I had always enjoyed visual perception and illusion games. After my research on the relationship between STEM career success and spatial reasoning skills, I realized visual perception is essential for spatial reasoning, which is a higher-order thinking skill, thus I started looking for exercises that can improve visual perception skills. Recently I saw one on social media that not only requires visual perception skill but also out-of-box thinking, as well as some geometry. Since it is very interesting and easy to make, I tried to make one for myself. I am now sharing the pattern I created as a free download, so you can play the game with kids at home. Interested in increasing your child’s visual perception skills? Go to the bottom of this post to download the free game.
What are Visual Perception Skills
Visual Perception is the ability to organize and interpret the information that is seen and give it meaning. Some core visual perception skills include: Visual Memory, Visual Sequential Memory, Visual Form Constancy, Visual Figure Ground, Visual Spatial Relations, Visual Closure, and Visual Discrimination.
The skills that are most related to this double-cross game are:
- Visual Spatial Relations: Understanding the relationships of objects such as locations within the environment.
- Visual Form Constancy: The ability to know that a form or shape is the same, even if it has been made smaller/larger or has been turned around. One example is the difference between “b” and “d”.
- Visual Closure: The ability to recognize a form or object when part of the picture is missing. This is the key skill this game is testing.
Double-Cross Geometry Game
The game seems really simple. You will be given 7 identical puzzle pieces like the one below. (Note: you will be able to download the pattern for the puzzle pieces and solution at the bottom of this post)
You will use these 7 pieces to form two Swiss crosses of the same size.
It requires a unique visual perception skill to see through how these irregularly shaped pieces become coordinated into a cross.
Double-Cross Geometry Game Solution
I have the solution in the free download with the puzzle pieces.
To solve the puzzle, one good starting point is to pay attention to where the 2 right angles are on the puzzle pieces. Remind the children to think about the locations of the right angles in a Swiss cross. Once the kids pointed out the right angles in a Swiss cross, you can then guide the children to build more “right angles” into a whole Swiss cross. This is where the skills in Visual Spatial Relations and Visual Form Constancy play an important role in solving the puzzle.
Many people had no problem forming one cross, but, with the 4 puzzle pieces forming one cross, there are only 3 puzzle pieces left. Therefore, it seems impossible to build the 2nd cross. This is the place that requires out-of-box thinking. If your child is stuck here, you can give them a hint – “seems there are not enough pieces to form the 2nd cross, maybe we can find a way to use a piece for both crosses?”
Depends on which cross the kids build first, if it is the solid cross, you can ask “is there another way to form the right angles?” “How about a hollow cross?” If the kids build the hollow cross first, you can ask “How about a solid cross?”
During the process, don’t give out solutions easily. It is the process that really helps the children to develop visual perception and problem-solving skills. As long as they are still willing to work on it, you can continue to give out hints and encouragement. Of course, if the kids get too frustrated and want to give up, this is the time to give out some more detailed hints to keep them going.
Hope you and your kids enjoy the game.
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