03 March 2017
When we received an email from a preschool in Wantage asking if we could donate some frames to help the children learn about opticians and eye tests, we were only too happy to help out.
All babies have their eyes checked during their routine developmental check-ups, but a child’s first real memory of having their eyes tested will usually be during their first trip to the opticians just before they start school.
When testing the eyes of very small children specially designed charts featuring shapes or pictures are often used, so it’s not essential that your child can read when they attend their first eye test. Your optician will do everything they can to make the test room feel welcoming but some children may still feel nervous about their first eye test.
This is why it’s an excellent idea to get children used to the idea of their first trip to the optician by talking about eye tests and glasses both at home and at nursery or preschool, which is exactly what Charlton Acorns Preschool in Wantage have been doing.
When we received the request from the preschool we immediately arranged for 30 pairs of brightly coloured plastic framed glasses to be fitted with safe plastic ‘dummy’ lenses and sent out for the children.
Learning through play
The preschool let us know that they have recently turned their play house into a pretend opticians where the children have been role playing and learning about what happens during an eye test.
Here are just a few of the ways that Charlton Acorns Preschool have been playing and learning about glasses, eyes and opticians:
- Role playing at testing each other’s eyes
- Measuring each other’s eyes
- Pretending to examine each other’s eyes through wooden hoops and magnifying glasses
- Trying on glasses and discussing which style suits who
- Seeing how many pairs of glasses can fit onto one face
- Wearing glasses during other role-playing games (eg. as fire fighters) and discussing how they may help with these roles
Benefits of learning about glasses and opticians
Learning about and discussing eyesight, eye care and glasses from a young age at home, in preschool or school is particularly good for children who already wear glasses as it normalises wearing them and gives these children a chance to talk about their experiences. It is also a great way of helping other children to understand why they are worn.
Children usually visit the opticians for the first time when they are about 4 or 5, and some may also receive an eye test when they first start school too, so it’s a good idea to prepare them for what to expect and prevent any unnecessary anxiety!
Ready to start learning about glasses at home? Why not start by reading your child one of the brilliant books from our blog – Summer holiday reads for kids who wear glasses.
If you’re worried about your child’s eyesight check out our blog - 5 Signs your toddler may need glasses before giving us a call on 0345 601 3479 to book a free child’s sight test.