Valentine’s Day Resources for Families of Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired

As Emily wrote last Mother’s Day, “As a parent of a child with a visual impairment, art projects make me a little nervous. I want my child to participate in activities that are meaningful to him, and art can be a tricky subject if you have a teacher that is not perceptive to a child’s particular needs.”

She wrote about how great it was, then, to receive “two very tactile projects” from Eddie: a flower vase created by gluing tissue paper onto a jar, and a piece of clay he had molded, then decorated with glass rocks and silk flowers.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, how do you support your child’s impulse to create a handmade gift for grandma and grandpa, or in later years, keep up with the inevitable demands for cards for all of your child’s classmates?

If you are working with an early intervention program or a TVI, ask your favorite teacher for suggestions! And don’t forget to check FamilyConnect’s Calendar of Events to find arts and craft programs near you.

Get creative: make your own puffy paint or (depending on your child’s age) make some pudding and let your child use it as finger paint! Wikki Stix are another 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 2d drawing.

Make cupcakes or cookies together. Our article on Increasing Your Preschooler’s Independence in the Kitchen offers some suggestions for including even very young children in kitchen projects.

WonderBaby offers Sensory Art Tips to help you “move beyond the visual” while exploring creativity with your children. Check out their list of Tactile Arts and Crafts for Blind Children for inspiration.

The National Braille Press also offers a number of great Valentine gift ideas, including jewelry, books, magnets, and print/braille Valentine’s cards.

Seedlings is another good resource for print-braille-picture books, as well as fun braille gifts.

Wishing all of you and your families a very heartfelt Happy Valentine’s Day!