Literacy skills begin with books
For young children, those books must be meaningful and relevant to their own life experiences. But for young children who are blind or deaf-blind, making this connection to books can be difficult because they can’t see what’s on the page. One way around this problem is to create a tactile experience book.
What is a tactile experience book?
The most famous example of a tactile book is Pat the Bunny. Every page has some kind of fabric or texture for kids to touch.
The idea behind a tactile experience book is to take an experience your child has, let’s say a trip to see a horse, and make a book about it using items your child touched. Here are some sample pages:
If your child isn’t reading words or braille yet, it’s still important to include words on each page. Why? Exposure to print/braille is an important part of building early literacy skills.
Here are some fantastic examples of tactile experience books we found online.
“When choosing tactile items to attach to a page, be sure to think about it from the child’s perspective. For a child with limited vision and other disabilities, it is important to select real items or pieces of items that a child has touched as part of the experience. In other words, a raised line drawing to represent a tree is less meaningful than a piece of bark. Cotton balls do not represent clouds to a child who is blind, but rather leaves or a handful of grass may be a better way to represent being outside. Similarly, a matchbox car is visually similar to a real car, but will have no meaning to a child who is blind with additional disabilities. A better way to represent a car may be the buckle of a seat belt or part of a car seat.” (source)
Tactile experience books are fun for kids of all ages and abilities. Get more in-depth information about them from these trusted sources:
Ready to make your own?
Share your child’s tactile experience book with us! Email pics to Cheri@deafchldren.org.
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