Visual Perceptual Skills

Seven Visual Scanning Activity and Game Ideas for Your OT Sessions:

Looking for activities and games that are easy to use while working on visual scanning skills? You are in the right place! There are so many visual perceptual skills we work on with our clients and in this blog we are going to break down what visual scanning is and have some ready to go activities you can start using this week with your caseload.

What is Visual Scanning?

Visual scanning is using oculomotor skills to quickly and efficiently search and find relevant things in your environment. Were you able to find your exit sign your drive to work today? Did your students find where the homework was written on the board? How about finding information in a book? Or walking without running into every obstacle? All of these require visual scanning skills.

10 Activities to Work on Visual Scanning

1. I Spy Games and Worksheets

Try playing I Spy with your students especially within their environment. This is a no prep activity that you can complete in any environment! To play, find something in your environment and prompt your client with “I spy something…..BLUE!”. Students love taking turns and coming up with things that are tough for you to find/spy.

2. Eye Can Learn

Have you heard about Eye Can Learn? Eye Can Learn is a free website with visual perceptual activities! They are all easy to use digitally or in person with your students while working on visual scanning, tracking, and more. Your clients will love the challenges including spot the difference, pursuits, tracking, and more.

3. UNO Card Game with a Twist

UNO is a card game that most of our clients are familiar with. Grab the uno deck and get ready for a twist to the game!

  1. Have your client or student help to spread the cards out over a table or room (my favorite is using on the floor). Cards should be face up. And yes, let’s use the entire deck!
  2. Tell the student you are going to race to collect the most matching number or card pairs (wild card matches to wild card, number three matches to a number three)
  3. Set a timer and race to collect pairs

It’s that easy! This activity can be used in ANY therapy environment and is definitely one they will want to try again!

4. Visual Scanning Worksheets

There are tons of visual scanning worksheets that you can use! The best part about these is that they are low prep and often include holiday or seasonal themes. These are a great way to incorporate visual scanning while still celebrating the holiday or current season. Check out my Year Round Visual Scanning Bundle for over 20 visual scanning activities!

5. Spot It Games

Have you heard of the game spot it? Spot it is an easy to use card game that has tons of options for finding your client’s favorite themes. My current favorites are Star Wars Spot It and Harry Potter Spot It. Looking to elevate your Spot It activities?

  1. Spread the spot it cards out over a table or room (this is similar to the UNO activity)
  2. Challenge students to find matches as quickly as they can

This game is a must have in my treatment bag! The best part is it can easily be used on the go for a no prep treatment activity.

6. Banana-grams or Alphabet Scanning

Bananagrams is another activity that is a must have in my treatment bag. You can spread the letters out on a table and ask students to find specific letters. My favorite way to use this activity for visual scanning is challenging clients to arrange letters from A-Z as quickly as they can. This is an easy way to work on letter recognition, sequencing, and of course visual scanning! I also use visual scanning cards in my sessions to provide fun themed ideas. Check out these dinosaur visual scanning cards I’ve been using with my kindergarten clients this week!

7. Word or Alphabet Searching & Scanning

Word searches are another great activity for visual scanning! You can also find worksheets and activities that are specific for letter recognition.These activities are no prep and easy to use for first finishers or even on tele-therapy. Feel free to try one out with my Ocean Letter A Recognition Freebie!

8. Bonus Free Visual Scanning Round Up

Still looking for more visual scanning ideas? Here are a few of the FREE visual scanning resources in my TPT store!

  1. Sloth Visual Scanning** this activity is free once you join my email list! PS: this is not the only free visual scanning resource in my Free Resource Library
  2. Shark and Ocean Visual Scanning Freebie
  3. Summer Visual Scanning
  4. Hero Letter Recognition & Visual Scanning

Thank you for reading this blog! Please feel free to email me at with any questions, comments, or concerns!


Creatively OT

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