Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

4 Fun Summer Activities for Students with Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities

Summertime can be very relaxing.  Sometimes though, long summer days lead to boredom  The kids have played with everything.  It’s too hot to go anywhere. And you don’t want them to just sit in front of the television all day. Here are some inexpensive, fun ideas that work well for children with multiple disabilities. The activities are fun for most young children, which is great for siblings. All of the kids can play together!

1.  Splash Pad

I found this neat Splash Pad at the store at the start of the summer.  Simply fill it with water and play!  It can be used indoors (of course, you run the risk of a leak and water flooding your house).  This toy would be fun to use outside under a covered patio.  The Splash Pad is great because as the child moves, the water shifts.  They receive immediate feedback for moving.  In the pad are die cut shapes of sea horses, fish, sharks, etc.  A child can push on the pad and move the shapes.  This pad can be used in so many ways.  It is a lot of fun!

Splashpad packetA baby's hands explore a splashpadChild exploring splashpad

A splashpad with shapes inside

2.  Ball Pit



Make your own ball pit!  Line a small kiddie pool with a blanket.  Fill with ball pit balls.  The play opportunities are endless.  If you have a pop up tent, that works well too.  Play hide and seek.  Move the ball on your child’s arms, legs and feet. Let them lie down on the blanket and wiggle around the balls.





3.  Bean Bag Toss

Make or buy some bean bags.  Use a plastic basket or cover a cardboard box with cute paper.  Bean bags can be played with in several different ways.  Toss the bags into a container.  Place the bags on your child’s foot, head, hand, stomach and encourage them to move.  Play head, shoulders, knees and toes.  

Bean bagsBucket to toss the beanbags in


4.  Parachute Play

ParachuteSelect several items from around the house that make noise and put them in the box. Find a sheet (twin and full sizes work well).  Play “parachute”. Put the items on the sheet and shake the sheet with your child. Sing songs or listen to parachute songs on YouTube.  Some items you can use are bells, bean bags, rattles, balls, and shakers. Here is a list of fun parachute songs:

Where Are the Kids?

Where are the kids?
Where did they go?
Where are the kids?
We want to know.
The kids are all hiding.
Where can they be?
1 2 3, All the kids I see
Variation: Substitute your child's name
Where is Sammy?
Where did he go?
Author unknown

The Wind Blows North

The wind blows north
The wind blows south
The wind blows east and west
The wind blows all around the world
But the one that it likes the best
Author unknown

Parachute Fun

We're going to have some parachute fun
So grab a hold, everyone.
Lift the parachute up up up.
Bring the parachute down down down.
Around and around and around we go
Around and around and around we go
Around and around til its time to sit down
Around and around we go.
Lift the parachute up up up
Bring the parachute down down down
Up up up. Down down down.
From Start Each Day with a Song
I also like the website  This website has a ton of fun games to play with a parachute.

Incorporating Literacy in Summer Activities

These activities also offer an opportunity to work on literacy skills.  If your child is learning to read tactile symbols, make an experience book, poster board or box.  Take one item from each activity, such as a ball, bean bag and toy from the parachute.  For the splash pad, fill a ziplock bag with gel.  The texture is similar to the splash pad, and it is a more convenient size. Put a label in print or braille underneath the item.  Before you do the activity, read about it.  For example, say "let’s play in the ball pit".  Show your child or student the ball.  Then trace the braille underneath it and repeat the word ball.
symbol board for literacy skills
Your child may be ready for a picture book.  Take a picture of him or her playing in the activity.  Glue one picture per page.  Texture it and add large print or braille.
Whether you create an experience board, a book or a box, your child is learning literacy skills.  They learn the vocabulary associated with the activity, and learn to read the activity.  The experience board, book or box can be used for choice making, review of the activity or to share at school.  

Summer collage


Gonna try this hope resources

Posted by Olive


Posted by Carla Sharp

Water Play Mat

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Posted on July 5, 2018
Updated on: July 3, 2018

Previous comments for 4 Fun Summer Activities for Students with Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities

Charlotte Cushman commented on July 20, 2016

Water play mat splash padHi Carla,

The mat in this post was purchased a few months ago and has apparently been discontinued.  We think this one will work too:  Fill N' Fun Water Play Mat



Carla Sharp commented on July 20, 2016

Great ideas! Can you tell me where to purchase the Splash Pad mentioned in the blog?

Olive commented on July 12, 2016

Gonna try this hope resources to make them are available.