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So I hope you will understand every single thing and every single sculpture I try to describe, to tell and to show you. If you want to come to Ms. Elliott's class to feel or to see my sculpture, me and my teacher Ms. Elliott always waiting and open the door to you to come here. I hope you will like and enjoy my sculpture. I hope my sculpture will give you a good time and good luck. This is my second year working on sculpture. Please let me know and give me your idea and give me your discussion. I am happy to need your idea or discussion, because in the future I will continue working with my sculpture. Please give me more believe I can do it. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your time to look and to read on the Internet.


About the Artist

The Sculptures

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"Pig in a cage"

The reason I made the pig in a cage was because I feel it is very fun and I think it looks very cute. I like pig too. So that's why I made pig in a cage.

"Rooster Fighting"

I like roosters a lot. It is very neat and cute animal .You can use rooster to fight for you and make money. At my country they did use rooster for fight by money. The rooster is very good to eat. Most people like to eat chicken or rooster. So I think it is very good and very funny to make a sculpture rooster.

"Cat playing with a Ball"

Cat is a neat animal. I think that most people like cat, some people didn't. Children like to play with cat. Cat is fun animal but not big cat. You see this cat; it is not big at all, right? The children like to play with a small cat; small cat is fun to play with. So it give me an idea to sculpture a small cat playing with a ball and sitting on a chair. I hope the children will like my little funny cat when they see it. So that was just some reasons I did sculpture of a cat sitting on a chair playing with a ball.

Dog Eating

Dog eating, what do you think when you see the dog eating? Do you think it is fun? I think so. For us, to hard if we want to feel the dog eating. It is very hard, because when the dog is eating we can't come to close. It will bite us if we come to close when it's eating. So for that, I made a clay dog sculpture, eating. The people can feel what the dogs eating is like. Another reason, I made the dogs eating was because the dogs are popular animal. All people like dogs. Dogs can help you to keep your house safe and I like dogs too. So that is why I made dogs eating, and I think it is funny.

Visually Impaired Dog eating with a bone

What do you think when you see or feel the visually impaired dog eating a bone. A dog wearing eyeglasses and eating a bone. I call visually impaired dog. Do you think this is fun and do you think it looks cute when the dog wears eyeglasses? For us, I believe we never feel the dog with eyeglasses on and eating a bone. I can think and I can make the dog with eyeglasses and eating a bone because I use my mind eyes. I believe you know what the mind eye means and you know what I mean. I hope you will have a change to feel or to see my visually impaired dog eating with a bone. I hope you can tell what is it like and will have or enjoy after you see it. I hope my sculpture will give you a good time. The last thing I would like to say about the visually impaired dog eating with a bone is people can be visually impaired how come the animal can not be visually, right? I knew the people like dogs a lot, guess what, me too. This why, I made the visually impaired dog eating with a bone.

Dog driving a car

Have you heard or felt a dog driving a car before? If you did, do you think it is funny? For me I think so. If you have not heard or feel before, this is your chance to. I made out of clay a sculpture of dog driving a car. I hope the people have never heard or feel before you can feel my sculpture now. Dog driving a car is popular thing I think, because how come a dog can drive a car. People drive a car of course, but this is a dog, a dog driving a car. Do you think it is funny? Do you think the dog looks nice or cute when sitting on a car? I think so, I think it is fun. I like to make something that is fun. Dogs can do things that people do too. That why I made a dog driving a car.

Puppies playing on the playground

I never see or feel the puppies play on the playground before, what about you? Have you see or feel it before? Can you imagine the puppies they know how to play on the playground? Do you think they know how to push themselves? I think you never see or feel the puppies sitting on the playground before, it is right? Another reason is I like to make something like us. I mean the things we can do and something else or animals can do too.

Wild Horse

I like horse a lot; I like to ride a horse. Horse is fun and made me feel good when I sit on it or ride it. Horse is big animal and it very helpful for the people. It can help you to get one place to other place with out a car. A long time ago, we don't have any transportation. So we just ride a horse or cow. This horse call wild horse, the reason I called Wild horse because a long time ago we have a lot of horses. Many horses ran away and most have been kill because most people must dead or ran away from horse and can not take care of them in the war. I know this is terrible thing to happen. So that is why I called wild horse and I like to made a horse.

