Nikki Cochrane is a foster mom at a children's home in India. Of her twelve kids, five are completely blind (and another has nystagmus and another is blind in one eye).
With very little access to resources, they rely on what they can find online or what they can create themselves. Recently, Nikki worked on a project that focused on alphabet learning for her kids that would be accessible to all the children. Using tactile objects and print/braille blocks, Nikki created alphabet tubs with a ziplock baggy for each letter.
What You'll Need
- Ziplock bags for each letter
- A print/braille block for each letter (Nikki used these blocks from Plan Toys)
- A tactile object for each letter (ideas below)
- (optional) a card with the name of the object in print and braille for each letter
Need some ideas for those letters? Some of them can be tricky! I always get stuck on I and J. Here's Nikki's list:
- Animals (small animal toys)
- Glue (a glue stick works well)
- India (a small map cutout)
- Jump rope
- Oval (shape)
- Rectangle (shape)
- X (the shape)
Playing with the Alphabet
Place all the items in their bags and place the bags in a big plastic tub. Help your kids explore the tubs and open each bag to find what's inside. Talk about the objects and what they represent and make the sound for each letter.
Some fun games to play may be to try to come up with other items that start with each letter, but don't fit in your bag (like whale for W or House for H) or you could try to line up all your bags in alphabetical order then sing the alphabet song!