By Kathy Yoo
At first, buying gifts for a child with visual impairment can be challenging. Whether it is for your granddaughter, cousin, or niece, there are many fun and accessible gift options for blind or visually impaired children that you may have yet to discover. When choosing a toy for a child who is visually impaired, search beyond the physical appearance of the toy. Since looks aren’t the most significant factor for sight challenged kids, focus on toys with multi-sensory appeal. For example, try bright and colorful toys that are loud and have different textures, which would appeal to three out of the child’s five senses.
Children are not identical and they don’t always like the same toys; visually impaired children are no different. Thankfully, there is a large variety of fun toys all kids can choose from, including those specifically designed for sight challenged children. Not only are there toys created for visually impaired children, but there are also countless toys that have been modified for children with disabilities. For instance, the tactile chess and checker board set, braille Go Fish cards, and beeping foam soccer ball are all modifications of classic toys. These are our top five toys for children with visual impairment.
Similar to Lego blocks, Light Stax are plastic construction blocks that interlock with one another. Lite Stax is unique because it uses LED technology to magically illuminate when it is connected to a power base or another lit Stax block. The blocks light up beautifully yet are still compatible with current traditional building blocks. They enhance hand/eye coordination, tactile stimulation, and visual stimulation. These awesome blocks are especially great for children with cortical visual impairment.
Braille Learning Doll
The Braille Learning Doll was first designed by a teacher who was looking for creative ways to teach Braille in the classroom. On the doll’s stomach, there are six buttons that can be pressed to form Braille letters. The buttons help engage the children and their dolls, while the different colors and textures appeal to the tactile and visual senses. Fortunately, the dolls are very popular and available through various vendors. With a colorful appearance and distinct textures, the doll is designed like a traditional rag doll. This makes a perfect gift for children who find it challenging to learn Braille. With the Braille Learning Doll, they can still have fun without knowing that they’re learning!
Rib It Ball
The Rib It Ball has many developmental benefits for children with visual impairment. Since there are multiple bright colors, the ball appeals to the child’s visual sense. The lively colors also help enhance the child’s ability to recognize shapes and differentiate among different colors. The vibrant yellow handles on the sides of the ball allow easy accessibility for children of all ages. Since the ball is easy to grab at any speed, it is much safer for those with visual impairment to play with. These ridges also make a crinkling noise, which appeals to the child’s auditory sense.
Drum Therapy Kit
The Drum Therapy Kit allows visually impaired children to learn how to play drums safely and effectively. Learning how to play an instrument is a great way for kids to develop recollection, discipline, and communication skills. Since it comes with an instruction manual with DVD, the drum set is particularly good for children with visual impairment. It also enhances hand-eye coordination while appealing to auditory, tactile, and visual senses.
These unique DO-A-DOT™ Markers markers are extremely beneficial for visually impaired children. Each marker’s color is identified in braille, making it easily distinguishable. Due to their large size, the markers are very easy to grab and use. The DO-A-DOT™ Markers help children learn braille, differentiate among colors, and enhance creativity. The big writing helps sight challenged children differentiate the colored markers. There are no drips, spills, and won’t dry out if the cap is left off!
Label Your Toys!
Braille label makers punch in Braille instead of print, which helps visually impaired children distinguish among different toys. From food containers to bottles of medicine, the label maker can be used to identify countless products.
About the author: Kathy Yoo is an SEO & Outreach Intern at The Marketing Zen Group and enjoys writing content on behalf of the eye doctors at EyeCare20/20. As an avid traveller and learner from Canada, she loves exploring different cultures and cheering for the Toronto Raptors. Catch up with her on Twitter @kathy__yoo.