Hesperian Health Guides

Understanding objects

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 7: Thinking Skills > Understanding objects


If your child can see a little, be sure to adapt these activities to make the best use of his remaining sight.

A baby knows that an object (or person) exists when it can be seen, touched, heard, smelled, or tasted. But if the object drops out of sight or no longer makes a sound, a baby thinks the object has disappeared.

A baby who cannot see well has more difficulty learning that these objects still exist than babies who can see. This is because he has less information about objects. For example, he may not be able to see that the object is still there when it stops making a sound.

To help your child understand that objects still exist when they cannot be seen, heard, felt, tasted, or smelled

a baby holding a rattle tied to her clothing.
Tie strings onto toys and then onto chairs, tables, and your child’s clothes or hands.
a man rolling a ball to a baby.

Put seeds or small stones into a round gourd or ball so it makes a sound as it rolls. Then encourage your child to roll the ball back and forth between you. The sound will help him learn that the object still exists even after it leaves his hands.

Tie a piece of string to a favorite toy. Show your baby the toy and string and then place the toy out of his reach. Encourage him to pull the string to get the toy. Remember, since strings can be a hazard for small children, watch him to make sure he does not wrap the string around his neck.

a man shaking a rattle in front of a baby.
the man speaking while the baby pulls on a string tied to the rattle.
Do you hear your rattle, Rashid? Pull the string some more!

Show your child how to drop an object into a box and then shut the lid. Then show him how to open the lid and reach in to find the object again.

<table="100%"> <tr>

<td valign="top">
a child dropping a rattle into a box held by an older boy.

<td></td> <td></td></tr>

<tr> <td></td>

the boy speaking as he shakes the box.
Juan, where’s the rattle?


<tr> <td></td> <td></td>

<td valign="bottom">
the boy speaking after the box is open.
There it is!

</tr> </table>