What toys/activities can I put in place to help my child with a vision impairment?

All children love to play, but vision is just one way to explore and learn about the world.

Choosing toys

All children have different play interests, styles, abilities and levels of useful vision. By exploring with your child what works best for them you will soon become experts in multi-sensory play.

Consider:

  • Switches that are recognisable by touch such as on or off and click when operated
  • Toys which encourage awareness of cause and effect through touch - "when I pressed here, something happens"
  • Toys which make a sound or other cue to an action having occurred
  • Interesting textures and tactile variety - some toys which look like they offer different textures, actually feel similar, like felt and velvet - test for yourself to see if the textures really feel different

Activities

Play doesn't always have to involve toys. Your home is full of interesting objects your child will enjoy discovering, let your child explore!

Things you can do include:

  • Helping out in the home - explaining the function of things, such as the washing and drying machines.
  • Getting involved with cooking - let them touch various equipment and feel what food is like at different stages in the cooking
  • Using the phone - let them feel how to answer and make calls
  • Get out in the garden - smell the flowers, examine the roots of plants.
  • Make sure they frequently handle any animals safely when the opportunity arises - catching and releasing a bug, or petting a dog. It's better for your child not to unnecessarily fear animals because of unfamiliarity
  • Talk about money and credit or debit cards when you're shopping - and how they work

For more information on choosing toys, visit RNIB's Let's Play web page.

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