Winnie Horse

Do you see the wild horse different than Winnie horse? The Winnie horse I worked on longer than the wild horse, because the Winnie horse I build more muscle on it. The tail is different then wild tail. So this two horses are completely different. The reason I called this horse Winnie because I think this name sounds very nice and funny. Another reason is I like horses a lot. So that is why, I like my horse sculpture my teacher and my friend they were help me to think up the Winnie name.

About Duc

Duc at work, making a horse sculpture from a model.Duc Tran is 20 years old and from South Vietnam. Duc was born with vision, but at the age of 5 contracted measles and now has only light and shadow perception. In 1992 Duc and his family came to America. I asked Duc why and he replied freedom more better. Duc has been a student at TSBVI for 4 years. I've had the pleasure of working with Duc for 2 years. Duc uses his minds eye to create whimsical work. It takes Duc about 6 class periods to make a new sculpture. He is always searching for new ideas (just like any other artist) and would welcome e-mail correspondence.

Thank you,

Denise Elliott
Art Teacher


  • Use the edges from form-feed braille paper, use brads (the kind you can swivel around like when you made pinwheels) to put through the sprocket holes to join the strips into shapes (I used this in high school geometry to create parallelograms, triangles, etc).
  • Use crinkle-ribbon to curl twists for hair on something. Braid ribbon.
  • Make hanging mobiles with 3-D cardboard geometric shapes.
  • Cut 2 paper or fabric shapes (inverses of each other can be made by cutting two pieces at the same time to get a front and back) glued along the edges and stuffed with tissue paper, wood shavings, sawdust (for scent), potpourri, fiber filling... you name it!
  • Make kite structures with paper and straws.
  • Make paper beads by rolling gift wrap, foil paper, or colored paper into cylinders, balls, etc. Cut paper into triangles and roll to get beads with thin ends and thick middles.
  • Use a cardboard tube, Pringles chip tube, oatmeal cylinder to make a rainmaker. Push nails into the cylinder randomly (they should be too short to go through the other side). Put dried peas, beans, shells, pebbles or similar objects into the tube. Fill only 1/8 or 1/4 of the tube. Seal off the ends of the tube. Decorate the outside with fabric and dangling tassels. As the tube is turned over it sounds like rain.
  • Make pillars, table legs, etc. for a theatrical play using the corrugated board used for bulletin boards. Use the same material to texturize other items.

Skills/Concepts: art, geometry, physics, recycling, history, drama, and math


  • Bare copper wire twisted into spirals with needle-noosed pliers to make jewelry, to frame around a picture, to be an integral part of a picture (e.g. as hair).
  • Use the aluminum foil sheets from the raised line kit, a foil pie tin's bottom, from a hobby shop or wholesale hardware store and a wooden dowel rod, rounded or pointed at one end. Cut on a diagonal at the other to emboss shapes in reverse in order to get bas relief on the shiny side. If you can get copper sheets, it is even prettier.
  • You can punch holes through aluminum foil sheets/pie-tins in patterns (a cardboard cutout or cookie cutter can help guide the student around the edges to make an outline or silhouette of the shape). A carpet needle or large nail might be used to make the holes (put something like wads of newspaper under the work so nothing under the project gets damaged). The holes are textured for a completely blind student and a light can be shown through it for a sighted student. Joining several pieces of the metal sheets together can make a candle holder that lets light through without too much wind
  • Combine skills from 2 and 3


