Vision Therapy exercises can become tedious at times and I love being creative and mixing things up with new activities. Word shape puzzles are a great solution that can work anti-suppression, tracking, saccades and more while providing entertainment or helping a child with spelling and they are simple to make! Let me show you how to create super effective, FUN home activities for vision therapy.
So, how can you create your own word shape puzzles for vision therapy?
- Download the word shape font here.
- Find the spelling list, quote or story you want to use and type it out.
- Change the font color to red, blue or yellow to make it cancel with a red lens patch or red/green glasses.
- Print it out and complete it with a red lens patch or red/green glasses
For word shape puzzles, there is generally a word bank with several words, these words fit into the “word shape boxes.” The person must use the shape of the boxes to match the word that fits. This is what the word shape boxes would look like for a few different words:
Here are a few examples of word shape puzzles.
The first example, my mom made for me to use with my red lens patch. I love more complicated puzzles, but they definitely take time to create! We have a few in the shop available for purchase.
The second two are puzzles I made for my daughters with their spelling and sight word lists. There are a ton of ways to make them easier or more difficult and customize them. To learn to make your own, read on!
Download the Font
There are countless websites where you can type in your words and they will generate a word shape puzzle for you, but the color is almost always black. In order for this to double as a VT activity, you must be able to change it to an extremely specific color that cancels with special vision therapy glasses.
Because my mom is a graphic designer, she just went ahead and designed her own font for me to use and then created countless puzzles for me to do to wake up my struggling right eye.
You can head over to my shop to download the font. Once you purchase it, follow these steps to get it into your favorite word processing program.
- Click “Download” to get the font file onto your computer.
- Double click the downloaded file and it will prompt you to install the font. You may need to “unzip” it first if it prompts you.
- Once the font is installed, restart your computer.
- Open Your favorite word processing program and look for the font that looks like a bunch of boxes with no letters.
Now you are ready to get started!
Type Out Your Message
If my child were in vision therapy, I would probably make them a word shape activity for their spelling list each week to practice both spelling and vision therapy together. One, because I could do it super fast so it’s actually something I could maintain, and two because it kills two birds with one stone.
You could totally make fun puzzles that are quotes from their favorite movies or something along those lines, they would love it.
Either way type out the words that you want to use for the puzzle. Then Copy/Paste the List so that you have one set for the word bank and one set for the word shape blocks.
Change One Set to the Word Shape Font
Next, select one set of words and change them to the word shape font. Depending on the age of the person doing the puzzle, you will need to increase the size of the boxes.
You can do several things to make the formatting easier. I like to increase margins, use multiple columns and adjust line spacing depending on who is using the activity.
I also like to create a text box for the word bank so that I can move it around easily.
Adjust the Colors to Cancel With Your VT Glasses
This is the part where you will want to get input from your optometrist or vision therapist. There are SO SO many different ways to change the difficulty level of this activity and your eye doctor will know what is best for you or your child.
These can be used with a red lens patch OR with red/green or red/blue glasses.
Usually, the red lens patch is used at the beginning of vision therapy to help break suppression, you can read more about it over here. When using a red lens patch, change the color to red (RGB values: red 250 green 191 blue 143).
Red/Green glasses also help with anti-suppression, but usually require the eyes to coordinate together more. When making activities to use with red/green or red/blue glasses, I use blue (Red 219 Green 253 Blue 254) and yellow (Red 252 Green 237 Blue 187) for the RGB values for canceling colors.
In general, the more “black” on the page, the easier the activity will be. So adding a black border on the whole page, or a black box around the word bank can really help.
You can change the color of the pen/pencil being used, the color of the boxes or the color of the word bank to change the difficulty level.
Here are lists from easiest to hardest for color adjustments depending on if you are using a red lens patch or red/green glasses.
Use with Red Lens Patch:
- Use black for the words and the boxes and fill it in using a red pencil
- Use red for the word bank, black for the boxes and fill in with black pen (easier) or red pen (harder).
- Use black for the words and red for the boxes and fill in with black or red
- Use red for the words and red for the boxes and fill in with black or red
- Use red for everything!
Use with red/green or red/blue glasses:
- Use black for the boxes, blue and yellow for the word bank and a black pencil
- Use blue or yellow for the boxes, black for the word bank, and a black pencil.
- Intermix blue and yellow for the word bank or the word boxes.
As you can see, there are so many different ways to easily switch up this activity and make it fun for your child (or yourself).
Print and Enjoy!
After you have the colors and formats that you are happy with, print in color and have fun doing the puzzle! If you decide that you would rather just use the ones that we have already pre-made, head over to my shop and have a look around.
Where is the Best Place to Buy Red/Green Glasses or a Red Lens Patch? The best place is to get them from your optometrist, the ones available on Amazon work, but they just aren’t as good, trust me, I’ve bought like 10 pairs. If you want to make your own red lens patch, I have a tutorial here and check out my shop for some fun, personalized red/blue glasses that are Melissa approved!
How Long Does Vision Therapy Take? Depending on the diagnosis, vision therapy can take anywhere from 12 weeks (rare), to years (also rare). Most children are able to finish vision therapy in 6 months to 1 year. Of course, the more complex the problem, the longer it will take. Either way, it is not a quick and easy process, so making it fun is important!