Tips for training, encouraging and playing with your visually impaired child

There are many activities that you can do with a child who is visually impaired. You want to encourage your child to gain experience, confidence and independence at home as well as outside of the home.  You want to encourage your child to use all of their senses and make sure that they are getting as much stimulation as possible.

Activities for hearing:

  • Playing music and singing is a great way to start your child’s day. While listening to music you can clap your hands and add movement as your child develops and Reading books out loud and having your child listen to different sounds such as car alarms and animal sounds provides a variety of stimuli. Teach your child how to use an iPod or CD player so they can play their own audiobooks and music.

Activities for touching:

  • Have your child touch different textures and help her or him to differentiate between soft and rough This will help your child with motor skills and introduce using his or her hands to be able to describe something.
  • Encourage your child to feel a fire hydrant, touch different leaves and flowers, explore a stop sign and learn the parts of a computer (mouse/track ball and )
  • Buy or borrow different animals and encourage your child to identify them by shape and touch knowing the different parts of different
  • Ask your local fire department or police station to allow your child to climb onto a fire truck or into a police car, feel the fire hose and the coat or uniform that a fireman or policeman
  • Create a binder for on-the-road activities that she or he can use while away from Choose a variety of items to place in the binder such as cotton balls, dry pasta, sand paper, rocks, and tissue. Attach each item to a sheet of paper and have your child sue touch to describe them to you.

Activities for scents:

  • Have your child smell a variety of scented items such as perfume, flowers, and
  • Outside of the home, ask your child to identify where they are using Begin by choosing places with very distinctive scents such as a bakery or pizzeria.
  • See if your child can identify smoke (such as from a fireplace or burning leaves).

Activities for taste:

  • Make mealtime a time for taste Ask your child if something is sweet or salty, hot or cold, hard or mushy.  Ask them to describe the  texture of the foods and use the texture and taste to guess what the food is.
  • Have your child do a taste-test—offer him or her bites of different fruits (or vegetables) to see if they can identify the Children are more likely to choose a varied diet when they are familiar with a variety of foods.

Everyday activities:

  • Include your child in daily tasks and For example, while on a family stroll ask your child what they hear or smell while walking.
  • Remember to include examples of each of the four senses: hearing, touching, smelling and Ask questions such as:  Do you hear the fire truck or ambulance?  Do you smell the food that is being cooked on the grill or the flowers? What does the grass or tree feel like?
  • Describe everything to your child as it is Explain your surroundings: the tree leaves are green, there are purple flowers growing in the dirt, or listen to the children running around the playground.
  • Make sure to give your child with vision loss chores such as washing the dog or taking out the garbage or making their They can learn to set the table, wash the table or put chairs back where they belong.

Make sure they put away their toys so they can find them, hang up their coat, put away their shoes and always know where their low vision glasses or prescribed mobility cane is kept (if they have one.)