  1. use a stiff, thin cardboard (shirt board or gift box) and draw two lines intersecting at right angles to make a large "L" or corner. This can be made as Elmer's glue lines allowed to dry. Using a braille ruler and a carpet needle, punch evenly spaced holes 1/4 inch apart along both lines--the same number of holes along each line (say 12 holes). Thread the needle with colored yarn. Starting from the back side (with the glue), pull the thread through the farthest hole (hole 12) on one line (A) and into the hole (hole 1) closest to the right-angle on the other line (B). From the back, go into hole 2 on line B and draw the string through and into hole 11 on line A, etc. When done, do the reverse order (hole 12 on line B into hole 1 of line A) with a different colored/textured string/yarn. The result is a pretty curve. 
    Skills/Concepts: mathematical relationships (1-to-1 correspondence), pattern analysis, fractal geometry, physics (support bridges use cables similarly). 
  2. same idea but with a circle or oval with evenly spaced holes (number them, if possible from 0 to ___). I did this one and just photocopied the shapes with the marks where the holes would go. The students thread through hole one to hole 5, to hole 10, etc., skipping by 5. This was taped to the back of the cardboard. When the students are done, gently tear away the paper from the cardboard or cover the back with felt. It makes for a great frame for pictures, 3-D art glued in the center, or just as art by itself. The students can experiment with getting a larger or smaller blank opening by skipping more or fewer holes (skipping by 3 produces a larger blank center than skipping by 7). As I recall, however, there has to be an odd number of holes along the rim of the circle (I think), and younger children get confused once they reach a hole that already has thread in it.
    For an older child to do this independently, s/he can use a needlepoint ring, which (I think) has holes in the rim already. Once completed, it can be a free hanging "sun-catcher". Older children can imbed brass nails or hat pins into soft wood, cork sheets or Styrofoam blocks (cover with black felt for a dramatic effect) and wrap the string around the nails (student can independently use a large gear such as a bicycle gear with lots of teeth as the template and place the pins into the notches). Skills/Concepts: pattern analysis, pre-multiplication (skipping by 5 once gets to hole 5, twice, to hole 10, three times to hole 15, etc.). 
  3. fabric wreaths: use a straw wreath (craft shop). Use old pieces of fabric (LOTS) cut into 2 inch squares with pinking shears (there are electric shears available or a fabric shop might be able to do them in bulk if you plead well enough). Using a pencil with the lead broken, a slightly sharpened dowel rod, or a Phillips screwdriver, place the tool in the center of the square of fabric and push it into the straw wreath. Continue over the front surface of the wreath. Different colors/textures can be focused in one area, or different sized squares of fabric can be used to create different effects (e.g., to indicate the "top"). Finish off with 2 small eyelet screws pushed into the back and use picture-frame wire for hanging. 
  4. different color/textures of fabric to make a collage. An animal shape made of small pieces of overlapping fabric can be glued to a poster board to make a collage. 
  5. Yarn, soaked in glue, wrapped around a balloon, when dry, the balloon is popped to leave a lace structure. (This can be frustrating for a child to keep the string from slipping around. 
  6. cheesecloth or similar cloth soaked in starch and draped over jars, dowel rods, cardboard boxes. When dry, they retain the shape. These make great Halloween ghosts, just glue on Googly eyes or macaroni or buttons.


  1. Remember lanyard braided into key/whistle chains? 
  2. braid hair, rope, dough
  3. beads on hair, string necklaces, hanging planters 
  4. beads woven into fabric 
  5. potholder weaving (it's still going strong at craft shops) 
  6. leather strips braided into belts (there are leather belt kits available at stores that sell stuff for the Boy Scouts).


  1. If you can get the domino sugar tablets (not the cubes, but the ones actually shaped like dominoes), Elmer's glue (if you want to keep it) or frosting can be used to glue them together to make pillars (putting a ruler lintel across them), pyramid arches, and curved arches (lightly sandpaper into blunt-edged wedges to get the curves).

    This can be used to teach the physics of architecture--why was it necessary for early structures using the pillar and lintel to have so many pillars? (The lintels can't support too much weight and structures couldn't be too tall--you would need too many pillars inside the building that there would be no room for people). 

    What advantage would an angle arch have in holding up a wall and roof? (Allows more light and air to get into a building). 
    What advantages did the Romans and the Byzantines get from arches? (Could support more weight, needed fewer pillars, more light and air, structures could be taller). 
    What advantage does a flying buttress arch have? (Like the Notre Dame Cathedral, the interior is free of pillars, so there is more room for people). 
    Skills/Concepts: physics needed in architecture, pre-graphing for geometry, community awareness [Where is there a building with an arch? (e.g., church, government buildings, bridges). Where in the room is there lintel? (doorway).], planning ahead. 
  2. To go along with the above, put waxpaper or saran wrap inside a bowl. Periodically cover with a thick sugar coating (or tempered chocolate) and allow to dry. When thick enough, remove the dome to make a Rotunda (which is an arch swiveled 180 degrees that leaves a chocolate trail). 
    Skills/Concepts: 3-D geometry (non-Euclidean), etc. 
  3. gingerbread house (can be made with graham crackers instead) 
  4. pasta art using uncooked pasta: string them, weave them, glue them together. Pasta (macaroni, elbows, etc.) come in different colors now, or can be painted (add scents to the paints for another sensory stimulus).


