Babies can see at birth, but it takes time for them to develop their visual abilities to differentiate colors, change focus from one thing to another, and coordinate their eyes together to watch things move. Babies cannot see all colors until they are around 5-6 moths, and may not have 20/20 visual acuity until around their second birthday. As your growing toddler plays, explores, and moves about his world, he develops increasingly accurate visual-perceptual skills including depth perception, spatial skills, visual memory, and shape recognition.

Visual Skills at 2 months

  • Begins to follow things with eyes
  • Begins to notice primary colors
  • Prefers faces to other visual patterns
  • May begin to recognize familiar people from several feet away

Visual Skills at 4 months

  • Tracks moving objects with eyes
  • Recognizes familiar people at a distance
  • Reaches for things he sees

Visual Skills at 6 months

  • Begins to enjoy peekaboo
  • Studies her own hands
  • Can move eyes together quickly to find a moving object

Visual Skills at 9 months

  • Watches the path of something as it falls
  • Looks for things he sees you hide
  • Visually concentrates on a toy she is holding

Visual Skills at 12 months

  • Moves body to get favorite toys he sees
  • Looks all around the room to see what’s happening
  • Frequent visual inspection of things and people
  • Emerging accuracy with throwing things

Visual Skills at 18 months

  • Visually interested in simple pictures
  • May hold objects very close to eyes to inspect
  • Finds object pictures in books when named

Visual Skills at 2 years

  • Begins to inspect things with eyes only
  • Finds things even when hidden under two or three covers
  • Begins to sort shapes and colors

Visual Skills at 3 years

  • Completes puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces
  • Watches and imitates other children
  • Navigates his movement while exploring
  • "Reads" pictures in books
  • Uses a variety of strokes in coloring

Visual Skills at 4 years

  • Brings head and eyes close to page of book while inspecting
  • Draws and names circle and cross on paper
  • Can close eyes on request, and may be able to wink one eye

Visual Skills at 5 years

  • Draws and names pictures
  • Colors within lines
  • Cuts and pastes quite well on simple pictures
  • Copies simple forms and some letters
  • Can place small objects in small openings
  • Tells about places, objects, or people seen elsewhere