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12 Days of Literacy for the Holidays

Ideas to incorporate literacy into Christmas and Hanukkah, including braille activities and other hands-on fun for children who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities

A boy reads braille on his Christmas stockingThe holidays are an exciting time of year for children and there are lots of opportunities to incorporate literacy into the fun!  The ideas here include suggestions to make Christmas and Hanukkah more accessible to children with visual impairments or deafblindness.  In addition, there are plenty of ways to promote literacy for learners at all levels.  We hope that you’ll share some of your favorite holiday ideas too!


1.  Story Box Ideas for Holiday Stories

Holiday story box collage


Preschool teachers Jaime Brown and Katie Armstrong share some of their favorite holiday storyboxes .



2.  Braille Designs for Christmas

Collage of braille Christmas designs


Braille transcriber Edith West shares a number of different Christmas designs, including Santa Claus, a Christmas tree, angel, and candy canes.


3. Braille Designs for Hanukkah

Collage of Hanukkah design


Braille designs for Hanukkah from Edith West include the Dreidel and Menorah.



4.  Christmas Ideas for Children with Visual Impairments

Lazy Susan with Santa


Positive Eye’s Gwyn McCormack shares fun ideas, including a Christmas Basket of Magic, Christmas Spinner, and Christmas Hanger.



5.  Holiday Gift Tags

Braille gift tag


Use braille or tactile stickers to label gifts with this idea from Liamsmom.



6.  Christmas Tactile Books

Tactile book showing manger scene




Create a tactile book with braille labels to tell the Christmas story.




7.  Decorating the Christmas Tree:  An Experience Book Tradition

Page of tactile experience book about trimming Christmas tree


Create a tactile experience book about trimming the Christmas tree.



8.  Christmas Tree Project

Tactile Christmas tree with ornaments


Practice positional concepts decorating a miniature tactile Christmas tree in this activity from TVI Liz Eagan.





8.  Christmas Sequence Activity for Students with Visual Impairments and Additional Disabilities

Cover of Christmas sequence story


Work on vocabulary, language comprehension, matching and sequencing of events in this Christmas book.


9.  Tips to Make Reading Aloud Part of Your Family’s Holiday Tradition!

Two brothers look at a picture book.


Reading aloud is a great way to enjoy being together as a family during the holidays.



10.  Create a Holiday Conversation Box

Conversation box with Christmas objects


Put together a box of holiday items with different sensory qualities, such as bells, candles, ornaments, pine bough, cinnamon sticks.  Explore them with your child to develop vocabulary and language concepts.





11.  Gift Ideas for Kids Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Have Additional Disabilities

Cloth book of sheep


If you still have some presents to buy, have a look at these great suggestions from Early Childhood and Deafblind specialist Holly Cooper.




12. 10 Ways to Include Your Child in the Christmas Fun

A young boy's hand reads the braille on a Christmas stocking.

Still looking for more ideas?  There’s lots more fun here, including decorations, cooking ideas, and more!







We’d love to hear about your ideas for incorporating literacy into the holidays!  Share your ideas and photos here.


Collage for incorporating literacy into the holidays


Uno braille playing cards with large print
Activity and strategy

Games for Students with Visual Impairments

Student wrtiing on an adapted handwriting paper with four lines and highlighted
Activity and strategy

Finding the Right Paper

Student making orange juice with a teacher using a juicing machine.
Activity and strategy

Non-Visual Multi-Sensory Experiences for Students with Multiple Disabilities