  1. make a candle holder with blocks of wood of various heights, thicknesses. Use a handle-held drill to get holes deep enough to hold candles. Blocks can be glued together into a small centerpiece or dowel rods can be inserted into holes to spread them out. Don't have the dough for this? Get a log or thick branch. Plane the bottom to make it flat and drill a series of holes along the top. Spray paint or glue glitter, beads, macaroni. 
  2. use wood shavings from a plane to make "hair". 
  3. Affix objects (nails, coins, rope, yarn, buttons, bottle caps, pop can pull tabs, etc.) to the surface of wood.


  1. Use Ivory or scented soap bars and a plastic knife/nail/sharpened dowel to scrape, dig, and carve 3-D shapes, make textures by cross hatching, random small pokes, etc.
  2. Use the shavings to scent the inside of a fabric animal shape or to glue onto a picture for added texture.


  1. Check out craft shops, Girl Scout and Boy Scout books, art shows, craft shows, art books, etc. for more ideas. Make a reindeer out of clothespins or a dog bone biscuit. Wreaths made of hangers and tissue paper (or clear plastic bags). Hollowed out eggs for a head with pipe-cleaners for arms and legs. 
  2. Gather pieces from toy games (Mr. Potato Head, Lego blocks, checkers, car wheels, etc.), visit a hardware store (get a jar of washers, Hmm, that cabinet handle could be a nose or train, gears for wheels), go to garage sales (plastic fabric pieces, imitation leather, small objects d'art), baker's/restaurant supply store, wedding/party favor store (neat dried flowers, candy molds, objects used to make favors, Googley eyes, etc.) for ideas and supplies. Teacher stores also have a lot of materials. Look at the stuff with your hands and sniff it. Ideas just come a poppin'!

Thanks to Mario Cortesi  []  for this information

This document is a Resource for the Expanded Core Curriculum. Please visit the RECC logo.

  1. Learning objectives: At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to
    1. Describe the benefits of the art of stone sculpting.
    2. Describe how to View sculptures.
    3. Describe the process of stone sculpting and the required adaptations.
    4. Describe the sources of tools and materials for sculpting stone.
  2. What’s so special about stone carving?
  3. How does one teach stone carving?
    1. Begin with the basic concepts as it is viewed
      1. What are form and shape?
      2. What are surface flow and energy?
      3. What are texture, firmness, and smoothness?
      4. What determines surface temperature and sounds?
      5. What is “frozen” action?
    2. What are the pre-requisite tool skills?
      1. Filing
      2. Sanding
      3. Sawing
    3. What are the steps in making a stone carving?
      1. Selecting a stone – Use soft Oregon soapstone (see resources)
      2. Choosing a figure – start simple, a simple monolith or a relief of a leaf.
      3. Drawing or scratching the figure in the stone – use a model for proportion
      4. Filing or cutting the “nonfigure” part of the stone away.
      5. Filing and rounding the figure
      6. Adding details – mouths, noses, etc.
      7. Sanding smooth – 60, 125, 200, then 400-grip sandpaper
    IV. Beginner’s resources
    1. Stone – See John Pugh in resource list for Oregon soapstone (He will send it UPS at about $1/pound
    2. Tools – At your hardware store You need: a 4in1 file, a curved file or two, a cheap hand jigsaw, and some sandpaper.
    3. Five pounds stone project Cost – $25!

Paul E. Ponchillia, Ph.D.
Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008


Art Resources

Accessible Arts Inc.
1100 State Ave.
Kansas City, KS 66102
Located at the Kansas School for the Blind, teach arts there, consult, provide info


Art Education for the Blind
Kyoko Tokunaga
935 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10021
(212) 879-5100
Provides audio series of art history


Friends-In-Art of ACB, Inc.
Mike Mandel, President
400 W. 43rd. St. #20L
New York, NY 10036
(212) 868-0345
This is a subgroup of the ACB that publishes a newsletter entitled: "The Log of the Bridge Tender". It also holds annual art exhibits and performances at the ACB national convention.


