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How other children can help

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 13: Becoming Part of the Community > How other children can help

Children can be cruel to a child who cannot see well. They may be cruel by teasing, laughing, imitating, or even hurting her. But more often they are cruel simply by leaving her out of their games or activities.

To help children understand what it is like
to be blind

Often children act in a cruel way because they fear what they do not understand. When they gain more understanding, children can become another child's helper or friend. Here are some games that may help children understand blindness:

Game: Blurred vision
Children can find out what it is like not to see well if they:

HCWB Ch13 Page 127-1.png
HCWB Ch13 Page 127-2.png
put on somebody's strong
eyeglasses or a pair of
scratched sun glasses
cover their eyes with a piece
of thin paper or other
material that allows them to
see just a little

a girl speaking as she reads a can with her eyes covered.
To see these letters I have to
get this close.
And they're still hard to see!

Then have the children try to see something with small details, like the pattern on a leaf or the letters on a tin can. Ask the children what it feels like to try to see these things. How close do they have to get to see well?

HCWB Ch13 Page 128-1.png

Game: Guiding a blind child
Have children get into pairs. Tie a cloth around one child's eyes, so she cannot see at all. Let the other child be her guide. The guide takes the 'blind' person for a walk, lets her feel different things, and helps her move safely.

After the game, encourage the children to talk about these questions:

  • How did it feel not to be able to see?
  • Were you afraid?
  • What did your guide do that was helpful or not helpful?
  • What might he have done better?
  • Did you trust your guide?

a girl with her eyes covered feels a boy's face with her hands.

Game: Feel a friend
Tie a cloth around one child's eyes so she cannot see at all. Then let her try to recognize her friends by feeling them. Or she can try to recognize different objects. Then talk together about what it was like not to be able to see.

Game: What's that smell?

illustration of the below: children with their eyes covered guessing what's in front of them.
What’s that smell?
I know — that’s an orange!
Is that coffee?

Tie cloths around the eyes of a group of children, so they cannot see at all. Then put in front of each child something with a strong smell like a peeled orange, tea leaves, coffee beans, a banana, or local plants. See if the children can recognize these things by their smell.

After the children play these games, explain to them that because blind people cannot see, their sense of touch, smell, and taste usually gets very strong.

To help children include a child who cannot see well in their games

Often children do not realize that a child who cannot see well can play with them if they make small changes in their games. For example:

a man speaking with a group of children.
Rina would like to play ball with you.
But she can’t see the ball.
HCWB Ch13 Page 129-2.png
That’s right. But is there a way you could help her hear the ball?
How about putting small stones inside?
HCWB Ch13 Page 129-3.png
That is a good idea. Let’s try it.
HCWB Ch13 Page 129-4.png
When she could hear the ball, Rina could join in the game.

Here are some more suggestions for including a child who cannot see well:

illustration of the below: children tossing a bean bag.
If a child can see bright colors, use brightly colored cloth for the bag.

A bag filled with beans or rice can be used instead of a ball in a game of toss. The bag will make a sound when it is thrown and when it lands. Or try playing 'catch' by rolling a ball along the ground. A child can hear the ball as it rolls and catch it.

HCWB Ch13 Page 130-2.png

A child who cannot see well can join a game of tag if the other children clap their hands or whistle as they run, or have something tied on each of them that makes noise.

A child who cannot see well can learn to jump rope if there is a bell tied to the rope. A young child can use a can for
a drum, a rattle made from a
can with stones in it, or bottle
caps strung on a wire to
make different kinds of music.
HCWB Ch13 Page 130-3.png
HCWB Ch13 Page 130-4.png

HCWB Ch13 Page 131-1.png

Drawing pictures in wet sand or mud helps a child feel what she draws.

A child who cannot see well can run races by using a rope tied between 2 trees, like this:

HCWB Ch13 Page 131-2.png
Tie one end of a rope around a tree. Then tie a big knot in the rope, 1 to 2 meters (3 to 6 feet) from the tree.
HCWB Ch13 Page 131-3.png
Put the end of the rope through a hollow tube, like bamboo.
HCWB Ch13 Page 131-4.png
Tie another big knot 1 to 2 meters from the second tree. Then tie the rope around the tree. Be sure the tube cannot go past the knots.

For more ideas, ask the children in your community. See who can come up with the most ideas of how to include a child who cannot see well in the games children play.