Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Birthday Braille Memory Box

Birthday box with brailleMy son Liam recently turned eight years old!  He is a braille reader and every year for his birthday I have made him a birthday book that included pages from friends that have come to his party.  Here are some of the ideas we've done in the past:

This year I wanted to try something different.  Liam's favorite thing is braille.  I obviously wanted his gift from me to include braille.  I wanted to involve the guests from the birthday party as well, and I decided to create a birthday memory box.  I was able to find a fun (inexpensive) wooden box at Hobby that that had many different compartments that was perfect for the job.   

 

Materials: 

I purposely picked a variety of materials (paper, stickers, envelopes, etc.) to add to the fun and appeal of the box.  

Materials for birthday box

  • Box that closes and has compartments
  • Braille labels
  • Fun tactile stickers and wood cutout pieces (I chose a lot of stars since Liam likes stars)
  • Small envelopes (decorated with braille phrases and tactile stickers)

Birthday notes

  • Small note papers made out of cardstock paper or cardboard
  • Blank "tags" and a ring to bind them together

 

Preparation

Before the party:

  • I prepared labels of the names of all of the people that would be attending the party.

Braille labels for birthday box

  • I wrote a summary of some of the fun events that happened at Liam's party, in braille, and applied it to the back of the box. (You could also choose to have your child write the memory on his own when he/she arrives home.)

Birthday story in braille

 

Text of Birthday Story:

Happy birthday Liam.  Liam's birthday was at the bowling place.  Many people came to Liam's party.  We ate pizza and cake.  We pushed the ball down the ramp.  Liam opened many presents.  Liam is 8 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Wrote Liam's name and put it on wooden stars for the cover

Looking at cover of birthday box  Close up of stars with Liam's name spelled out in braille

  • Decorated the small envelopes with a variety of tactile stickers and birthday phrases in braille (Text:  I love you Liam; Happy birthday; 8 years old; Liam; April 30; tactile smiley face stickers)

Birthday notes  Birthday tags with braille

 

Procedure:

During the party Liam looks at his Memory Box and reads the braille on it.  (Click on the CC to turn on the captions of what he is signing.)

Friends that knew how to braille (including Liam's TVI from school!) helped people at the party to write brief braille notes to Liam that would be included in the memory box.  

Liam's TVI Joe brailles notes on braillewriter.

Liam was given his memory box at the end of the party.  Liam loved his memory box and reading all of the notes from his friends and family at the party!  

I love this tradition of involving Liam's family and friends in creating a braille birthday present for him.  He is one loved little boy; we are very blessed.  

Collage of birthday memory box

Comments

Love it!

Posted by Hillary Keys

I can't wait to share this with some of my parents. Even though some of my students are still emerging braille readers, I think this is a great way to get some younger ones interested in reading braille and then they have the memories to look back on when they're more independent readers. :-)

What Fun!

Posted by Anna C. Gayle

Fun for birthday child, for the guests, and for parents! I will share with the parents I talk with about tactile items to create; as well as teachers who want a way to celebrate special events with their students.

Memory Box

Posted by Betty

Hi, I just love this idea, it's so great and different.
My grandson has C/P completely blind and with
several health issues, but it does not stop him from
exploring and wanting more. He is nine now and I
believe he would enjoy this maybe he will understand
Birthdays this way.

Awesome I always love to check in to see what need
materials you have made. God Bless and a Big Happy Birthday to Liam!

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