now on atropine drops and 2 hours of patching and making slow, and stready progress. Her right eye is really struggling due to a high difference between the left and the right (7.75) Our PO is encouraging, but my Elly’s Amblyiopia is pretty strong and has been slow to improve. This last appointment, she even tested worse than last. ARGHHHHH. PO said this is normal and to keep dropping + patching, and an increased perscription may help (our glasses are now -6.5)Hang in there – patching is hard, but I think our kids will be thankful that we helped them through this.


  10. Thank you for your helpful suggestions above.
    I feel I don’t have enough time to do eye patching with my daughter (work and other kids) and am quiet alone in the process. She is 5 and 1/2 and has done patching for a year now with no progress, actually getting worse at each visit 😦
    1) I was surprised to hear from our specialist that online games are a good tool. We started 2 days ago and she loves them: I can work and do the house chores while she does them. I have searched, listed and saved a few links and intend to buy interactive cds too. 2) We have also created a chart with stars indicating number of hours done and allocated prizes for when she collects a few stars.
    The specialist gave me hope that we can still catch up, so I intend to give my best shot this time. How do I engage other family members?



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