Braille Blocks for Blind Children
Braille Blocks were one of my blind daughter's favorite toys!
Santa brought my daughter a set of Uncle Goose's Braille Blocks when she was a year old. Since she has been blind from birth, we knew that she would one day be a braille reader. We wanted to get her on a path to literacy as soon as we could by exposing her to braille in her environment.
As soon as she received the blocks, our baby loved feeling the various textures on them. They are just the right size for little hands to practice picking up, so this helped her fine motor development as well. We practiced picking them up and putting them into a bucket, then dumping them out. This is an important skill for many future activities!
Our little daughter was soon tracing the shapes of the print letters, which are carved into the blocks. Her teacher explained to us how the isolation of the index finger was very important to her development. She also loved to run her finger tips over the braille, as well as feeling the bumps with her tongue. All babies love to explore with their mouths, and blind babies seem to do this even more than sighted children do.
Of course, we also used the blocks to practice stacking, building towers and knocking them over. What fun! Then we used them for learning to count. These blocks sure did turn out to be a great investment in my child's development! I really did not expect her to learn as much as she did. I thought they would be a fun toy and help her learn braille. But they did so much more than that!
One more unexpected outcome of these blocks was that as she learned the braille alphabet, she also learned the print alphabet. There the letter shapes were right next to the braille! I cannot tell you what a valuable skill this is! Now that she is a teenager, she can read raised print wherever she goes. This is has come in handy many times!
I highly recommend these braille blocks for any blind or visually impaired child. They will learn so much from them! They really are a wonderful investment that you will treasure and save for your grandchildren.
Other Braille Toys my daughter liked
If you are looking for more toys to enhance your child's braille literacy, here are some others that my daughter liked when she was little.
These are the fun, magnetic letters we remember playing with on Mom's fridge when we were young, but with an important difference. These letters also contain braille!
My daughter still plays with her braille magnetic letters, and gets upset if any are missing.
When she was little I gave her metal baking pans to use with her letters. This helped her keep up with all of them. She also liked to sort them into different containers based on whether they were curvy or straight.
When my daughter got to middle school she packed up most of her toys and put them in the basement. These letters were one item that she wanted to keep in her room, so you know how important they are to her!
Do you know a blind child?
Here is a board book for your baby to enjoy. The boards are overlaid with braille sheets, so that your little one can enjoy feeling the braille dots long before he knows what they mean. When reading to him, you can gently place his fingers on the dots so he can begin to make a connection between the words and the bumps on the page. This is a first step in developing braille literacy for young children.
Learn More About Pre-Braille Literacy!
Want to learn more about pre-braille literacy skills your blind child needs and how you can help her develop them? Here are some videos to get you started!
Helping your child learn to read braille is an exciting journey you can both enjoy together!
Do you have any tips for helping blind children learn to read braille? Or any toy recommendations for visually impaired preschoolers?
I love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and ideas! Please let me hear from you!
© 2013 Frischy