How to Teach Visually Impaired Child to Play with Toys
How to Teach Visually Impaired Child to Play with Toys
Your child can enjoy and use the same kinds of toys that he would if he had normal vision. Do not make the mistake of feeling that his toys have to be different. At the age that any baby likes a rattle, yours should have one.
The same holds true of stuffed animals and soft toys. Your guiding principle should be to choose things that are safe, and in the beginning, uncomplicated. Later, as he progresses, he will want and need more complicated kinds of toys, but only as he is ready to understand and use them.
When your baby reaches the stage of moving his hands and feet, he may learn to find a foot or a hand by himself, but if he does not, you can help him by placing his hand on his foot, by pulling his foot up to his mouth, and giving him an idea of how he can manage this for himself.
Start clapping his hands together, and soon he will try this without your help. To encourage him to move his body more than he may if left alone, place a few of his toys in the crib where he can reach them easily. Help him learn to reach out for them. Make him a mobile to hang above his crib so he can reach up for small toys hanging from it.
Choose toys for it that have different textures, colors, and shapes and possibly one that will make a noise as he touches it. You also can tie a few things to the rail of his crib where he can find them. Do not clutter his crib with too much, but instead change the toys for him from time to time. He can be confused and lose interest if he has too much at the time. He will touch things by chance in the beginning, but later will begin to deliberately search for them.
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Play with Toys
As you help him, be sure he has success in finding the toy, and then watch as he tries on his own and make sure he locates something often enough to continue to be interested in trying.
You can move something into location to keep him from becoming discouraged. A young child’s interest span is short at best, so periods of play that involve learning should be short, but frequent, and always give the child some success in what he tries to do.
Once he has learned to reach out to find things, you will note his increasing ability to act independently. You may be happily surprised one day to speak to him and have him hold out his arms to you just as a baby with good sight would do.
When you give your baby his bath, be careful not to frighten him by putting him into the water suddenly or splashing it in his face. Let him learn gradually how pleasant a bath can be. When he is used to the water, move his legs and arms in it, and he will learn that he can do this himself and discover the fun of kicking and splashing.
As you show him how to wave his legs and arms and use his hands, try doing this to music so he will start having a sense of rhythm as well as enjoy hearing the song. Do not be afraid to romp with him.
He will like rough play used within reason for his age. He needs to know more about the world in which he lives. Lift him up onto your lap and down to where his feet touch the floor, so he will know it is there. He needs to learn that it is hard, not soft the way your lap and his crib are.
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Playing with you
While he is quite young, he will enjoy playing with you, learning to kick, waving and holding out his arms. Later, you can help him learn to do these things to the beat of music, just as you can teach him to clap his hands and do various kinds of finger play. Remember, play is not only fun for your child but a learning experience as well.
Some of it is quite a challenge to him where he has to extend himself to gain a sense of accomplishment, where he must explore and experiment. Suggestions have been made in other parts of this booklet about how to use toys to help him listen, develop a sense of touch, become familiar with different sizes, shapes, textures, and so on.
Help in learning about new toys
You must bear in mind, your child will usually need your help in learning about new toys. You may need to tell him about each in detail and literally show him how it works.
Through playing with different kind.; of toys, he gains coordination, discrimination, concepts, and the basic understanding of many things that help develop a readiness for learning when he starts school. As you show him how to use a toy and he sees its possibilities, he will have fun with it and be increasingly interested in playing with it. Start with short, but frequent intervals of shaving it to him and helping him with it. Let him try it and play with it independently as he wishes. He will make mistakes as he tries to make it work, but will learn from them, sometimes more than from your repeated instructions.
No doubt he, like most children, will go through a period of enjoying pots and pans and other kitchen utensils more than he will toys. He should have the. fun of banging one pot against another, taking off and putting on a lid, pulling these things out of the cupboard and puttinging them back. Tell him what they are and how you use them, but at this stage do not expect him to imitate your use of them.
This will come later when he plays make believe, pretending to keep house and imitating what you do. He will not do this, of course, if he has not learned how you keep house, or what articles are used for different activities in housekeeping. The same will apply to imitating what his father and others in the household do.
Some blind children, and some who are partially seeing, react against the feel of certain things. You may find, for example, that the child rejects things that are fuzzy, or slick, or harsh. A short introduction to something of the texture he does not seem to like, plus showing him something of the way you handle it, can help him overcome his adverse feelings.
Hugging and patting a teddy bear, and then letting him have it for a brief time, can help him find the comfort and pleasure of it. Choose his toys so that there is a well balanced selection providing an assortment of textures. The earlier you introduce him to a wide variety of things that feel differently, the more accepting he will be of new sensations as they appear in his toys and articles used.
Excessive use of music and noise-making toys can be over stimulating and cause a child to become so preoccupied with sound that he misses the fun of playing with them. It is good for a child to have music-making toys, but they should be used with discretion.
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How to Help play with toys
Your baby will enjoy a ball. In his playpen, he can learn to roll a ball to the rail and then find it to roll again. Try having him sit on the floor, with his legs spread apart so that you can roll the ball to him, and with the help of his hands and by bringing his legs together, he can catch it. Later, he can learn to stand and catch it if you show him how to hold his arms out, bent and hands palms up. In this position, he can clasp the ball to him when you throw it from a short distance. Still later, he can learn to bounce and catch a ball. Choose different sizes and textures of balls, some to squeeze, others to punch, some with a bell inside, some to bounce.
Most visually handicapped children appear to enjoy push toys more than the ones that are pulled, although they all find little wagons fun. Putting things in and taking them out of the wagon bed offers many learning experiences and lots of absorbing fun for children.
We will talk about more about this by our next article >
How to Teach Visually Impaired Child to Play with Toys Article Source : This article courtesy should goes to Guide for parents of preschool visually handicapped childrens by Dorothy Bryan.