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Activity and strategy

Counting Book

This book uses real objects and tactile symbols, along with ASL signs to teach numbers and counting to young children who are blind or visually impaired, deafblind, or with multiple disabilities.

Create a ‘flip book’ with objects to count under the flap.  I put the braille number on top of the flap the objects underneath it.  I also added the sign language picture for each number on the flap as well so whoever is reading the book with my son will know how to sign the number to him as well.


  • braille paper
  • glue
  • small objects to count (such as Q-Tips)
  • sign language pictures (optional)
  • metal rings or binder to make the pages into a book

To make the book:

  1. Create 10 “flaps” with the numbers 1-10 in print and braille.  Pictures of sign language for each number can also be included.  (You can start with a smaller number of pages, if you want, like 1-3, or 1-5)
  2. Glue the specified number of objects on a different piece of paper (heavy paper, such as braille paper, card stock, or construction paper work best).  You can do a different item on each page, or keep the same one going throughout the whole book.
  3. Tape the flap to the top of each page, so that it covers the item.
  4. Punch holes and put the book together using metal rings or a binder.
Page with the number 4 in ASL
Page with the number 4 in ASL

To read the book with your child:

  1. Practice counting 1-10 (or whatever the total number of pages is) with your child.
  2. Help your child to find the first page.  Point to the braille/print numerals. Say/sign:  “How many?”  Wait for a response, then say/sign “1, 2, 3”, etc.
  3. Invite the child to flip up the flap and count the number of items underneath.


  • Create additional pages, as your child learns the numbers.
  • Make the items smaller, moving, for example, from Q-Tips to raised dots of velro or glue.
  • Invite the child to make his own book, counting out the number of items needed for each page.
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