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

All children have different play interests, styles, abilities and levels of useful vision. By exploring what works best for your child, you will soon become an expert in multi-sensory play. Remember, it’s not always the expensive things that give the most joy, so look at things you may already have that could be used in play before you buy.

Things to consider when choosing toys or items to play with:

  • Toys with 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
  • Toys that make a noise when moved – like rattles, or balls with bells inside
  • Activity centres or toys with buttons to push which make different sounds
  • Feely boards or mats with different textured materials – not just smooth fabric but leather, plastic, and corduroy too
  • Do you have any Velcro or zips, which satisfy the ‘fiddle factor’, as do bicycle bells, bicycle pumps and clip purses, which snap open and close
  • An old wind-up alarm clock provides a great sound activity
  • Cardboard tubes from kitchen foil or kitchen roll can be used in many ways to create toys and play.


Play doesn't always have to involve toys. Your home is full of interesting activities that will encourage your child in discovering and exploring!

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.
  • Try to encourage your child to be comfortable around animals. Help them avoid fear of the unfamiliar by letting them handle animals safely when the opportunity arises – e.g. catching and releasing a bug or petting a dog.
  • 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 webpage.

Did this answer your question?

Related questions

Brought to you by