20 best toys for blind children and babies

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Top toys for blind children

Blind or visually impaired babies and children have a different set of needs in furthering their development. Without proper stimulation and intervention, milestones for a blind child may be delayed compared to the development of a sighted child – and particularly those that require self-initiated mobility: raising the body on the on arms, raising to a sitting position, pulling to a stand, and walking on their own.

Contrary to the initial belief that all blind babies experience delayed development, it is now understood that infants with visual impairments demonstrate the same level of variability as sighted children in terms of skill acquisition. Furthermore, this acquisition often falls within the same developmental range as typical children. Careful attention to the sensory input available to the blind child can be extremely useful to help compensate for losses in other areas, and encourage development.

 Best toys for blind children

Below are our recommendations for toys that promote physical development, and brain development for blind and visually impaired children of various ages and abilities.

Toys that appropriately stimulate other senses

It is important to realize that there is a misconception that any noisy toy is beneficial for a blind baby simply by virtue of the fact that it creates sounds – this is not true. Noisy toys do provide auditory stimulation, but without the accompanying visual verification, it is simply meaningless noise with no source. Tactile, motor, and auditory cues must work in tandem to give the child appropriate and varied information about their environment. Interaction with the toy should also provide information about the location, cause, and source of the sound. For this, you really can’t go wrong with a baby-friendly xylophone.
Toys for blind babies

Interactive toys

Because it is difficult for a blind child to observe the results of his or her own actions, it is often difficult for them to comprehend causal relationships in the world around them. Consequently, the motivation to act can be absent or delayed compared to the development of sighted children. It important that blind children have toys that assist them in better understanding the role that they themselves play in influencing, manipulating, and controlling their environment. We recommend noisy rattles or learning tables.
Toys for visually impaired kids

Physical development and exploration

Since usual incentives for environmental exploration (color, pattern, shape, and location of visual cues) are unavailable to a blind infant, they may experience significant developmental delays in the usual milestones: reaching, rolling over, and crawling. Infants with visual impairment require sensory stimulation through other channels to make up for the visual input they are lacking; only then can they begin to understand the complex external world and the effect of their own actions upon it. Toys that help the child understand spacial relationships, such as stacking cups (bigger, smaller, inside, outside, etc.) are particularly useful.
Best toys for blind children

Toys that promote social play

Social interaction may also be more difficult for blind or visually impaired children since subtle visual cues and facial expressions are unavailable. Blind children may need additional focus in this area to preserve and promote future development of attachment, recognition, and communication in their interpersonal relationships. Braille playing cards and braille dominoes are a great place to start.
Braile Dominoes

A safe environment to explore

The blind child may be unwilling to explore his or her surroundings due to a fear of the unknown. It is therefore vital to encourage exploration in a manner that is safe (without being overprotective), as a child will is unable to develop meaningful constructs or the ability to describe or think about them without concrete experiences. Play yards and push-along toys are great for this.
[consult your physical therapist, use supervision, and avoid overuse / dependence with any walker or jumper] Toys for blind babies

Visually stimulating toys and accessories

Children that have limited vision may benefit from stimulation from high-contrast mobiles or arches. Research indicates that red, white, and black are the easiest colors for developing eyes to see.
mobiles for visually impaired babies

Also never forget that holding, cuddling, rocking, carrying, touching, and talking to a visually impaired infant or child is equally as important as any other toy or resource!

Thank you for reading the top 20 toys for blind babies // Toys for the blind

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Sources:
American Foundation for the Blind
National Federation of the Blind
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired


This article about the “best toys for blind babies” is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice or a substitute for advice from a medical professional. Smart-Toys.info is not affiliated with the above listed organizations.  No aggregators or algorithms – all of our blind-child-friendly toys are hand picked! Please make sure to confirm manufacturer recommended age and other warnings. We may receive commission from certain affiliate links, which allows you to support our site’s mission at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure here. We strive to bring you the best!