Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Adding Braille to Our Accessible Playground

Overview of playground 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.  

PVC pipe ball dropReading braille label on playgroundSigning while reading braille
There are a few more "older boy" things added now that support Liam's love for braille!

Braille labels:

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.  
Braille label of slideLiam and Finn's Playhouse


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.  
Reading direction label on playgroundNorth label on playground

Braille Bucket:

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!  
A boy plays with braille toys at a table.


Just for Fun:

A boy sits at the top of a slide.A boy climbs the ladder of a play structureA boy hangs from a bar on a playset
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!  
Pinterest collage of playground


Adding zbraille to Accessible Playground

Posted by Rosemary Alonzo

Posted on June 27, 2016
Updated on: February 7, 2018

Previous comments for Adding Braille to Our Accessible Playground

Rosemary Alonzo commented on June 28, 2016

This is a brilliant idea, incorporating play with learning, especially braille reading...the kids wil surely love this .... And it will be more fun to them if they find new objects in their playground...they will look forward to finding or discovering new things...