Playful Educational Activities / Nature, Games, Computer Games, and Toys
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- Accessible LEGO building instructions:
Text-based instructions in sequence make building elaborate sets with LEGO accessible for screen reader users. LEGO is a great way to improve spatial awareness and spatial reasoning. Numbers of Lego sets for which accessible instructions have been created available from the website. Created by Matthew Shifrin, a high school student who is blind, together with his sighted friend.
- All Abilities ePlayground:
Free online resource offering children who are blind or have low vision, as well as children with other special needs, a range of opportunities to play and learn. Developed by Sonokids Australia.
Preschool educational computer program with special support and design features for very young children who are blind or have low vision and lots of support features for children with other or additional special needs. Playful Early Learning keyboarding, cause and effect. Created by Sonokids.
- Blind Radio: Blind-friendly internet radio web site which offers access to thousands of free online radio channels.
- Extreme Frisbee: This video shows a new game developed by Nulkaba Public School, NSW, called Extreme Frisbee. It is published on their Youtube Channel ‘Hairy Dog Productions’ which showcases a series of games created as part of a social skills program for students who are blind or have low vision to play with their peers. The videos are created by and for students. For the ethos behind the Extreme Frisbee Game, please visit this article on the Paths to Literacy website
A blog on Fashion and Lifestyle for blind and partially sighted people, by a young, fashion-loving woman who is herself vision impaired.
- Hark The Sound Games:
by the University of North Carolina (US), is a series of really simple, free sound games intended for young children who are blind or have low vision. Includes three types of games; Naming Games, Category Games, and Pad Game. The Pad games, including Braille Twister, can be played with the Dance Mat of a Play Station II game console. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.
- Help Kidz Learn:
website that allows young children, and students with special needs, to play a wide range of games online. With ten free games (after registration), and a large number of subscription-based games. By Inclusive Technology in the UK.
- Hungry Fingers:
Educational tools designed to give children with a vision impairment the confidence that with poor vision, or even without sight, they can be in command of the space around them. They can learn how objects are related to one another, and why they look, or feel different when we draw them. Developed by Professor Bob Marek.
- International Braille Chess Association:
(IBCA) is the apex body of chess for the blind and is affiliated to FIDE (Federation Internationale Des Echecs - the world body of chess for sighted)
- LEGOs in Education:
Blog post by Diane Brauner for the Perkins eLearning - Paths to Technology website. Valuable tips for using LEGO bricks in educational activities, such as hands-on math activities, and tips to build with LEGO for students who are blind or have low vision.
- Nature for the Blind:
Directory of more than 160 Braille trails and sensory gardens in 28 countries around the world. Also information and links for schools for the blind around the world, summer camps and other educational resources. Created by Evan Barnard, Georgia, USA.
- Playopolis Toys: Online shop providing toys that encourage children to play, to learn what happens as a result of their actions, and to build skills. To facilitate choosing the best toys for special needs, toys are grouped by category. (USA, formerly known as Playworks).
- Reach and Match Learning Kit : An award winning tool which assists children who are blind or have low vision to learn braille and essential developmental skills through exercises and games with their peers.
- SCIVIS Space Camp: A week long camp that takes place at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, US. Especially catering for children with a vision impairment (from 10 years old).
- Special Needs Toys Australia: Online shop for parents, teachers and therapists to purchase equipment, toys and aids that can be used in play or as part of a therapy program. In category Sensory, then either Auditory or Tactile, there are a number of toys which can be enjoyed by children with limited or no vision. Under Sensory, then Visual Perceptual there are some toys with bright, flashing lights which could also be used by children with low vision.
- Sensory Corner – Positive Living:
Attractive range of therapeutic tools and toys collected by educational psychologist Rachel Cheung for her online shop
- Tack-Tiles Braille Systems:
Based on LEGO-type blocks, these Braille blocks are tactile aids that support development of Braille literacy skills in a fun way. They can be used in combination with regular LEGO. Made in the US can be ordered from and sent around the world.
- Tactual books and games:
Tips by Statewide Vision Resource Centre (SVRC) in Victoria, Australia on how to create fun and educational resources for tactual learning with a little creativity and some cheap materials.
- The Blind Sport Podcast: Audio podcast hosted by New Zealander Mike Lloyd, issued approximately twice per month. Each podcast covers an interview about sports for people who are blind or have low vision and shares information and tips. The website also offers a collection of online resources where you can find information on blind sports, organisations and sport/fitness related products.
- Toys and activities:
List of recommended toys and activities for blind babies, toddlers, and children. Compiled by mother of a now 8 years old daughter who is totally blind.
- Toys and Play for Children with Visual Impairments or Blindness:
Source of information, with links to other websites, about how communication, motor skills, cognition, and social interaction are a few of the developmental areas that are stimulated by play activities. Learn how to select playthings, adapt them when necessary, create play space, encourage play, and provide appropriate structure and support.
- Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids:
Features specially selected toys that encourage play for children with physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities. Symbols indicate the promotion of different skills, such as Auditory, Language, Social, Creativity and more. All toys featured in the Guide are available online.
- Twister Game:
A valuable guide by Loretta White (Future Reflections, Fall 2008, National Federation of the Blind, US) on how to adapt the “Twister” game for children who are blind.
- VI Fit:
Exergames that can be played without visual feedback, with the goal to increase the participation of users with visual impairments in physical activity and to improve their health. All VI Fit games can be downloaded for free and played using a Wii remote and a Windows PC with bluetooth support or a USB bluetooth dongle.
- Wii game The Explorer:
Game developed for Nintendo Wii that specifically includes children who are blind or have low vision as well as fully sighted children. The Explorer and the Mystery of the Diamond Scarab (full title) can be ordered via the website.