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Activity and strategy

Build Your Own Braille Activity Board

This do-it-yourself braille activity board for students with visual impairments can be used as a motivational tool for beginning braille users.

When I saw this Waff Creative Journal Kit in a clearance bin at a local bookstore, I had to have it. I knew my 5-year-old son Liam, who is deafblind, would LOVE it. I saw that I could easily modify it to be a motivating tool to practice his beginning braille skills.
  • Waff Creative Journal Kit (I found mine at a local bookstore for 50% off; I think it came to $9.99. I have also seen them at Hobby Lobby. In addition the kit can be found on
  • Some type of super glue
  • Brailled individual letters (and/or contractions as well) only one braille symbol will fit per “rubber tile”.  I used the self-adhesive label “paper” so the letters would be durable.
Type the letters (or contraction, etc.) you want and glue them onto the rubber tiles (only one symbol will fit per tile). Then you use super glue to adhere them to the rubber tile.  Done!

waif with braille letters applied

How Liam and I Use the Now “Braille” Creative Journal Kit:  


I place one tile on the board; for example the letter “L”.   I tell Liam, “find the letter L”.  He finds it, and touches it (good opportunity to practice good “reading fingers” form).  He then hands it to me and I have him feel it again.  Then we will chat about things such as, “L, L is for Liam”.   The process is repeated with different letters.  


I place a letter on the board again, but this time I ask him to identify the letter for me.  He will then feel the letter and tell me what he thinks it is.  We then chat about the letter again; for example, “G is for Grandma.”

Making the word: 

You can make words and sentences using the tiles.  You can have the child build the words or you can build the words and ask the child to read it.   

Finding a word or letter:

You could have a variety of words/letters on the board and the child would have to search for a specific one and take it off the board.  You could continue finding different letters until the board is empty.  

Organizing tip:

There are two sides (boards as I refer to them).  There are places on the front of the journal for tiles.  You can use the back to put the tiles you want to use in alphabetical order, so you don’t have to search for them.
braille board collage



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