January 4th 2016 is World Braille Day. Celebrated on the birthday of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille, it’s a day that’s appreciated all over the world. World Braille Day is a day that we can use to not only raise awareness of the importance of what it is and how much of a difference it makes, but we can use it to teach our children what it is and why it’s important.
Teaching your child about Braille is not only beneficial for them, it also allows them to empathise with other children who are partially sighted or blind, and also encourages the development of their language skills.
To celebrate World Braille Day you and your child can both learn Braille together. It’s important to make this a fun activity and not necessarily a task. It requires a lot of attention and should only be done in short bursts so that children do not lose interest.
So what should you learn?
You might want to start off with something simple like learning the alphabet. It’s best to just let your children get used to the Braille first, let them make up what they think it says and think out loud. Then when they’ve got used to the feel and look of it you can start learning the different letters.
Get them to write the letter under each Braille letter as this will increase their chance of remembering what it means.
Once you’ve learned the alphabet you can move on to something else, don’t make it too difficult, a good thing to learn is your name, favourite colour or favourite animal – or all three if you and your child are confident enough! Print off pictures of colours or animals and get your child to use the Braille alphabet to say what it is.
Top tips for learning to read Braille:
- Take your time, there’s no rush, and not all children will enjoy or understand it straight away
- While learning the alphabet use songs and rhymes that they can use to remember and associate
- Learn it too, children copy adults and if they see you learning Braille, they are more likely to pay attention too
Do you have any tips on teaching children how to read and write Braille? Let us know on our social media pages!