Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Blind Babies, Toddlers, and Children

Activities For The Totally Blind

I have compiled this list of recommended toys for blind babies, toddlers, and children. These are toys I have seen in stores and/or tried out and/or watched my daughter play with. My daughter, Tatiana, is totally blind (without light perception). She was diagnosed with an Optic Glioma Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma (brain tumor) and had surgery in 2004 at 8 months of age. This caused her to have Optic Atrophy and be totally blind.

Each toy or group of toys will have a description listed with it. The description will include my opinion of the toy and what I observed while my daughter played with it. Please understand that these are my opinions and you should try the toys and ideas out first before making assumptions or opinions of your own. I will try and make this webpage as visually impaired friendly as possible. If you want to look up a picture of the actual toy you can go to images and do a search on the toys name.

[Puzzles, Matching, & Sorting] [Balls] [Blocks & Building] [Stacking Rings] [Musical Instruments] [Teethers] [Books] [Other & Multisensory]

Puzzles, Matching, & Sorting:

Battat Sound Puzzle Box: Three shapes fit into the sorter. Each shape makes a sound as it slides through the tube.

Battat Sound Sorter: A bigger version of the Sound Puzzle Box. Five shape sorting critters slide down tubes with a rewarding whistling sound Rain stick in the middle cascades with beads when your child rolls this shape sorter, or simply turns it upside down. Great way to teach your baby the world of cause and effect.

Guidecraft 3D Feel and Find: 20 matching wooden shapes and textured tiles provided in a durable cloth bag. Deal out the tiles and children reach into the bag to Feel and Find the corresponding wooden shape. 10 geometric and 10 object shapes. Or use as 20 mini whole - object puzzles! For ages 3 and up.

Guidecraft 3d Puzzles: Excellent teaching tools for table etiquette, basic food groups, and nutrition. Food pieces can be used separately from the puzzle board for dramatic kitchen and grocery play. PVC-free plastic pieces are safe for young tasters.

Guidecraft Texture Dominoes: These "touch and match" dominoes develop tactile discrimination. 28 pieces. Stores in attractive wood tray. Materials used are hardwood, hardboard, sandpaper, cloth, misc textures.

Guidecraft Sound Box: Develop children's ability to perceive sounds. Build concentration, matching and focusing skills. Children shake wooden cubes to hear each unique rattling sound and find its match. Compare color-coded dots on the bottom for self-correction (These dots can be adapted to have textures).

Guidecraft Weight Box: Develop children's ability to perceive differentiate weights. Build concentration, matching and focusing skills. Smooth wooden cylinders invite children to pick them up and weigh them with their hands to discover a match. Turn cylinders over to compare color-coded dots on the bottoms for self-correction (These dots can be adapted to have textures).

Melissa & Doug Sound Puzzles: Provides auditory stimulation when the different puzzle pieces are put together correctly. The one that provides something more is the shape sound puzzle because you can feel the outlines of the shapes too.

Melissa & Doug Textured Puzzles: These are great for tactile stimulation.

Hasbro Playskool Form Fitter: This multi-textured cube and basic shapes makes it fun for toddlers to learn their shapes and colors! Kids match the colorful shapes and textures with their corresponding holes. The shapes store inside the cube for easy storage and shape-sorting fun on the go. Colorful shape sorter makes it fun for toddlers to learn shapes and colors with 9 different colorful shapes! Ages 18 months an up.


Fisher Price Roll-a-Rounds - Touch and Tickle Rounds: Special touches and fascinating textures stimulate baby’s tactile sense, as six delightful rounds get rolling. These balls are wonderful! My daughter absolutely loves them. At first she couldn't get her little hand wrapped around one enough to pick it up, but after trying again and again she finally can very easily pick them up with one hand and can also rotate them from one hand to the other.

Fisher Price Roll-a-Rounds - Listen-Up Rounds: Clacks and clangs, rattles and rings — bells and giggles and other fun things! Six delightful rounds are full of interesting sounds and surprises. Baby’s littlest actions make big things happen!