Horizons for the Blind
2 North Williams Street
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

(815) 444-8800
This organization produces adaptive art products and works with museums to make them accessible to individuals with visual impairments.


National Institute of Arts and Disabilities
Elias Katz director
551 23rd St.
Richmond, CA 94804
Educational materials, information and referral Office of Special Constituencies


Endowment for the Arts
1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20506
Phone 202-682-5532
Provides information and technical assistance to artists, art organizations and consumers concerning accessible arts programs and other federal programs that support cultural activities.


InSights Art
American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Avenue
PO Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206-0085
This is an annual art contest sponsored by the APH. Entries are judged by a panel of artists. Categories of competition include the artist's age and media used. The contact person is Roberta Williams.


Montoya/Mas International, Inc.
435 Southern Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Phone 800-682-8665 Fax 407-833-2722
This company is a mail order operation that sells all types of stone sculpting supplies, including tools and a variety of types of stone.


National Exhibits by Blind Artists
919 Walnut
Philadelphia, PA 16107
This organization puts a national touring exhibit together biannually. Pieces are judged for inclusion and the artwork is intended for sale.


Soapstone of Southern Oregon
John Pugh, Grant's Pass, Oregon
Best buy in soapstone, good soft beginner's stone
Started by a tactile and visual artist/teacher. The site includes details of exhibitions, conferences, seminars, residencies, and workshops. Also has personal research on art and visual impairment and contacts for individuals and organizations interested in touch and visual arts. These are mostly in Europe.


Activity and lesson plans for children and adults with disabilities.


Very Special Arts
1300 Connecticut Ave, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 628-2800
(800) 933-8721
Fax: (202) 737-0725
Creates learning opportunities through the arts for people with disabilities. Offers programs in creative writing, drama, music, and visual arts


Art At Your Fingertips
Has tactile pictures of famous prints for loan to visually impaired people. Must register and pay annual fee to be eligible for loans.

Tactile Colour Ltd
107 Southover Street
Brighton, England BN2 2UA
Phone (UK) 00 44 1273 88 7725
Offers 12 colours each distinctively textured printed on self adhesive vinyl sheets. Enables people with visual impairments to create and share in the experience of visual artworks.


Arts Access of NC
Focuses on audio descriptions of different forms of art including dance, theater.


by Carrell L. Grigsby, former teacher at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Vision Quest is low vision training utilizing techniques commonly used by photographers to capture and present images.

(The name "Vision Quest" for this instruction is copyrighted by Carrell Grigsby, and will always be available for use to instruct the visually impaired free of charge. )

Rationale and Purpose

The purpose of this course is to awaken students with low vision as to how much they can see when they learn to optimize their vision. Both visually impaired and sighted individuals can improve observational skills through the study of photography. As visually impaired students learn to analyze common visual cues and apply the principles of composition to their own photographic images, they become avid visual observers.

For many visually impaired students, a state of visual overload from consciously or unconsciously straining to see all day can be very tiring. Many quit trying to see beyond that which is necessary for the task at hand. These students may improve visual perception through photographic training. Distilling visual information into one frame or slice of the day decreases the amount of visual fatigue and separates distractions from the object(s) a student wants to see. Independence in finding an image, capturing the image, and then being able to display the result increases a student's self-esteem, peer acknowledgment self-confidence, and motivation.

Exerpt from former student's college English class essay:

"Through photography I learned that perception is not about what we see but how we see it. For the first time in my life I understood there was a difference between seeing and perceiving. The camera (...and the control to reproduce images) gives me the ability to extract portions of my environment that I may or may not have seen without it. It is a liberating irony for me a visually impaired photographer to possess total visual command over my subject." - C. White

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Identification and Selection of Appropriate Students

  • low vision students with some object perception (light perception only is too little vision to benefit) to highest functioning legally blind
  • Change in visual functioning since birth due to
    • brain trauma or disease
    • medical intervention to regain visual function - student must learn to use newly gained capability
  • Physical, emotional, and mental capability of operating and caring for the equipment safely.

