What are some tips on introducing new toys to a blind 2 year old?

My son has septo-optic dysplasia and has no sight in both eyes. He doesn't talk very much on own (mostly repeats things or sings songs he likes) and does not walk freely (holds my hands or uses walker). Lately (about a month now), he's been extremely adverse to playing with his toys. Christmas just happened and he's got so many new and great toys for him but once he feels it, he wants nothing to do with it or gets upset. I've tried to introduce one new toy at a time and waited at least an hour to introduce another. Even his old toys are not fun for him anymore. Is this something that others have experienced as well? Aside from me holding him and singing songs or lying on the floor listening to his CDs, he gets upset every time I try to engage him in an activity. Does anyone have any advice on the best ways to teach a cautious blind toddler how to play with a toy he hasn't experienced yet?

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Posted by Amber Bobnar on Dec 30, 2016 - 9:19pm

I wrote a "toy guide" for blind babies and toddlers a couple years ago and a lot of the advice there might help:

In researching the guide and talking to therapists at Ivan's school, I learned about how important playtime is for learning and development, but that it can be difficult to find that balance between keeping your baby comfortable and pushing them outside their comfort zone. You don't want playtime to bring anxiety, but you also want to push the boundaries a bit:

A sensory activity center or play space may also be helpful. It keeps the toys in very predictable places so they are less intimidating:

I also put this check list together to help families pick out the best toys for their kids:

Hopefully that will help you come up with some ideas to make playtime more fun! It's definitely not an unusual behavior for babies who are blind to feel anxiety when playing with toys - my son still prefers music and snuggling to toys!