Sassy Big & Small Chime Ball: This ball-within-a-ball chimes with every move. Sturdy plastic outer ball has generous cut-outs to make gripping easier for little hands. Recommended for ages 6+ Months.

Sassy Bumpy Ball: Roll this wobbly-bobbly bumpy ball to see baby laugh and smile! Fabric knobs are easy for baby to grip and hold. Crinkly textures inside the knobs and a musical chime add interest. Recommended for ages 3+ Months.

Go Back To The Top Of The Page

Blocks & Building:

Fisher Price Peek-a-Blocks - Touch Sensations Blocks: Squishy, bumpy, soft or hard - these blocks are full of fascinating textures for baby to feel and explore.

Fisher Price Peek-a-Blocks - Sound Sensations Blocks: Boing, ding, squeak, clack - these blocks are full of fascinating sounds for baby to listen to.

Learning Curve: Lamaze Multi-Sensory Clutch Cube: The variety of textures on the cube—a mixture of fleecy and satiny sides, fabric handles that are soft and fuzzy or flat and scratchy, and hard plastic rings—provide baby with some interesting surfaces to touch. For baby’s auditory development, the cube produces some crinkly paper sounds and jingles when shaken. The cube even awakens baby’s sense of smell with its refreshing green apple scent. Baby can also teethe on the Clutch Cube’s plastic rings and clink them together.

Melissa & Doug Sound Blocks: Provide auditory stimulation. My husband and I wish they had some kind of texture correlating to the pictures on the wooden blocks too so that our daughter could feel the blocks as well as hear them. Maybe Melissa & Doug will read this.

Uncle Goose Braille Alphabet Blocks: Embossed letters with the corresponding Braille cells are impressed into two sides of each 1.75 inch colorful wooden block. Realistic animal drawings and names, plus numbers and letters are stamped (not impressed) into the other sides. Children and adults can learn Braille by tracing the letters in association with the Braille dots. Package contains 27 blocks.

Uncle Goose Braille Math Blocks: Set of 16 blocks that are embossed with numbers and math symbols (+, -, =) using the Braille Nemeth code. On two sides of each block a number or symbol is impressed into the block along with the corresponding Braille cell and a series of dots to represent the number.

Uncle Goose Sign Language Braille Blocks: Set of 27 alphabet blocks combining Sign Language and Braille.

Go Back To The Top Of The Page

Stacking Rings:

Fisher Price Dance Baby Dance! Classical Stacker: Sparkly stars become cause for celebration as baby stacks them. Lights dance, music plays, and baby is sure to smile! Plays five songs; three classical tunes and two children’s favorites. Four colorful stars have interesting textures, too. Requires 3 "AA" alkaline batteries (not included). Tatiana loves the music this toy produces. We got this toy at Enabling Devices and it was adapted to take a capability switch. When Tatiana pushes the switch the music plays so she learns cause and effect and it also chimes when she stacks the stars. The stars are neat because each one has a different texture and even though she can't see the lights it is a great toy because of all the other things it has to offer.

Go Back To The Top Of The Page

Musical Instruments:

Go Back To The Top Of The Page


Sassy Teething Tropics: pineapple-shaped teether offers individual sections with various textures for teething. Teething Tropics develops communication skills as baby explores textures and shapes while teething. Control of the lips and tongue is essential to the development of sound, and later speech. Baby’s sore gums are stimulated as he explores the multiple textures. Recommended for ages Birth+. Tatiana loves this teether not only because of the textures, but also because it rattles.

Sassy Gummy Guppy: This fish is flexible! The Gummy Guppy has bumps, stars, ridges and smooth areas for baby to explore and teethe on. The Gummy Guppy teether encourages development of communication because putting the various textures in baby’s mouth leads to an awareness of lips and tongue. Control of lips and tongue are essential to development of sound and later, speech.

