Toys Play Ideas for Blind and Visually Impaired Children
Toys Play Ideas for Blind and Visually Impaired Children
Toys that a child can ride from place to place encourage him to explore. A kiddie car, or animal on casters that the child can move by pushing with his feet, can be introduced early. Care must be taken to explain how it is used and to avoid having the child frightened by it. From such simple wheel toys, he will develop enough muscular coordination and balance to later try riding a tricycle and pedaling a small car.
There is a wide variety of educational toys available for each age level that your child can enjoy and use to advantage. Those widely used include: nested boxes, discs that fit on an upright stick, blocks to fit into a container, large wooden beads, containers such as the mailbox into which different size pieces go when fitted through the right openings, pegboards with large pegs (smaller ones can be used later), and simple puzzles.
You will discover that often your child will enjoy things you can provide easily from the articles in your own home just as much as commercially made playthings. As you examine the toys planned for young children, you will see many ways to use what you have at home and make a plaything for your child. Boxes that fit into each other can be put together and taken apart. Large buttons securely strung can serve as a necklace, as can empty spools.
These can be worn, counted, sorted, and used in many ways. Plastic bottles and boxes can make a container at one time and at another be used as noise makers if small items are dropped into them and the top is securely closed. Screw tops on plastic containers give the child a chance to learn how to screw and unscrew, and can keep him entertained as he learns. A big carton can be made into a rocking boat or a racing car. It can serve as a table, a house, and all sorts of things as imagination is used.
Any child needs help in learning how to use a new toy for the purpose for which it was designed. Yours will need this more than if he could see well. Describe the new item and tell him about its parts. Help him recognize the colors if he has some sight, and tell him about them if he does not. As you and he play with things, he will gain concepts that he needs; such as comparison of size, differences in shape and size, and texture.
This will come as you ask him to hand you the big ball or the little one, the soft and then the hard one, and on and on. Your child will need to learn to use both hands as he manipulates his toys. Show him how to hold a container with one hand as he uses the other to screw the top on. Help him learn how to locate a hole in the pegboard, keep one hand at the hole and use the other hand to place the peg in the hole.
He will use both hands as he takes off a lid or puts it on a box, as he pulls open a drawer that has two knobs, as he stirs something in a bowl and uses one hand to hold the bowl in place while stirring with the spoon in his other hand. When he is old enough to enjoy stringing beads and putting pop-it ones together, he will need both hands. Practice with such things and many others will give him facility in the use of his hands alone, and together.
When your child is old enough for make-believe play, child-size items that correspond to those used in real life situations will be helpful. A little boy will want tools to make home repairs the way his daddy does, a little girl will want a doll to dress and undress and take care of. Both will enjoy a table and chairs for their size people. This does not mean that they need a great number of items.
A few, well-chosen ones, offer a chance to use imagination as they use them to substitute for all sorts of different things. A chair, upside down, can serve as a car when Daddy leaves for work, and the next minute, turn into a bed for Mama to use as she puts her baby to sleep. Your child needs the privilege of using his inventiveness and imagination.
If you provide every known item, this will be lost. He will have no incentive to improvise. Yet, remember that you will need to play such things with him until he learns how to think in this way. Usually, a small start is all he will need if you have helped him know about the world in which he lives.
If your child is given too many toys at a time, he may not really enjoy any of them. He may just handle them, use them in an inappropriate way, and then lose interest in them. This can happen, too, when the toy is too complicated for him at his present age. Put some toys away so he will not have too many at one time.
Do not get out the ones designed for older children until he is ready for them. Help him with each one you give him so he can use it correctly. Help him know that his possessions should be taken care of correctly.
As soon as your child is old enough to move about, let him know that there are certain places where his toys are kept. He can learn to go to these spots to select the ones he is to use. Keep only a small number in each place so he will not be confused in making his choices.
