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Activity and strategy

Travel Tins: Magnetic Fun To-Go

Parent-made materials that can be used to entertain emerging braille readers

I use this “travel tin” as a fun activity to bring along for lengthy medical appointments, long car rides or dinner at a “sit-down” restaurant for my son Liam. It’s small enough that I can put it in my purse to bring along. Liam enjoys that all the pieces are magnetic so they “stick” to the cover and stay in place.


  • Tin box or container with a lid that fits snugly
  • Magnetic letters and shapes (These can be ready-made or you can glue small magnets to the back of letter tiles ot shapes.)
  • Braille labels on letters and shapes

Activities that could be included in the “travel tin”:

*Tiles with a magnet glued on the back with a braille letter or word on each tile.

travel tin with "Liam" in braille
Inside the travel tin lid, “Liam” is spelled out in print and braille on magnetic tiles.

How the tiles can be used:

  • Liam is a beginning braille reader. Our tiles spell out our son’s name in braille (one letter per tile). I help Liam “build” his name.
  • Depending on your child’s level, you could have tiles that have words on them so that they could build fun sentences.
  • You could also ask them to find certain words or letters.
travel tin with shapes and letters with braille
Magnetic shapes and braille letters on tin lid

*Shapes (made of different materials: wood, foam, etc..) with magnets glued on the backs of them…

Possible uses for shapes:

  • I ask Liam questions like: Can you find the star? What’s this shape? Same or different?
  • Create patterns or designs

Back of the tin:

I put the braille alphabet on the back of the tin and also Liam’s name. He always likes to turn it over and touch the braille.

Collage of travel tins
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