Penny the Pirate and testing your little one’s eyes

Brought to you by OPSM

I have to confess that only one of my 5 has had their eyes properly tested by an optometrist, two have had eye screening at preschool and two haven’t had their eyes tested at all. Growing up both my sister and I had glasses and patches for our lazy eyes and I still bear the scar from when I ran down the hallway, tripped on a straw mat and had my metal glasses go through my cheek and ended up with stitches. It was plastic glasses all the way after that and my mum saying ‘ that’s why I told you not to run down the hallway’.

If you’re a bit like me or haven’t had any eye testing done then you are going to love this. Penny the Pirate is a brand new book from OPSM to help parents screen their little one’s eyes. It’s a world first and of course it doesn’t replace a full eye test but helps you identify any problems with your child’s vision so that you can book them in for an eye test if necessary. The book is recommended for children aged 3-10 and I used it on my eldest 3 since my littlest miss 3  has special needs and would be unable to recognise the shapes. So if your child can recognise shapes and follow simple instructions then this book will be great to use at home.


It’s all very simple – you can download the free app or order the book for free from OPSM here. If you download the app you will be sent out the kit for free once you place the order.

And when you use the book or app there are 3 things being screened. Distance vision, colour vision and depth perception.

I tested the 3 big kids. It took less than 10 minutes for each of them and I had to ‘politely tell’ whoever wasn’t being screened to leave the room several times so they couldn’t see what was going on or hear answers. There was a lot of excitement and everyone wanted a go so I had to tell them a few times to leave the room. And don’t let the little ones read the book until you’ve done the screening with each of them as it could affect the results. At the end of the screening you simply enter the code in your booklet as well as the results you have written down. Then you will see the overall results appear as well as receive an email.

All 3 of mine had trouble with the patch and spyglass and seeing things from a distance so I’ll  be booking them an eye test each. This wouldn’t surprise me as both my sister and I have trouble with seeing things in the distance.

Oh and two things. Firstly be prepared for a house full of pirates for the rest of the day especially with that eye patch. Good luck getting that eye patch back from the kids. And secondly once you’ve read the book please pass it on to your family and friends so they can use it too. I’ve sent this off in the post to my sister for my niece who is the twin’s age.

Please note that Penny the Pirate does not replace a full test eye with an optometrist, it is designed to help parents identify whether a child may need an eye test. Optometrists recommend an eye test at least once every two years or more frequently depending on clinical need.

So does anyone in your house wear glasses? Are you a bit like me and need to get their eyes tested but have been putting it off? This book is definitely something that can easily be done at home and give you that little push in the right direction to book an eye test for your little ones. 



  1. This is a fantastic idea. I’ve had glasses since I was 18 months old and my entire family does too. So far my kids (4 and 2.5 year old) are not showing any signs of having issues with their eyesight but it’s definitely something I’ll need to keep an eye on (no pun intended, haha!). This book sounds like a great place to start, thanks for sharing this with us. Plus, the pirates are always a hit! :)

  2. All NZ kids have eye tests at school while at primary school. That is where I was picked up as being short sighted. The teenager just got glasses but hasn’t worn them and says he won’t – just like me at that age – I was happier to be blind than wear glasses! I must get my eyes re-tested – last time was Specsavers – not impressed even if it was $400 for 2 pairs – going back to the $700 a pair optometrist!

    • I need to get retested too! too much time at the computer and doing my craft! buying glasses is never cheap:( hope your daughter wears hers…………….

  3. christine nearchou says:


    Just to clarify for your readers – there are 4 things being screened here. 1. distance vision, then using the lens in the telescope there is a screening for longsightedness (2) as this often can be overlooked with just a distance screening. 3. colour vision 4. depth perception.


  4. Corrie, I urge all parents to have their children’s eyes tested, that’s how we found my daughters brain tumour. I always did it regularly but then missed a year and I always think what if.

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