Valentine’s Day Card, Craft, and Gift Ideas for Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
As Valentine’s Day approaches, are you looking for gift ideas for your blind or visually impaired child? How about braille or large-print Valentine’s Day cards, eCards, or tactile and sensory craft activities?
FamilyConnect has you covered. Check out the suggestions below, and let us know if you’ve got others you’d like to share! You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your ideas on the message boards.
Valentine’s Cards, Gifts, and Craft Ideas for Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
|Multisensory Valentines from the National Braille Press—Send a bright, silly Valentine greeting this year that says, “I mustache YOU a question. Be My Valentine?” These print/braille Valentines are the perfect way to promote braille among friends and classmates, especially with a handy braille decoder on the backside. You can even opt to purchase accompanying mustache straws for extra classroom fun!
|The Chicago Lighthouse is now offering print/braille Valentine’s Day cards. The insides of the cards read: “Hugs and Kisses” in print and braille. The bottom of the card includes the message “XOXO” in braille. These cards were beautifully designed by Chicago artist Alisa Singer, and all proceeds of these cards will be used to support and fund services for blind and visually impaired individuals provided by the Chicago Lighthouse.
|Send a free, accessible Helen Keller eCard to friends and family members. These high contrast, large-print electronic greeting cards feature beautiful photos from the Helen Keller Archives and quotes from Helen Keller. The creation process is accessible, too, so your child can type his or her own message to the grandparents.
|Wikki Stix Activity Sets are a great way to create tactile graphics, or your child can create outlines with the Wikki Stix and then trace around them to independently create a two-dimensional drawing. You can then untwist them and use them over and over again. This set comes with 84 brightly colored stix, a two-sided reusable playboard and an eight-page story booklet with creative ideas.
|Get creative! Check out these scented Magic Markers with distinctive smells that make it easy to pick out different colors. Green smells like mint, orange like an orange, yellow like lemon, etc. You can also make your own puffy paint with shaving cream and glue! Check out Wonderbaby’s Pinterest board of tactile Valentine’s Day craft ideas for blind kids and Paths to Literacy’s “Celebrate Valentine’s Day” article for more great activities.
|Make something sweet to eat! Our article “Increasing Your Visually Impaired Preschooler’s Independence in the Kitchen” offers some suggestions for including even very young children in kitchen projects. Decorate cookies, cupcakes, or a cake with braille letters made of M&Ms, gum drops, red-hots, chocolate chips, or other candy! If you’re willing to get messy, you can also make some pudding and let your child use it as finger paint.
Valentine’s Day Themed Books in Accessible Formats
In addition to offering a ton of great books for children in print/braille as well as books with tactile graphics, the National Braille Press offers a children’s print/braille book of the month club—an annual subscription means that you will automatically receive 12 monthly print/braille books.
Bookshare has a number of available titles with Valentine’s Day themes.
Valentine Gift Ideas for Blind Teens, Young Adults, and College Students
Have a coffee lover? Starbucks is continuing to offer a braille gift card that was originally developed in honor of National Disability Awareness Month.
Apple products, including iPods, iPhones, and MacBooks, have VoiceOver, an integrated screen reader that reads aloud whatever text is on the screen. VoiceOver makes it possible for people without vision to operate a device without sighted assistance. If you’re in the market for a relatively inexpensive electronic gift, consider the iPod Shuffle for under $50. If you don’t want to buy a device, another option is an iTunes gift card.
Since 1997, L’Occitane products have included braille labels to help make their soaps, candles, and moisturizers accessible to all. Through their foundation, they also support services to help people who are blind or visually impaired.
National Braille Press offers a good selection of braille jewelry, including this pretty “Love”/Helen Keller quote pendant.
Check out VisionAware’s “Valentine Gift Ideas for People with Vision Loss” and “Gift Ideas for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired.”
Recommended Resources from FamilyConnect
- Toys and Gift Ideas for Parents of Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
- Reading and Making Tactile Books with Your Child
- Choosing Toys and Creating a Play Area for Your Child—this article outlines some of the features to look for in a toy for your infant or toddler and describes how to set up a safe and stimulating play area for your child.
- Teaching Your Baby to Play with Toys—practical ideas about how to introduce new toys to your child and help him learn how to play.