Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Messy and Muddy: A Guide to Outdoor Play for Children with Vision Impairment

Children wearing rubber boots splashing in a puddle

Many skills and concepts can be learned through outdoor play and exploration, such as the development of orientation and mobility skills.  In addition, concrete hands-on experience provides an opportunity to learn about concepts such as wet/dry, heavy/light, big/little, which is the basis for the development of literacy and numeracy skills. 

RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) shares a wonderful guide to outdoor play for children who are blind or visually impaired.  This 22-page guide was written by Karen Hirst (RNIB Children, Young People and FamiliesSpecialist Development Officer – Early Years/Early Intervention) and Kate Kotschy (Qualified Habilitation Specialist), and is available to download for free.  It includes the following sections:

  • Messy and muddy at home and in the garden

    • A safe environment
    • How to make CD windspinners
    • Splash and stomp
  • Playing in and around your home

    • Gardening
    • Sensory gardens: planting ideas to get you started
    • Have a picnic
    • Be creative
    • Get messy with mud
    • Mud!
    • Sand and water
    • Water play in the garden
    • Nature and wildlife
    • Ball games and exercise
    • Ball games in the garden
    • Skittles
    • Chilling out
  • Away from home

    • Parks and playgrounds
    • Meeting new people
    • Enjoying the park
  • Exploring further

    • At the beach
    • Be prepared
    • Playing in the sand
    • Waterplay
    • Toys and games
    • Activity providers

Collage of Messy and Muddy

Posted on June 29, 2019
Updated on: June 29, 2019