Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Make your own textured puzzles!

textures on puzzle
A few simple steps made puzzles a lot more interesting for my 3 year old, deaf-blind son.  Most wooden puzzles are not accessible to children who are blind or visually impaired.  By adding some simple textures, I was able to make these puzzles a lot more fun and interesting for my son.  Matching textures is also an important skill for him to learn, and these puzzles give him practice with that.
Purpose for adding textures to a puzzle:
-interest of the child
-practice pairing textures


Here are some examples of textures I have used for puzzles for my son:

wooden puzzles with handles
  • 'puffy paint' designs
  • small beads
  • folded paper
  • tinfoil
  • string/yarn
  • fake fur
  • fabric
  • bubble wrap
  • plastic grocery bag
  • felt
  • buttons
  • pop tabs
  • foam stickers



wooden puzzle with textures
  • Find a 'chunky' wooden puzzle (My son Liam likes ones with fun handles on the pieces).
  • I find most of my puzzles at garage sales. 
  • Gather fun textures that aren't too 'thick' so that once glued onto the puzzle piece the puzzle will still lay flat. 
  • Take two pieces of the same texture: hot glue one piece onto the bottom of one of the puzzle pieces. Then glue the matching piece of texture onto the board where the piece belongs. Choose a different texture for one of the other pieces and continue the same as before. 




  • You could glue a texture on the top of the piece instead of the bottom or add texture to both the top and the bottom of the piece as well as the board.
  • Add braille labels to the puzzle piece and the empty space in the puzzle frame to work on matching words.
wooden puzzle with texturesWooden puzzle with textures


Textured Puzzle collage



Common Core and Braille Standards

Kindergarten - Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development : 

K.1.5a Identify two braille symbols as being the same or different.



Posted by from our Facebo...

Good question...on

Posted by Liams mom

Posted on April 18, 2013
Updated on: February 7, 2018

Previous comments for Make your own textured puzzles!

Liams mom commented on April 21, 2013

Good question...on 'variations' I added that the texture can be put on the top or the bottom. My son likes to lift up the pieces of the puzzle and feel the bottom so that is why I decided to do that for his puzzles.

from our Facebo... commented on April 21, 2013

Teaching the Visually Impaired wrote: "Why is the texture added to the back of the puzzle piece and not the top? Holding the puzzle piece in the correct position to go into the hole would necessitate the texture on the top. Otherwise, the matches become mirror images."