Holiday Gift Ideas for Blind Children – 5 to 12 Years Old

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Merry Christmas! Here Are Some Ho Ho Holiday Gift Ideas for Blind Children and Kids with Low Vision

Tis the season of gift giving. Buying for a child with low vision or a child who is blind can seem like a challenge.  We want to help make your gift buying easier and affordable this Christmas Season with some helpful tips and gift ideas.  Keep in mind that kids are kids and children with a disability have the same interests as their peers.  Check our blog regularly for more age groups and helpful gift suggestions.
Graphical image showing a pile of nicely wrapped Christmas gifts

Add a Label Maker to Your List

A braille label maker or large print labeler can modify many toys and devices making them accessible for children with visual impairments.  Both sell for $30 or less.

Boardgames

Boardgames can be easily modified with braille or large print labels.  Here are some games to consider that are under $20 and can be purchased at most retail toy stores or other stores that carry games and toys.  Independent Living Aids, Maxi-Aids and Future Aids, The Braille Superstore also have some wonderful options that are already modified like: dice, dominoes, checkers, card games and other favorites.

  • Connect 4
    A two player game that can be modified by placing braille labels on the black and red markers to indicate the color. A modified version with tactual identifications is also available from Independent Living Aids for $25.
  • Monopoly
    A family favorite for two to six players.  Monopoly can easily be modified by placing braille or large print on the board, cards and money.  Each game piece is a distinctive different shape and the dice can be labeled or replaced with braille dice. You can also purchase a modified Monopoly game from Maxi-Aids that’s already accessible to blind and low vision players. The modified version is selling for $59.Image showing Monopoly and Connect Four boardgames by Hasbro
  • Guess Who
    A game for older kids who are learning about describing people or items.  Each card has a different person on the card.  Based on clues given the players take turns guessing who the card might be.  A braille writer or large print can be used to make index cards that correlate with each card and the child can read the card to participate in the game.  This requires more skill but it is a fun way for a child to learn how to describe something and how to comprehend a description that is given.Image showing the Guess Who game by Hasbro / Milton Bradley
  • Apples to Apples Junior
    This is another card game that can have a braille label affixed to each card.  Apples to Apples is a game of comparisons.  Each player tries to match a card in their hand that best relates or defines the played card.  Each player takes turn being the judge to decide which card best relates to the played card.  This game encourages expanding a child and adults thinking skills and vocabulary skills.Image showing Apples to Apples Junior by Mattel
  • Nab-It
    Nab-It is from the creators of Scrabble.  The concept is similar to Scrabble of connecting and building words, but with this game you can build-up, stacking letters to create new words.  The large plastic letters pieces are easy to read for those with low vision and are the right size for adding braille labels.Image showing several Nab-It game pieces set up on a wooden floor

Single Player Games

Single player games are also easily modified to accommodate children who are blind or visually impaired.

  • Bop-It
    Bop-It is a handheld game that develops a child’s reaction time, reflexes, sequencing, auditory and tactile senses.  The audio guided game instructs the child in a sequence of twisting, bopping, pressing and flicking distinctively different parts of the device.Image of the Bop-It XT by Hasbro in its package
  • Rubik’s Cube
    This classic handheld cube has 9 colored blocks on 6 sides.  The idea of the game is to get all of the same colors on each of the six sides.  This is a game of concentration, patterns and dexterity.  The squares can be labeled so a child who is blind can identify the difference in each side.  Or if you prefer to purchase one that already features tactile markings, Maxi-Aids has them available for $25 each. Image showing a completed Rubik's Cube

Musical Instruments

Musical instruments are a hit with any child.  The quality and prices of instruments range a great deal.  Here are a few starter musical items being sold for under $150.

