As sighted people, we need to let go of our concept of “good toy”. What is interesting to us is often cute, colorful and represents things we see in the world. I think about what captures my interest as I shop for my sighted grandniece. These are not very interesting to a child with a visual impairment.
Close your eyes as you chose a toy.
Is that cold, hard plastic duck engaging?
Does that furry teddy bear feel interesting?
The answer is often “no”.
Now feel a set of metal measuring spoons. Not much of a toy to you but to a child with a visual impairment, the shape is fascinating. These spoons are different sizes that can be compared. The temperature is cold. The spoons react differently when you hold them in different ways. They make great sounds when the clack together and great sounds when banged on other surfaces. Now that’s a toy for a littleroom!
When picking materials for the littleroom, close your eyes. Sound, sizes, texture, weight, temperature, and changeability are the qualities we want to look for.