Tactile and Raised Line Coloring Books for Kids Who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Can blind kids color in coloring books?
I know that it can be really easy to say, “No, we can’t do that,” and move on to other “more appropriate” activities. But it really isn’t that hard at all to make coloring accessible to kids with low vision or even no vision, and if your child enjoys coloring then it’s totally worth the effort!
Raised line coloring books can be purchased through a few online outlets or you can make your own tactile coloring pages. Maybe start with a few homemade pages and if your child seems to take to it, you could invest in a couple published coloring books.
We’re huge fans of accessible crafts in our house, so don’t stop with coloring books. See what else your child enjoys and benefits from and keep trying new things! Crafting and coloring aren’t just fun hobbies, but can also increase fine motor skills, teach basic math or shape concepts and is also a fundamental preschool or elementary school social activity!
Our Favorite Raised Line Coloring Books
Many companies create raised line coloring books that you can purchase online. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Even though they are relatively new to the braille printing world, by far our favorite raised line coloring books come from Sensee Books. These books are large and printed on heavy paper. Each page includes a simple raised image to feel and color as well as text in both large print and braille. The pages are also perforated so you can easily remove them and display your artwork!
- Tactile Vision Graphics is the leading name in raised line and braille coloring books for kids. They carry a fairly large collection of coloring books and even have a couple Disney themed books. I’m also a big fan of their tactile greeting cards (some of which could be colored too)!
- The APH shop carries a couple lines of coloring and painting books. Search for their Lots of Dots raised line coloring series that includes Coloring the Garden and Counting 1 2 3 or their Paint by Number Safari with Desert Creatures, Tropical Rainforest, Under the Sea and Backyard Creatures. They also carry Circus Themed Coloring Pages.
- Playability Toys carries the Color SENSEsation series of raised line coloring books. Currently you can find the Watercolor Paint Book available on their site.
- You can find raised line coloring books in other online shops as well, although they will mostly be carrying either the Tactile Vision Graphics books or the APH books. Check out Amazon, Maxiaids, LSS Products and RehabMart to see what they have in stock.
Make Your Own Tactile Coloring Pages
It’s not hard to make your own coloring pages. Really all you need is some heavy paper, like card stock, and puffy paint. If your child has vision, try to make high contrast images that they can see as well as touch. For example, you could make thick black lines on bright yellow paper.
Start with basic shapes like circles and squares and see how your child responds. We like making concept coloring pages like Big and Little with BIG circles and small circles on the page so we can talk about how they are different while we are coloring.
More Ways to Make Coloring Accessible
Tactile and raised line drawings are one way to make coloring accessible, but there are other things you can add to your crafts to make it a multi-sensory experience!
- Use scented markers to add smells to your drawings.
- Textured marking mats can be placed beneath your pages to create textured patterns while you draw. These mats are expensive, but you can purchase them through quota funds or just use other textures like a screen or cardboard under your paper.
- Add felt or foam stickers to your art for a 3D touch.
- Use puffy paint or wikki stix to make your own raised lines.
- Add sand to your finger paints to give more texture to the paints.
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Dana Meachen Rau's book, Sense of Play, follows the adventures of Chip and Joy as they play. Chip is blind, but this doesn't get in the way of their play!