With some extra fabric, a sewing machine, and a little creativity you can make a fun bag of textures for your blind child. Here’s the how-to…
What You’ll Need:
A small bag (or material to make your own bag)
Assorted fabrics and materials in different textures
Making Your Texture Bag
To make your texture bag, you’ll first need a bag. We chose a draw-string bag because it’s easy to open and close and great for storing all those textures without spilling and losing them. If you don’t have a bag handy, you can make one by simply folding a piece of fabric in half (cutting your fabric 11 inches by 20 inches will yield a 9×9 square bag), then sewing up two sides, leaving the top open.
Next, collect interesting textures from around the house or the remnants bin at your local fabric store. Choose smooth, silky fabrics, bumpy corduroy, and fluffy wool. Add leather, velcro, and other textures. Anything safe and fun to touch will work. Try to collect a variety of textures.
Sew each of your textures into 3 by 3 inch squares. Some of them you can stuff, while others may be better flat. Try to keep the sizes and shapes of each of your textures constant so that the only variation is in the texture itself. Also, make two of each texture so you can play matching games later.
Place all of your textures in your bag and you’re done!
Playing with Your Texture Bag
Once you’ve made your texture bag, there are lots of games you can play. As your child gets older, you’ll find more fun things to do with your textures. Here are some ideas…
Pull out one texture and ask your child to reach in the bag and find the matching square. If this is too difficult, try limiting the number of textures in the bag until your child gets the hang of it.
Pull out three square, two matching and one different. Ask your child to identify the matching pair and set aside the different one.
Help your child develop a vocabulary of texture words. Describe each square as smooth, fluffy, bumpy, etc.
Take your bag on a walk! Walk around the house or neighborhood looking for textures similar to the ones in your bag.
Here’s a Time-Saver: Don’t want to make your own texture bag? Why not just buy one? Educational Insights makes a great toy called Teachable Touchables. You can purchase their version of the texture bag, then add your own textures, too!