Go Back To The Top Of The Page


Fisher Price Link-a-doos Farm Flip Book: Flip! There’s a cow. Flip! There’s a sheep! This book is filled with fun farm animals. Link it up to your stroller or your car seat so you can take the fun wherever you go! Suitable from birth and up. Tatiana loves to feel the textures on each page of this toy. The Cow has raised dots behind it and soft fur, the Sheep has raised triangles behind it and wool, the Pig has raised lines behind it and smooth satin skin. On the back of each plastic page there are raised tactile drawings of a mouse, a duck, and a horse.

Go Back To The Top Of The Page

Other & Multisensory:

Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Bobble & Giggle Pals: Baby can enjoy classic play through pop-up surprises while trying different activities! Sliding and toggling, pulling and turning … they all open doors for friendly characters, while enhancing fine motor skills and dexterity. Pals pop up and bobble as fun music and sounds play. Then press them down to do it again! Requires 3 “AA” alkaline batteries (not included).

Fisher Price Little People Touch & Feel: From "furry" to "fuzzy" and everything in between, Little People Touch & Feel are a fun way to introduce your child to a world of interesting textures and help develop their sense of touch. Some of the playsets also come with sounds. For example: when your child opens the barn door for the horse in the Animal Sounds Farm it whinneys or if they put the baby in the crib in the Sweet Sounds Home the baby says mama.

Guidecraft Tactile Bars: Interactive tactile game consisting of 2 wooden bars of 9 textured pieces, strengthens tactile perception, concentration, cooperation, and promotes healthy, positive, non-aggressive touch. Activity guide included.

Learning Curve: Lamaze Mommy & Tommy Dolphin: Squeaker blows multicolored ribbons out of spout. Dolphin bodies squeak and fins crinkle. Busy beads develop motor skills. Chewy star teether. Handy link attaches to stroller, crib, or car seat. Converts to mobile.

Learning Curve: Lamaze My First Fishbowl

Learning Curve: Lamaze Music School

Learning Curve: Lamaze 2-in-1 Traveling Guppy

Learning Curve: Lamaze Water Wonders Turtle

Learning Curve: Lamaze Octotunes

Learning Curve: Lamaze Octivity Time

Tangle Textured Original

Textured Glow DNA Tangle

Baby Tangle

Tangle Therapy

Go Back To The Top Of The Page

Companies Mentioned:

[Battat] [Fisher Price] [Guidecraft] [Learning Curve: Lamaze] [Melissa & Doug] [Sassy] [Tangle Toys Inc.] [Uncle Goose]

Other Things to Keep in Mind...

There are many toys I did not mention here because space is limited. I highly recommend educational toys. The blind child will not tire as easily with toys that have sound, texture, vibration, smell, or that interact with them. Toys that teach skills like gross motor, fine motor, spatial relations, object permanence, manual dexterity, cause and effect, creativity and imagination, logical thinking, vestibular motion, etc. are wonderful.

Encouraging Movement With Sound:

I have seen wearable arm/leg bands, socks, or mittens that interact with the child to let them know that if they move, something neat will happen, and therefore they will move more. I have heard of a few called: wrist/foot/feet rattles, mitten/sock/bootie rattles, jingle socks/booties, rattlin' toes/mittens, footfinders, wrap around teether rattles, etc.

There are also some great websites that sell shoes and sandals called Pip Squeakers, Kid Squeakers, Squeaker Shoes, and Happy Shoes that squeak every time your child walks providing them with a positive feedback when doing so. Squeaky baby shoes have been around in China for a long time...just a few years ago they were introduced to the USA. Their purpose is to amuse babies. Squeaky shoes can also serve as motivation for blind and visually impaired babies and toddlers, who learn that moving their feet causes the amusing sounds. As a result they are encouraged to move, explore, and take their first steps. Blind and visually impaired parents use squeaky shoes to track their baby’s movements by sound.

