Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Modifying Thrift Store Books for Young Children with Visual Impairments

alphabet book and do's and don't book

I frequently go to thrift stores looking for early reader books or board books that are in good condition. These are super affordable (around 50 cents each) and sturdy. Many times they are textured and I may add only a letter to a page or one word using sticky back clear paper. If they aren't textured, I will add something very simple like a feather to represent a bird. I use hot glue and/or velcro to affix items to the pages. Velcro is nice for items that a child can remove and explore further.

These are perfect for early learners. They are just starting to explore books, textures, turning pages, searching for braille. Here are some examples.


thrift store books collage



modfying board books

Posted by AnnMarie Rousseau

Modifying Board Books

Posted by Charlotte Cushman

Posted on February 10, 2015
Updated on: March 22, 2019

Previous comments for Modifying Thrift Store Books for Young Children with Visual Impairments

Charlotte Cushman commented on September 12, 2017

We love hearing about some of the ways you have adapted board books, Ann Marie!  Please let us know if you would like to share any examples on this website.  You can email us at or

AnnMarie Rousseau commented on September 11, 2017

I take the books using puff paints embellish the pages for a blind deaf child. Braille is added along with feathers, faux fur, and other materials. Other books I have embellished slightly and added a small box with items depicted in the book. Example no more Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, I have 5 little monkeys, made the box into a bed and then 2 larger monkeys for Momma and the doctor. the possibilities are endless