Exposing kids to tactile counting with Braille numbers opens the door for understanding how others who are visually impaired learn about the world. The Free Braille Counting Book offers tactile number explorations with the numbers one through ten. Print the book, gather your own Wikki Stix, and come learn about Braille numbers through tactile creation and play.

Materials needed:

• One copy of the FREE Braille Counting Book (per child) – download and print here: (Download Here)
• Assorted Colors of Wikki Stix
• Black Wikki Stix
• Scissors
• Note: pages of the counting book can be laminated for re-use if desired.

Discuss the numbers one through ten with your kids. Look around the house, childcare, or the classroom for specific numbers of items. Brainstorm how kids who are visually impaired might be able to count. Explain how kids who are visually impaired use their sense of touch to locate patterns of raised dots to tell them about the world, and then show the kids a copy of the FREE Braille Counting Book. In order for visually impaired kids to know a series of raised dots is going to be a NUMBER, there is a pattern of dots to indicate a numeral follows (see photo below). When visually impaired kids feel the raised dots with their fingertips, they know a number is coming.

Directions:

• Invite the kids to use black Wikki Stix to create the Braille numbers on the pages in the free counting book. Kids can make small spirals or form black Wikki Stix into tiny dots.
• Kids can challenge each other when finished creating their Braille numbers by asking a sibling or peer to close their eyes and FEEL the raised number patterns. Start with just one or two numbers to begin and add more numbers as the kids catch on to reading Braille. Remind your kids to FEEL for placement of the raised Wikki Stix dots. Every placement indicates a different number.

Expanding Learning:

• Invite kids to create larger Braille numbers with Wikki Stix (for larger numbers, the Braille numeral pattern is only used once, followed by individual number patterns – see number 10 in the Free Counting Book for an example).
• Kids can outline the shapes within the Free Braille Counting Book and ask peers to identify the shape by touch alone.

Wikki Stix offers educational resources for tactile learning through play. Please visit below to find more ways to create, learn, and have FUN with Wikki Stix.

Tactile Learning with the Braille Alphabet

Wikki Stix Resources for Sight Impaired Kids

Kinesthetic ABC and Word Creation with Wikki Stix

General Educational Resources for PreK through Middle School