Our latest Parent Support online Chat focused on ideas for an accessible stress free Christmas – from gifts, to games and even Christmas poems.
View, copy, download, or print our Accessible Christmas Resource here.
Photo below is of Jazzy the Guide dog who used to be in charge of keeping Elin Williams, our Mentor Lead out of trouble, and is now living in happy retirement with LOOK CEO Charlotte Carson and her family. Jazzy is pictured sitting in front of a Christmas tree decked with golden tinsel and red and gold Baubles. Jazzy looks very Christmassy and is wearing a Elf inspired red and green sequin Christmas collar. She looks intently towards the camera, probably expecting a Christmas treat.
Big thanks to steering group member Sarah Murray for stepping in to facilitate our online session on Monday 4th December, and doing such a wonderful job.
Our Parent Support Group (PSG) steering group help advise, give feedback and support our work with parent carers, and are quite simply awesome.
Sarah’s is mum to son Lucas, a LOOK mentee who was one of the winners at the recent Brightside awards.
Read more about Lucas here
It was a vibrant chat, well structured and facilitated so everyone could get a chance to share their Christmas tips for making an accessible, stress free Christmas.
Ideas ranged from Braille jewellery to how to play Jenga Blindfold to make it fair, challenging and fun for everyone playing. Some brilliant ideas, and you can dive deeper in our Christmas resource doc, but here’s a taster.
Creative toys give children the opportunity to express themselves. Ideas include:
- Lacing beads for making necklaces or pop apart beads
- Chalkboards or magnetic boards
- Pens – choose the brightest, thickest felt pens you can find as these show up best
- Scented marker pens which engage their sense of smell
- Packs of brightly coloured or neon paper
- Play kitchens which can help children with vision impairment to roleplay what their parents do in the kitchen
- Velcro fruit and vegetables (that come in two parts) which can be ‘cut’ with a plastic knife help fire their imagination
- Baking kits that allow children to make muffins or biscuits
- Its always a good idea to take the packaging off toys before you wrap them
We also shared resources from our partner organisations, including the brilliant RNIB Joymakers Guide to Christmas.
Parents also shared Christmas tips for parents of blind children who are also on the autism spectrum, with ideas like Dim the lights, create a quiet area, put batteries in toys so they are ready to be played with, keep one room not decorated as a Christmas free zone for respite from bright Christmas lights and noises, allow for rest times, and think about ear defenders to lessen sensory overload.
Parents also shared brilliant ideas for inclusive Christmas play that’s fun for all the family. One of those was for interactive, tactile family game The Sock Game
Jono & Nick, brothers and co-founders of The Sock Game were so delighted to hear it being recommended for blind and partially sighted kids, that they have created a special LOOK discount code LOOKXMAS20 so you can buy direct from their website
But hurry as orders need to be placed before December 17th so the games can be posted in time for Christmas.
And Jo, who is part of the LOOK Parent Support Team and also a mum to a visually impaired child, shared some lovely Christmas poems for everyone to enjoy. Watch the video below.
Our next online Social Chat session is Monday 18th December, 7.30pm – so put in in your diary and bring a mince pie and a cuppa. Sign up here