Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Squishy Bag - A tactile / multi-sensory approach to pre-writing and writing skills

Child manipulated squishy bag on lightbox

This blog post gives step-by-step instructions to make "squishy bags", for a wonderful multi-sensory early literacy activity.  They can be made with any color and anything inside, and are a great way to encourage tactile exploration.  Place them on a light box and children can touch and manipulate them.  Work on developing hand and finger strength, finger isolation, eye-hand coordination, and bi-manual coordination.

This is a great activity for practicing pre-writing skills such as "down", "over", "around", etc., shapes, and even more advanced writing skills - like letters.   In addition, it offers a great therapeutic/calming effect for some children and can be a sensory activity just for the sake of sensory.


  • Gallon size Ziploc bag
  • glitter (optional)
  • food coloring
  • hair gel (dollar store)


  1. Invite the child to help squeeze hair gel into the baggie.
  2. Add food coloring
  3. Close bag securely!
  4. Place on light box and turn off overhead lights.
  5. Bag can be taped to lightbox, if necessary.


  • Other small objects or textures may be added inside the bag, if desired.

squishy bag collage


Common Core and Braille Standards


W.K.2  Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
Posted on November 15, 2012
Updated on: March 27, 2018