I am the mother of two young busy boys. My oldest Liam just turned 7 and is deafblind. My youngest Finn just turned 4 and has typical vision and hearing. A few years back I wrote about an accessible playground we made for the boys. I just “upgraded” the boys’ play set to a “big-boy” play set and added some fun new features to make the playground accessible and “braille-centered” for Liam. Liam is now older and his interests have changed. I left some of the things the same. The area is still fenced in and the ground is filled with “rubber chips”. There are still some of the wooden plaques attached to the fence (I removed some that had been damaged due to weather) that have fun tactile designs for both boys to enjoy. There is still a PVC pipe activity both boys enjoy putting the rubber chips into and watching the catch in the bowl/pot below.
There are a few more “older boy” things added now that support Liam’s love for braille!
I found a really neat website called Just Braille Signs
that worked well with me to create labels in braille on durable plastic labels. I wanted something that would hold up well outside. I labeled things such as: slide, Liam and Finn’s spot on the picnic bench, play house, etc. Liam absolutely loved finding the braille labels and reading them.
I added newly painted wooden plaques that have labels North, South, East and West written on them in braille. I attached them onto the fence on the 4 cardinal directions.
I added a braille toy bucket so that Liam can play with his braille toys while outside (braille is his favorite choice of “activity”). I was also thinking about getting a tub with a good cover to keep a few books outside as well!
Just for Fun:
It makes me smile to have a place, in our very own backyard, that BOTH my boys can enjoy together. I love that a play set can also be a way to encourage a love for literacy and support a child’s love of braille!