The holiday season is upon us! We hope your tree is up, lights are hung and your house is filled with holiday cheer. As you start checking gifts off your list, we wanted to talk specifically about toys! Choosing toys for children with blindness or visual impairments can be challenging, but it’s certainly not impossible. There are so many great options that are both accessible and fun!
There is no better source for ideas than our friends at Wonder Baby, an organization devoted to helping parents of young children with blindness, visual impairments or other disabilities. Wonder Baby is project funded by the Perkins School for the Blind and they’ve collected a list of the best toys for blind or visually impaired children of all ages.
Here are some kid approved ideas to get you started:
Toys for Babies
- Musical Roller: Rollers like this one are a great source of therapy for your child, especially with the music feature. Have your child interact with the toy by straddling it or laying over it during floor play.
- Listen-Up Rounds: Introducing textures and sounds to your blind or visually impaired baby is an important part of their development. This toy will help you accomplish that! They are the perfect size for small hands to hold and throw them.
- Lullaby Gloworm: Not only does this toy play soothing songs to help sing your little one to sleep, it also gives a contrast in texture. With a plastic face and soft body, your baby will feel the difference.
Toys for Toddlers & Young Kids
- Rhyme and Discover Book: Laughs, sings and lights up! This book does it all. Its many features, including active page-turning, musical buttons and knobs will teach fine motor skills to your toddler. Wonder Baby also suggests adding Braille with a label maker for a complete learning experience.
- Learn and Groove Radio: This compact MP3 play for kids plays 30 songs, has small buttons that are easy to push and makes for a great vocabulary lesson. It’s fun to play with and will get them moving and dancing!
Sensory Toys for Kids
- Touch, Feel and Match Tactile Board: A great game for kids of all ages, this touch and match tactile board is an excellent way to explore different textures. Each peg has a matching hole with the same texture, making it an easy puzzle to solve.
- Discovery Sounds Hammer: Cause and effect is also an important step in development. Every time you bang it, this hammer makes fun and silly sounds that are sure to entertain your little one.
Toys for Older Kids
- Metal Detector: Turn your child into a treasure hunter with this easy to use metal detector. With its three-tone audio target identification feature, kids will be able to hear when they are approaching an object. It’s a fun discovery game and provides an outlet for independence.
- Turbo Twist Math: A fun, fast-paced and educational game, Turbo Twist Math is a great toy for older children. It asks you math questions at varying levels and, for every correct answer, it asks questions that get a little harder. The numbers are raised and easy to feel, making it fully accessible.
- Nintendo Wii Console: This system has many games, including Wii Sports and Wii Fit that are easy accessible for blind and visually impaired children. The interface makes them easy to play with no vision. If you’re looking to splurge, this is the winner!
To see the full list of toys, visit the Wonder Baby website. We hope you find the perfect gift for the special kids in your life.