What is Visual Discrimination?

What exactly is visual discrimination and why do we need it? Is it simply another term used by experts or does it have relevance to us in our daily lives?

What Is Visual Discrimination?

I've often heard the phrase but figured it was time to put a concrete definition to it in my mind. So here it is ...

Visual discrimination is the ability to visually detect differences
in variables such as shape, pattern, colour, size, etc.

Visual discrimination is an essential skill needed for reading. Without visual discrimination, we would not be able to determine whether a letter was a lower case 'e' or 'c', or an upper case 'F' and 'E'.

The good news is that we can help children to refine their visual discrimination skills in fun ways. There are numerous fun activities we can provide children with such as,

  • Spot the difference
  • Games - bingo, dominoes, memory games (children match cards with matching objects)
  • Art activities - creating colour collages (make a collage using materials of the same colour, size or shape), create silhouettes of objects & then match the silhouettes to their objects.
  • Language activities - describe the differences/similarities between two objects.
  • Puzzles

Visual Discrimination

But best of all, take a walk out side and explore nature. There are so many wonderful things to see. Have you ever noticed how many different sizes, shapes, colour and textures there are just among leaves alone?

Then there are the wonderful insects to explore. Again, all different sizes, shapes, etc.

Getting outside in the natural world calms the brain and makes learning more effortless. What a terrific way to hone visual discrimination skills while using other senses as well and having fun!

What are your favourite activities for strengthening visual discrimination skills?

You may also like these activities:

Animal Inspired Art
Animal Inspired Art
Drawing Nature
Drawing Nature

Return to the Articles List for other children's learning activities or children's book reviews.

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