As he learns to select a toy for himself, he can learn proper care of it, that it is not to be deliberately broken or misused, and that it is to be put away when playtime is over. If you are consistent in having his toys in his toy box, or on a toy shelf in a place easily accessible to him, he will learn to take pride in caring for his own things from an early age.
Start by having him put away only one or two of the items he has had out. Remember not to let him take out too many things at a time. If he wants other items, help him learn to put away the ones he is not using before getting out others. This does not mean he should be too restricted, but that limits set on a profusion of things to be used at one time, give him greater opportunity to enjoy and benefit from the ones he is using.
Give your child the opportunity to listen to appropriate records and television programs, but guard against so much constant noise that it blocks out sounds he should become aware of and learn to interpret. Too much listening to mechanical sound and too much noise can stifle interest in conversation and in actively doing things.
Use recordings for the enjoyment of listening to music or a story, and as a background for carrying out activities such as marching or dancing to help the child develop good rhythm.
When your youngster is old enough to handle a record player, teach him how to use it. He must learn how to use his hands and develop his sense of touch. It will be important for him to learn how and when to use a gentle touch, as well as when to grasp something firmly.
Start reading aloud to him as soon as he is old enough to begin listening with meaning. About the same time that any child would, he will enjoy Mother Goose and the nursery rhymes. While he is small, his attention span will be too short for him to stay interested for long periods of time.
Intersperse finger play, clapping, and other simple physical activity with his early reading sessions to increase his interest. As he grows older, he will find listening to the childhood stories great entertainment. From such listening, he will increase his vocabulary with the new words he learns, acquire new ideas, and gain information that will give him a readiness for learning academically when he starts school.
Your child is going to need to play with other children. This will come about normally and naturally if he has brothers or sisters near his own age, but for the only child it will require planning on your part.
Probably you will need to invite other children to your home and help your child learn how to entertain them. Sometimes, you can join in the play enough for your child to learn how to share, take turns, and cooperate in games and activities. If you have been wise in your play with him, already he will recognize the rights of others and how to take turns, as well as the fact that he does not always win the game played.
While the children are quite young, you may plan ahead and have a few small, inexpensive things, or things you have made, that each child can have as his own to avoid having each child want the same thing at the same time. Do not follow this pattern often or consistently. Use it only as a start for bringing children together.
Besides bringing children to your home, you will want to take your child to the park, to Sunday School, and places where he will have an opportunity to associate with others of his age. All you have done to help him know about the world and how to associate with people will make it easier for him to take his place with his playmates and find a mutual enjoyment in his play and work.
Give your child a chance to learn to play in a sand pile, to swing, go on the slide, play on the seesaw, climb on the jungle gym, and do the various things other children do. You can show him how to climb, swing, and have fun of such activities in a park if you do not have such equipment at home. These things make him a strong
healthy child who is sure of himself and knows how to enjoy the outdoor activities other children have. The child who has a vision problem needs to experience the use of all sorts of materials. At first, he may not like mud, clay, paste, and such materials of a soft consistency that may be either warm, or cold and clammy.
If he rejects them and is not encouraged to get his hands into things, he will miss a great deal of fun and good experience. Help him learn the pleasure of making mud pies, finger painting, doing modeling, and a variety of creative activities of this type. Let him feel rough and smooth surfaces, squeeze warm and cold dough.
Show him how to roll a ball of clay. After he has made a few balls, teach him how he can stack them to make a figure. Later, he can learn to put arms and legs on it. Show him how to use his thumb or finger to make a hole in his clay ball so that it becomes a bead, or without the hole going clear through, can be a bowl. Soon, he will learn for him-
self how to make all sorts of things.
Remember, play is the pure joy of doing for children, but it also is the work of children, and the way in which they grow and learn about the many things they must be aware of if they are to be participating members of society. All of the things your child is learning through play, at this age, will prepare him for what is ahead.
Toys Play Ideas for Blind and Visually Impaired Children Article Source : This article courtesy should goes to Guide for parents of preschool visually handicapped childrens by Dorothy Bryan.