Assessment of Students

  • It may be helpful to refer to the Visual Functioning Assessment in the student's file.
  • Observe the student for current visual functioning (e.g., when entering the classroom, when walking, does the student visually search).
  • Observe the student visually locating particular items in the classroom. (A classmate is ideal for an object for visual search. Students readily search for a person or familiar object.)
  • After a brief introduction to the camera, observe the student using the viewfinder by giving a particular object to look at. If the student points the camera away from the object, it can be assumed the object is not seen at the set distance ( about 10-15 feet is a good starting point). It may help to move the object closer in order for the student to see it.

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Sequence/Hierarchy of Course

  1. Separating foreground from background
  2. Awareness of detail
  3. Employ photographic principles of design and composition
  4. Choosing visual presentations

Vision Goals

  • Improve visual searching and self advocacy behaviors
  • Differentiate between foreground and background
  • Increase ability to identify the main subject in a picture
  • Identify one's own need for detail
  • Heighten motivation to use existing vision efficiently in every aspect of daily life

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by Martha Pamperin

Definition: Art is the manipulation of materials to make objects which are interesting, beautiful, and/or fun to feel and handle.


We tend to think of art experience in a visual way. We can see all parts of an art object which are facing us at the same time. We see how the parts are related to each other and to the whole. Though we tend to think of art in this spatial way, art also has a temporal aspect. This is most obvious when we view large pieces of sculpture or beautiful buildings. As we walk around the sculpture or through the building, the parts reveal themselves sequentially, as we move. Then the flow of the parts, one into the next, becomes an important part of the art experience. There is both a static spatial, and a flowing, temporal, aspect. For sighted people, the spacial aspect of art seems to dominate the temporal aspect.

For blind people it is the other way around. The art object is experienced as the hands and finger tips move over it, so experiencing tactual art objects is primarily a temporal, sequential one, and only secondarily spatial.

The materials of which art objects can be made have many qualities: color, shape, texture, and other qualities which are experienced kinesthetically, firmness, springiness, resistance to touch or movement, weight. Art for sighted children tends to emphasize color over all other qualities. Of course, for a blind person, color is not important. Texture, resistance to touch of the material's surface, variations in elevation from the surface, and weight are what is important.

Think of the things in your experience which are enjoyable and beautiful to touch and handle: A cashmere sweater, the handle and heft of a well-made and balanced tool, polished wood, a kitten's soft fur, a string of beads. Think about how these objects feel as your hands and finger tips move over them and when you turn them in your hands. The feel of the material as it moves under your finger tips and hands, the shape and weight of the object as you hold it, that is tactual/kinesthetic art appreciation- art from the point of view of a blind connoisseur.

Consider the art materials of the preschool and the elementary classroom: crayons, paint, various kinds of paper, glue, paste, play dough. All of the materials in this list except paper are either not perceptible by a blind child or offensive to the touch. What a blind child is likely to learn most powerfully in the early years is that art is unintelligible and unpleasant. Later blind children learn that they can make many art objects which are acceptable to the art teacher. They can glue paper shapes onto a big piece of paper. They can weave strips of paper through paper slits to make a place mat. They can cut along raised lines. They can, in short, learn to make all kinds of things which are visually acceptable if not particularly visually beautiful. But what of art appreciation and artistic production from their point of view?

The activities that follow describe art objects and processes which are all interesting, pleasurable and fun to touch and handle. They are designed to give blind children the opportunity to create objects of art which they, themselves can appreciate and enjoy and which they can use to express their personal creativity. Many include sound as one aspect of the art experience.


General process: Crumple something; then stuff it into a bag; then close up the bag. Bags can be assembled and arranged in some way. The result will be fun to touch and squeeze and generally fun to play with.


  1. Things to crumple: Lots of things are fun to crumple: pieces of newspaper, pages torn from magazines, paper towels, sheets of plastic, tin foil, foam rubber, kleenex, rags, leaves, etc.
  2. Some kind of bag: Fairly small paper bags are easiest to handle. cloth bags, nylon stockings, socks, etc. could also be used.
  3. Something to keep the bags closed: Paper bags can be twisted closed. Scotch tape, string, rubber bands etc. could also be used.
  4. A container for crumpled things which are ready for stuffing: A cardboard box or other container will be needed unless each crumpled piece will be stuffed into a bag as soon as it is crumpled.
  5. (optional) something to hang finished bags from or attach the bags to: Bags can be tacked to a bulletin board, hung from a rope or string, glued or taped to cardboard or the sides of a cardboard box etc.


