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Activity and strategy

Tactile Pattern Activity

This activity takes patterns and makes them accessible to students with visual impairments.

Students who are blind or visually impaired benefit from practicing creating and following tactile patterns.  This might be rough, rough, smooth or big, little, little, big, little, little.  This is important for the development of cognitive concepts, as well as tactile discrimination.



It’s a pattern activity. There are many variations to this activity, but this version is a popular one with my students.  This wasn’t something I came up with on my own, but possibly got the idea from earlier postings from the Paths to Literacy site, such as these two examples:

clipboards with different patterns



Braille Literacy:  Back to the Basics




Patterns with shapes



Recognizing and Extending Patterns with Shapes



  • clipboard
  • cardboard cards
  • velcro (dots and strips)
  • glue
  • small items, such as shapes, buttons, coins, etc. that can be attached to the cards
  • I started with a clipboard, to which I attached different matching pattern cards.
  • The instructor can put one of the tactile cards on the velcro strip attached to the top of the clipboard.
  • The student then finds the matching card from two or three choices of cards and attaches it to the bottom velcro strip.

tactile patterns collage


Two craft flowers

Planting Rainbows

The Love Bugs cover with the title and textured hearts.

Love Bugs Book

Red glitter liquid in a bottle

Sensory Shake-Up