I have never thought of doing a Braille activity with the kids until I spotted the new Braille pages on the website and it immediately occurred to me that the kids would see it as writing in code. And my kids love writing it any form of code. When we learnt about the Vikings they spend ages writing in ancient Runes so I was fairly confident once they got the hang of the Braille letters they would enjoy using it in a coded form. And I must admit they both started picking up the letters quite quickly.
We started by just reading up a bit about Louis Braille and they both quickly started pointing out places where they have seen Braille being used (lifts, museums we have been to, even a local store – I was very impressed that they were so aware of it). Then we moved onto the Braille crosswords and had a go at a few of them.
Completing the Braille transport crossword
Completing the Braille colour crossword
Both kids enjoyed the challenge and I think it was a good way of practicing the Braille letters before they tried to write their own messages. It was also a really good spelling activity for my youngest – he was so into figuring out the Braille that he did not even realise how many crosswords he ended up completing!
Then we tried to write a few phrases ourselves. There are two ways you could do this – using the normal alphabet or the reverse alphabet if you were writing on, say, foil. We stuck with the normal alphabet and wrote our Braille using some puffy paint – I went with the puffy paint idea because it gives the raised effect for the dots and all that squeezing of the puffy paint is a really good hand strengthening activity. The only drawback with the puffy paint is it does smudge, so you need to be aware of that.
Creating braille sentences using puffy paint
Both kids tried a number of different sentences and phrases.
Using the Braille alphabet to create our own sentences in Braille
The following day the kids were keen to stick with the Braille but this time we decided to create a few Braille necklaces. We kept it simple and stuck with writing the names on the Braille worksheet page and then cut out the names and glued them onto strips of coloured card. We created a hole at the top of the card and then looped through some string. The kids also decided to add some extra decoration to a few of the names.
Braille name necklaces
And we also made a few with just friends' initials.
Braille initial necklace
Both the kids love the necklaces and it was a fun activity. I am really glad we had a go at reading and writing in Braille. I do think it is good for the kids to be aware of different ways some people communicate, whether it is using Braille or possibly sign language. If your kids enjoy learning a bit about Braille they might find it interesting to then go on to learn about Hellen Keller.
Braille name necklace
This is a guest post from Shelly. Shelly is a home educating parent of two children aged 8 and 10. She blogs at ofamily learning together where she shares ideas on the different learning activities that they do including lots of hand-on maths, arts and crafts and anything else that is part of their home educating lifestyle.
You can find more guest posts by Shelly, and a list of all our guest posts, here.