Crumple the materials and toss into a box. Let the child play with the crumpled materials in the box. The child can reach into the box and play or climb right in and enjoy.

Bags filled with crumpled stuff can be squeezed, pounded, rolled between the hands and rolled over with the whole body.

The find-it game - Have a child or all the children in a class crumple materials and toss the crumpled pieces into a box or other container. When the container is full, let the children take turns finding an interesting object which you have or another child has hidden in the box.

Squeeze me board or squeeze me line - Each day have the child crumple a different crumpleable item and stuff a small bag. Vary the kinds of bags as well as the kinds of crumpleables. You can vary the shape of the bag as well as the material of which it is made. Tie each stuffed bag with a string and attach it to the side of a cardboard box, a bulletin board or other firm surface. Let the child select the place where the bag will go on the board. Allow opportunity for the child to explore and experience the resulting display.

Other games - Bags on strings can become indoor balls or punching bags.


While the child is having fun he/she will also

  1. Develop finger and hand strength
  2. Develop wrist and finger dexterity
  3. Learn more about the inside and outside shapes of containers
  4. Learn more about the properties of various materials used
  5. Learn a sequence of activities leading to a goal
  6. Learn to participate with a group and work with other children toward a common end.

Stringing Things

A wide variety of things can be assembled in a row by stringing them.


  1. Stringables: cardboard tubes, beads, washers, nuts, macaroni, pieces of drinking straw, buttons, pieces of wood with holes, etc.
  2. Stringers: (Firm stuff is easier to use than wobbly stuff.) pipe cleaners, pieces of wire coat hanger, doweling, drinking straws, shoe laces, thin wire, rope, string, thread yarn
  3. (optional) Something to attach the string to or hang it from


For beginners, Secure one end of the stringer so that the stringables can't slide off. You can even secure one end through a hole in heavy cardboard; then scotch tape the cardboard and string end to the table top. The student then strings the stringables on the stringer. When the student is finished, the teacher can secure the free end of the string through another hole. The student can then explore and play with his/her creation, moving the materials back and forth on the string, tipping the cardboard so that the materials slide from one end to the other, turning the materials on the string and so on. Of course, the child may wish to wear his/her creation around wrist or neck or hang it by one end from the bulletin board.


If a variety of stringables is presented, the student will be able to explore what happens when items with holes of various sizes are strung on the same string (They may slide over one another). Older children can make stringable tubes by rolling paper and securing it with tape, string or rubber bands. These homemade tubes can be decorated.

Flat shapes with small holes in them can be used as separators to prevent one item from sliding over another.

Beads can be made from play dough or clay.

Hidden Collage

Almost anything can be stuck to a flat surface to make a collage. The problem with most collage activities for blind students is that it is hard to feel the picture without either getting the hands sticky with glue or dislodging the pieces. This problem can be solved by covering the collage with a piece of material such as old sheeting or some lighter material. The collage is observed by feeling the picture through the material. Crayon rubbing or paint can be added to the material after the collage is finished if appeal to sight is desired.


  1. A firm, flat surface: cardboard, heavy paper, or other firm surface
  2. Something to stick to the surface: cardboard shapes, leaves, grasses, material, foam, string, etc. (the materials should not be too thick.)
  3. Something to make the materials stick: glue, paste, starch, tape etc. Starch is much less offensive to handle than is glue.
  4. A smooth, light weight piece of material such as old sheet material or nylon. Paper toweling can also be used.


  1. Attach the top edge of the material to the top back of the collage base so that the material can easily be pulled down to cover the picture at any time and then removed again.
  2. Stick the collage materials to the collage surface. Starch works well to stick paper, string or some kinds of material to the base. The whole surface of the base can be coated with starch. String or paper can be placed on the surface. It will stick but is easily removed and put somewhere else. The student can cover and check the picture periodically as it is in progress.

When the picture is completed, the material is stretched over the picture, folded under and the edges taped to the back so that the material covering the picture stays in place. If paper toweling is used, the toweling can be covered with a coat of starch (student can do this with finger tips). Then the toweling s gently pressed with the finger tips to mold it to the shapes b below.