Exploring Textures:

Finger paints, play dough, shaving cream, rice, sand, macaroni, shells, beads, etc. are only a handful of things you can use to help your child feel the world around them. At first you will have to help them explore their surroundings. Always let them know what textures or items they are feeling so they can later associate the object or texture with a word. They might be a little tactile defensive at first. Help them into play with the texture slowly. You might need to expose them to it more than once to get a desired effect.

Sand and water play activities are useful sensory experiences for children who are blind and tactally hypersensitive. It is also useful for encouraging two handed play for pouring and filling containers. We have the Naturally Playful Sand and Water Activity Center by Step2 and it is wonderful. We had tried the Little Tikes Easy Store Sand and Water Table first, but we didn't like it because the hinge was too hard to put together and it easily fell apart. Instead of sand you can use a variety of other things to fill the insides with. Rice works just as well, but cleans up easier.

You can make your child their very own tactile things: Make a texture blanket/quilt for your child with different textured fabrics. My daughter has one with fabric called Minky/Minkee Dimple Dot, Minky/Minkee Swirl, Minky/Minkee Chenille Stripe, Minky/Minkee Curly Poodle, etc. Have them lay on it and tell them what the different textures are (soft, spongy, velvety, fuzzy, furry, wooly, feathery, downy, fluffy, hairy, smooth, silky, satiny, slick, slippery, rough, bumpy, lumpy, gooey, sticky, grainy, sandy, gritty, scratchy, course, fine, wet, hard, stiff, flexible, jagged, sharp, pointy, prickly, spiky, spiny, bristly, corrugated, ridged, ribbed, grooved, wavy, wrinkled, etc.). Use puffy paints, string, yarn, pieces of shell, macaroni, sand, corn starch, felt, pom poms, feathers, corrugated cardboard, faux fur, velvet, foam, wool, pieces of sponge, mesh, cotton balls, beads, pipe cleaners, Wikki Stix (waxy, flexible sticks that kids can shape into tactile patterns, pictures or letters again and again), etc. to create a texture book or picture. Just make sure they don't end up putting the pieces of it in their mouths.

I have also found that there are tactile drawings called Tactiles out there that are supposed to help the visually impaired or blind child visualize a picture that one might see if sighted by touching it. Usually the drawings are raised outlines of the actual drawing, but with less detail. Children not acostumed to using these will have a hard time with them unless the proper teaching is done ahead of time. You may also use rubbing plates or tracing plates to have the same effect.

Exploring Smell:

There are many things you can do to help your child learn different smells and what they are. Here are some great activities: Mix aromatic oils or extracts into tempera paints and use to paint pictures. Rub a piece of sandpaper with a cinnamon stick to give it a cinnamon smell. Draw or trace and cut out pictures of flowers. In the center of each flower, glue a cotton ball or fabric dipped in aromatic oil or extract. Make some smelling bottles. Use scented: play dough, finger paint, paint pens, markers (make sure you get the washable kind), stickers and books (scratch n sniff), candles, bubbles, potpourri, aromatic oils or extracts, etc. when teaching about smell. There are even pencils that have fragrance called Smencils.

Teaching Color:

Color might sound like something that totally blind people wouldn't be able to grasp the concept of since they wouldn't be able to see it. But there are ways to help the totally blind around this obstacle. In the exploring smells section I mentioned smelly markers. These are useful in helping the totally blind associate a smell with a certain color and come in washable so they clean up easily too. Of note: Don't get the dry erase kind unless it specifically says that it is washable. Also, Nickelodeon and Dora the Explorer has come out with a product called i-crayons. I-crayons are crayons that talk. They have one topper that you put on the top of each crayon and it will say the color of the crayon in both english and spanish with a press of a botton. You can get them online at or You can also help by separating colors of clothing they wear with braille in their drawers or closets so that when they can dress themselves they can know what matches and goes well together.

Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker

[My Blog] [My Homepage] [Oregon Parents of Blind Children] [Parents of Totally Blind Children]

© 1997-2008