Using Everyday Objects in Unexpected Ways to Encourage Visual Attention and Exploration for Students Who Have Cortical Visual Impairment, Part 1

Date Posted: 06/28/2011

Traditional toys are often too complex and visually overwhelming for children with low vision and/or CVI. Everyday objects can often be more compelling for your child/student and may help to increase their visual interest, attention, and exploration. Here are some of our recent discoveries and how you might use them to meet your child/students' visual needs.

Shiny, Silver, Crinkly Material: Space Blankets and Mylar Gift Bags

  • Drape a Space Blanket over a beanbag chair, boppy, or other adaptive seating. The shininess will attract visual attention and any small movement the child makes will result in a cascade of crinkly noises! (Use ONLY WITH ADULT SUPERVISION!)
  • Mylar gift bags for wine bottles can be used to stimulate your student's hand/foot movement and visual attention. Simply pull the gift bag over the student's hand and up their arm, or, on their foot and up their leg. The slightest movement will trigger visual, tactual, and auditory feedback. (Use ONLY WITH ADULT SUPERVISION!)
Colorful, Reflective Objects: Tissue Boxes, File Folders, Envelopes, Tinsel, Sponges, Holiday Items

Some students who have CVI are only able to look at items that have the quality of movement. Shiny, reflective objects trick the mind into thinking the object is moving! Some of these items will be perfect to draw in your student's visual attention. For some students, adding an additional movement cue may be called for. Slowly, gently moving a shiny object can provide a doubly strong sense of movement.

Places to Shop

  • Dollar Store
  • Expect Discounts
  • Ocean State Job Lot / Odd Lots
  • Michael's Crafts /Joanne's Fabrics
  • TJ Maxx / Home Goods
  • Paper Supply Companies such as Hudson Paper (wine bags)
  • Party Stores (great deals after major holidays!)
  • Target / Walmart
  • Walgreens, CVS
Let Us Know What YOU Find!

Gail Feld, BESB Preschool TVI, (800) 842-4510 x4232,
Gigi Whitford, BESB Special Services TVI, (800) 842-4510 x4185,

Contact: Gigi Whitford and Gail Feld, TVIs, Connecticut Sta

Phone: (800) 842-4510 ext. 4232

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