One of the best feelings in the world is when you’re curled up in a big comfy chair with an eager child, reading a book together. But it’s not quite the same if the child isn’t enjoying the book, right? For the parents of visually impaired children, this happens all the time with regular books. It takes more than just a special story to entertain these little ones.
Obviously, books in Braille are fantastic for kids with visual impairments. If you’re not familiar with Braille, though, or if you want some variety, here are some other features to look for when buying books for your little ones.
1. Bright Colors
Simple black, white, and red pictures are effective, and other colors that are bright enough to reflect light are easiest to see. So, the brighter the better!
Same Same has beautiful, simple illustrations in mostly primary colors of basic shapes, animals, and items found in every day life. Who Are They? contains only black and white shapes of animals; no words at all. It doesn’t get much simpler that that!
I mean really, who doesn’t love sparkles? They’re bright, they reflect, and they’re oh so fun!
Not only does Rainbow Fish to the Rescue have delightfully bright and sparkly fishies on every page, but the story teaches important lessons about sharing and acceptance.
3. Simple Pictures
Along with high contrast colors, the pictures and illustrations should be eye-catching, though remain subdued too; a page that is too busy can confuse your little reader.
They’ll want to touch all the things! The bigger the tactile pieces the better.
That’s Not My Tractor is one of my favorites. Each page offers a new opportunity to experience a different texture as well as learn about individual parts of the tractor.
5. Pop-Up Pages
Pop-up books both grab the child’s attention and present a tactile opportunity to engage with the story. And they’re just fun!
Everybody knows that frogs jump, but in the Frogtastic pop up book they actually jump at you! By combining the story with these 3D visuals, this is the best kind of interactive pop up book.
6. Sound Makers
Noise, noise, noise! All kids love books with sound (unfortunately for parents), but visually challenged kids appreciate them even more!
This Noisy Peekaboo book offers the best of both worlds: interactive flaps and animal sounds! Because, sometimes, not having to make the animal sounds yourself is 100% worth it.
If you prefer Braille books, there are many children’s classics that are available! Including my personal favorite, Corduroy!
Every child should be able to read this sweet story of the bear in the green overalls who goes searching for his missing button. There’s no reason why eyesight should keep a child from befriending this bear.
Also, here’s something really fun… Recently, a team at the University of Colorado Boulder recreated some children’s books using a 3D printer. Some of the books they worked with include Noah’s Ark and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The books themselves are not for sale, but there are open-source digital files available so anyone with a 3D printer can make them.
So what are you waiting for? Find that comfy chair and get reading!
YouTube Channel: RNIB
Featured image via Science Daily