Friday, January 7, 2011

Cheap ways to make games and toys tactile!

It's hard to find toys that appeal to a blind child. Unless it makes sound or has texture, my daughter isn't the least bit interested. The tough part is that many toys and games that include the senses of hearing and touch still require vision as well. Trying to find my inner creativity that has been buried for years, at latest high school, I've found many budget friendly ways to make my daughter's toys accessible and giving her the chance to play independently! Here are a few... (I'll be listing many more on the website when we go live! Still in beta for now.)

  • Cards & Board games - Uno, Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, etc...
    • Card games are easy if you have access to a brailler. Buy your own cards and do the brailling yourself. If you need help on braille characters and symbols, check out this site for an easy reference:
    • I made the Candy Land board tactile using different textures to replace each color on the square then outlined the path with Tulip dimensional paint.I also matched the playing cards with the texture squares as well. The only thing with this was it made the pile of cards very thick and unstable. I fixed this by finding a small cardboard box with a divider to hold the cards, and used it as the draw and discard piles. I put a different texture on each of the Gingerbread kid place holders so she can feel the base and know which one is hers. For the special cards and squares, I used 3D scrapbook items from the hobby store. I found a cutout 3D castle in the scrapbook store and placed it at the finish. Here are a few pictures so you can get an idea.
    • The Chutes and Ladders game was adapted in much the same way as Candy Land. I used long skinny felt stickers on the ladder images and cutout chute/slide shapes from a smooth piece of scrapbook paper that felt much like a real slide! I outlined the space using the Tulip dimensional paint and used varying textures on each of the children's place holders. I put braille numbers on the spinner making sure they weren't placed to where they would block or stop the spinner when it was in motion. I also used the dimensional paint to outline the spaces of the spinner circle. I put a large textured gold star 3D sticker on the Winner square.

Most of these just take time to adapt but don't cost too much to make them accessible and fun for our special kids! Here are a few links to the products I've mentioned in this blog post. Email me or leave comments below if you have any questions or would like information on purchasing the ready to go adapted games that I've made. The pictures above are from a trial board. The new one has squares cut to the shape of the path and a smooth line for the path outline. I look forward to hearing from you and hope I've sparked your creativity!

Candy Land Board Game under $10

Chutes and Ladders Board Game under $10

Textured Cardstock Adhesive Backed on  

Tulip Paints Slick Set under $8 for a set of 6 tubes

Again, feel free to email me at for ordering ready to go adapted products!

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