  • Portable Yamaha YPT-240 Keyboard
    This 61-key keyboard offers 385 high-quality instrument voices and 100 accompaniment styles, including preset digital effects.  Practice at your individual level with the Yamaha Education Suite lesson functions.  Playback of the selected song is continuously adjusted to the tempo of the player’s performance.  Powers off automatically and runs on 6 “AA” batteries, not included.  Available at a retail price of $100 to $120.Image of the Yamaha YPT-240 portable keyboard
  • Alfred’s Kid’s Guitar Course, Complete Starter Pack
    High-quality 3/4 size Firebrand classical acoustic nylon string guitar with spruce top, basswood back and sides.  Deluxe accessories including a custom-fit, lightweight acoustic guitar gig bag with carrying straps, portable electronic tuner, and a set of 3 guitar picks.  Award-winning, bestselling Kid’s Guitar Course includes colorful 48-page book; CD with audio tracks, software (PC/Mac) with interactive guitar tuner & chord dictionary, play-along song player; and DVD featuring lessons from a professional guitar teacher.  Alfred Music Publishing is the worldwide leader in educational music publishing.  Available at a retail price of $100 to $140.Image showing the Alfred’s Kids Guitar Starter Pack which includes a guitar, tuner, course materials and guitar picks
  • Hohner Kids 6 Piece Rhythm Instrument Set
    A complete rhythm band all in one box; includes a tambourine, rhythm sticks, nylon wrist bell, wood sounder, a triangle with striker.  This is a great set for the beginning percussionist and allows for a variety of sounds and musical feels.  Set also includes songs and activities kids can use with the instruments.  Available at a retail price of $30 to $45.Image of the Hohner Kids Six Piece Rhythm Instrument Set including a tambourine, rhythm sticks, wrist bells, wood sounder and triangle with striker.

Sports

Simply adding bells and rattlers to balls allows for easy to find fun for all kids.  Here are some inexpensive modified athletic balls that are sure to be a hit this Christmas.

  • Rattle Soccer Ball
    This is truly a next-generation audible soccer ball!  Instead of having a few bells inside the ball to make a jingling noise whenever the ball is in motion, the Rattle Soccer Ball features dozens of “rattlers” carefully installed in between the layers of the ball itself – near the outside in fact.  What this means for the blind ball-player is that there are countless self-contained and individual areas all around the ball from which a distinct rattling sound can be heard.  Because there is so much more sound equipment present inside each of these soccer balls, they are an excellent first choice for someone unfamiliar with playing ball games by listening for the ball.  Not only will the ball make a constant gentle rattling noise while hitting, rolling, or flying through the air, but touch it ever so slightly and you’ll also hear a rattle, making it easier for you to locate it if you accidentally bump it away when getting ready for that perfect power-kick!  Available for only $18.Image of the Rattle Soccer Ball available at Future Aids, The Braille Superstore
  • Bell Football
    The Bell Football is just like the real thing and available in two sizes, Practice and Junior.  These footballs have the traditional hand-grip you’re used to, and the Practice size is the same weight and size as a Pro ball.  The only difference is the bells inside that make a jingling sound whenever the ball moves.  The bells make it possible for blind players to join in the fun.  Practice size is available for $15 and the Junior size is $10.Image of the Bell Football available at Future Aids, The Braille Superstore

Play is vital in the development of all children.  Play is a great way to learn what a child is skilled at and what a child prefers.  Look around at the local toy store and touch, feel and listen to the toys.  Often, sight is not a requirement for enjoyment of leisure and play products.  Braille Works wishes you all the best in your shopping endeavors and we hope this guide is helpful to you.

Making The World A More Playable Place For Children Who Are Blind

Shopping for a child who has a visual impairment or a child who is blind is no different than shopping for a child who has their sight.  Learn the child’s interests and look for toys that meet their wants.  Some modification might be needed but overall most toys are appropriate for all children.  Follow the age and safety guidelines and your gift is certain to be a hit.

Braille Works is committed to “Making the World a More Readable Place™” and wants to assist in making it a more playable place for your child.  Please share other toys that you think will benefit our readers in the comments section below.

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This post was written by Christine Sket

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