CVI and Easter: How to Create an Easter Tactile Book (and a FREEBIE!)
Easter is right around the corner, which means that some students will start to see Easter-themed items around their homes, schools, classrooms, etc. Understanding new items can be challenging for students with cortical visual impairment. In order to help students understand and relate to items they might see around Easter, I have created this CVI-friendly Easter tactile book. The goal of this book is to expose and teach a child with CVI about Easter-related items using a multisensory approach.
There are a few ways to create a tactile literary experience for students with CVI. One of those ways is through a tactile book. A second way is through a story box. In this blog post, I am going to give you ideas about how to make both versions, so you can determine what is best for your child or student. In addition, make sure you read until the end so you can download the FREE template to create your own CVI-friendly Easter Tactile Book.
How do I create an Easter tactile book?
When creating a tactile book, an adapted book, or any materials for students with cortical visual impairment, I recommend using matte lamination. If you are using the colored version of the free download, I recommend printing it and laminating each page with matte lamination, prior to applying any of the tactile features. If you are using the printer-friendly template at the end of the download, I recommend laminating black cardstock using matte lamination and then adhering the tactile elements to the laminated page. This helps the materials hold up year after year!
To start creating a tactile book, you first have to decide what vocabulary you want to focus on. For the purpose of this blog post, and your FREE download (found at the bottom of this blog post), we are going to focus on the following Easter vocabulary: basket, egg, lamb, chick, jelly beans, marshmallow bunny, flower, and rabbit.
To create the Easter egg, you can use glitter foam, as seen in the picture above, and/or an actual plastic Easter egg. The glitter foam is raised off the paper, allowing students to feel the shape of an egg. By pairing it with an actual plastic Easter egg, students can see the egg from all angles, open and close it, etc.
For the rabbit, you can use a small piece of craft fur. This allows students to see the picture of the rabbit, but they also use their tactile cues to feel the fur and pet it.
For the marshmallow bunny, I recommend using foam to create the shape in the book. Foam is soft and provides that squishy texture when touched, like an actual marshmallow bunny. In addition, I found a marshmallow bunny squishy toy at CVS, which also makes a great addition to the experience book if you have access to a CVS. For students that are able/want to consume marshmallows, I also recommend allowing them to taste a marshmallow bunny. This helps to enhance the multisensory experience.
For the jellybeans, I used various colors of puffy paint to color a few of the jellybeans. I would recommend painting in 3-4 jellybeans, so there is some space between painted jellybeans. Once it dries, the students are able to feel the smoothness of the puffy paint, as well as feel the individual (painted) jelly beans. For students that are able/want to consume jellybeans, I also recommend allowing them to taste jellybeans. This helps to enhance the multisensory experience.
For the flower, there are three options included. If you are using a story box, I recommend using the tulip flower page with a fake flower from a craft store. This allows the student to interact with the fake flower while learning to make a connection to the 2-D image on the page. For the second option, you can use the same fake flower discussed above, but attach it to a piece of black laminated card stock using zip ties. For the third option, you can use the black/white template and create a flower using foam. Use the template to cut out the different parts of the flower. Then glue the foam flower onto laminated black card stock.
For the basket, there are a few options as well. If you are creating a tactile book, you can use the colored page of the basket, without the handle. I then purchased a small Easter basket from Target (only $1!), detached the handle, and attached it to the page using zip ties. This allows the student to interact with one of the defining characteristics of a basket- the handle. Another option is to use the printable colored page that shows the entire basket and pair it with the actual basket.
For the chick, there are two options that I recommend. The first is to use the colored page of the adapted book and pair it with a small, wind-up chick. These are furry and move when you wind them up! They are bright and engaging! It allows the child to learn the relationship between the object and the 2-D image. The second option is to use the colored page of the adapted book and glue feathers to the picture of the chick. This helps enhance the multisensory experience of the Easter tactile book.
Lastly, for the lamb, I recommend printing the colored page of the adapted book. Then, glue cotton balls or white pom poms onto the lamb. This enhances the child’s experience with the book. They are able to see the image of the lamb while feeling the soft fur of the lamb.
The second part of the download includes printer-friendly templates to create an Easter tactile book. I know that not everyone has access to a color printer. These templates can be used to trace the important elements onto tactile paper/materials to create a book as well.
Using this experience book or story box with your child or student repetitively will help the child build connections with Easter vocabulary.
DON’T FORGET TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREEBIE BELOW!
Want to learn more about other CVI-friendly activities? Check out these blog posts:
Schedules and CVI: Visually Appropriate Schedules for Children with CVI
Educational Shape Activities for Students with CVI
Five Spring Craft Ideas for Students with Cortical Visual Impairment
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