To explain about blindness to pre-school children they must first realise that they use their ