An Unexpected Tactile Teaching Tool

It’s hard to build tactile discrimination skills when you’re a vision-impaired toddler.  After all, you’ve got eyesight–you want to use it!

This has made pre-braille a challenge with Peanut.  We’ve got a tactile match set from the APH–even though I’ve got it set so the blocks are upside down, he peeks at the fabric sample rather than matching the textures.  I tried putting the blocks in an empty Kleenex box–he hunkered down close to the opening and peered around the edges.  Everything I’ve tried, he’s figured a way around in the proverbial blink of an eye.

The Easter window clings on our front window.  A birdfeeder, our front yard and the street are in the background.

The window clings decorating our front window.

Enter, of all things, Easter decorations.  Glitter window clings, to be exact.  These turned out to be the perfect tool to work with Peanut on seeing with his fingers.  One side has glitter on it, which makes it so these will stick to the window only one way:  the smooth side has to go against the glass, or they don’t stick.  With the sun shining brightly through said window, the glitter’s virtually impossible to see–and I’m betting that if I can’t see it, my VI little boy sure as heck can’t see it.  He got to enjoy the bright colors and pick where he wanted the different pictures to go, but to get them up on the window, he had to use his sense of touch–when he went by sight, 9 times out of 10, the cling would fall off because he didn’t have the right side against the glass.  Peanut was forced to use his sense of touch to find the right way to put up the clings and decorate our window.

I couldn’t have been more surprised to discover this tool or more pleased with how it turned out.  Best yet, this is definitely a tool where the price is right:  I bought our sheet of window clings for $1 at the Dollar Tree.  As long as you treat them nicely, they’re reusable, too, so this is an activity we can do over and over again in the years to come.

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