To enjoy the picture, feel it through the material. For a visual affect, do a crayon rubbing on the material. This will not interfere with tactual enjoyment of the picture and will add visual interest.


Papier-mache can be made from just about any kind of shredded paper and/or paper strips mixed with just about any kind of liquid paste. Some combinations are much less pleasant to handle than others. Shredded paper toweling mixed with starch makes a papier-mache that is minimally messy and fairly nice to handle.

Papier-mache can be used any time you want to build up contours or relief on a surface. Use it to build up facial struct ure on masks, make relief maps or relief pictures.


  1. Paper towels torn up into small pieces. (Other types of paper could be substituted.)
  2. Liquid starch (A thin flour paste could be substituted.)
  3. Cardboard or other flat material which makes a firm surface


  1. Shred the paper.
  2. Add enough starch to get all the paper wet.
  3. Mix until a moldable substance is achieved.
  4. Extra starch can be squeezed out.
  5. Place all or part of the mixture on the cardboard. Mold to the desired shape with the fingers.
  6. Several days may be required for drying.


  1. Before putting the papier-mache on the cardboard, cover the cardboard with construction paper, wrapping paper, or some other covering. The starch may not stick well to slick surfaces. Glue can be used to solve this problem after the papier-mache is dry.
  2. Before putting the papier-mache on the cardboard, cover the cardboard with a sheet of braille or other heavy paper having a raised line drawing. The papier-mache is then molded to the lines. This works well for making relief maps.
  3. Finish the papier-mache relief by covering it with a large piece of paper towel. Moisten the towel with starch and carefully press it down over the whole surface so that it adheres to the contours of the relief.
  4. Color the dimpaired papier-mache with water colors, crayon or tempera.
  5. Spray the relief picture from an angle so that the contours determine where the color will be.
  6. Make some kind of frame.

Other Ideas

Paper sculpture. Make paper sculpture by cutting or tearing paper, folding or twisting it, and taping, stapling, or pasting it onto a stable surface such as a piece of heavy paper or cardboard.

Sewing and weaving. Punch holes in paper, cardboard, or some other surface. Weave or sew through the holes. Use pipe cleaners, yarn, string, or anything else that is pleasant to handle and which can be poked through a hole.

Macromè. Start by using a firm base and heavy string. pipe cleaners, string, twine, rope of various textures and widths, laces, ribbon, etc. may all be timpaired. A three-strand braid is a fairly easy task to start with. Various knots and knot sequences can be learned after that.

Building toys. The problem with most building toys for young children is that most of them are made out of plastic. Choose types of building toys which stick together. Leggos, lincoln logs, bristle blocks and many others are commercially available.

A teacher writes: I was clearing up some way back email messages and found a reference to glitter crayons. Does anyone know where to buy them or the brand? The only thing close to them that I have found was glitter glue and glitter markers. However since these take a while to dry, they aren't appropriate for a preschooler to touch right away. What I want is something for a preschool child to use to make a tactile mark on a paper. I don't want to use anything electronic. Any suggestions.

Responses from the field:

Try the Crayola website  - 


There is a new product just released called Woolley Pens. They dispense wool or yarn onto a pad with a high contrast surface. You can cut the wool or pull it off and re-wind to make another drawing. They cost around $50 for a set.

In the United States Wolley pens can be purchased from AccessAbility, Inc. The address is 320 Clement Street, San Fransisco, Ca 94118. The phone number is 888-322-7200. The wolley pens are a great creation and I hope you all get to see them in action soon.

Woolly pens are made by Quantum  
Quantum's address is 
P.O. Box 390 
Rydalmere, New South Wales 
Australia 2116


Put a screen board under the piece of paper. When the child makes a mark with the crayon, the texture of the screen comes through, and the child can feel the crayon mark. It's easy to make a screen board (use duct tape to securely fasten a piece of window screen to sturdy cardboard is the short version) but I know that APH makes (used to make???) a plastic textured sheet that could be used the same way.

The above information was gleaned from the AER listserv and edited by Jim Allan, with thanks to the authors Chris, Lyn, Tim, Frances Mary, and Janice.