Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Magnetic Braille Grocery List

A boy reads a braille grocery list on magnetic strips
Creating a grocery list encourages independence with writing and organization.
I have been working with my son Liam (age 8, deafblind) for quite some time with "grocery shopping".   We have been working on things such as: 
  1. Appropriate Etiquette: Stay by the cart, don't "lurch" and grab everything, touch gently, don't rip off tags, etc.
  2. Accessibility: Accessible grocery lists (braille, objects etc.), giving him explanations of the environment including layout of the store, items for sale and people that are in the store to work and shop.  
  3. Concept Development: Why do we grocery shop?  What is in a grocery store?  Why do we have to pay for our items? The process of planning a grocery trip, etc.
The next stage in "grocery shopping practice" and to encourage independence is allowing Liam to participate in creating the grocery list at home. In the past I have just brailed the list or told him what to add to the list himself. I wanted Liam to take some ownership in keeping track of the items we are out of and need to buy. I thought about different ways to make a list of grocery items that we could add items to as we ran out. I choose using magnetic boards as a way that would be the most convenient for my family.  


  • 2 magnetic boards that can be removed from the wall (I hung ours on the inside of the pantry door, so it wouldn't be easily knocked down.)
  • Staple food items written in braille (things you buy most often) placed onto magnetic strips
  • Clipboard


Here is how we use our magnetic grocery list system:
  1. Move items (food items placed on magnetic strips) from the "Food Board" to the "We Need to Buy" board when we run out.  
  2. Continue to add items to the "We Need to Buy" board until it is time to go grocery shopping.  
  3. When it's time to go shopping, bring the "We Need to Buy Board" to the table next to the brailler and type out a "paper copy" of the list using the magnetic board list. Clear the magnetic list to use again for next time.  
  4. Attach the paper braille list to a clipboard to bring to the store!  
Liam putting grocery items on a magnetic board        Liam moving grocery items on the magnetic board        brailleing the grocery list         brailled grocery list on clipboard
*Note:  Eventually I plan to categorize the magnetic list into groups, such as dairy, fruit, grains, etc. and eventually I'd like to make my paper lists in order of what we would buy first in the store as well.  

Collage of creating magnetic braille grocery list


Braille grocery list

Posted by Mary Bogardus

Magnets and magnet board

Posted by Kirsten

Posted on August 17, 2017
Updated on: February 7, 2018

Previous comments for Magnetic Braille Grocery List

Liamsmom commented on August 21, 2017

I'm sure I bought mine from either Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  I also just searched 'magnets sticky backs' for you on Amazon and they had quite a few different options as well for reasonable prices!

Hope this helps!

Sandy (Liam's mom)

Kirsten commented on August 21, 2017

Where did you get the magnets big enough to label and the magnet boards from? Any details would be great thanks

Liamsmom commented on August 18, 2017


I actually used braille label sheets and cut them to fit the magnetic pieces.  I would think a label maker would work as long as you bought the correct sized magnet strips to fit your label tape:)  The braille label sheets I used can be found at:

Mary Bogardus commented on August 18, 2017

Love this. I have a 1/2 inch label maker. What kind are you using in the pictures (labels on black tape?).