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Have a Ball with Braille!

This braille activity for emergent readers is a fun way to get young children excited about braille. Using a variety of all different types of balls, children will be motivated to read simple words, while also building their basic concepts.

This activity is a way to make braille fun for emergent readers!

Basket of balls of different textures

I have a collection of about 20 balls…all different sizes and shapes and textures and weights, including a tennis ball, a fuzzy ball, a football, a spiky ball, a bumpy ball, a koosh ball, a bouncy rubber ball, a ball with a bell in it, a ball with holes, and a bowling ball. 

Image of ball for braille activity

Along with each ball, I have its name in braille, a photograph of it for my students with low vision, and its attributes/ description. 

Heavy, hard bowling ball with holes
Image of tennis ball with braille

The braille names are on APH Permabraille mounted on foam pages and bound with comb binding. 

I guide my early braille students as they find the braille on each page and pretend to read the names of the balls, then I give them that ball and we talk about it’s attributes.  (“What weight is the bowlingball?” “It’s heavy!”  “What temperature is it?”  “It’s cold.”  “Is it hard of soft?”  “It’s hard.”) 

Watch my student tracking the “tennis ball” from the ball book on this video.

After we talk about each ball, my students get to throw it to me … or into a basket, and then to turn the page to find the next name. 

My students with low vision are matching the balls with their photographs.   Some of my students are starting to recognize the braille labels for the balls, and they’re getting more and more comfortable in describing the balls. 

Make It Fun!  For more ideas to make braille fun see:  Making Braille Fun, Meaningful and Developmental for Young Readers

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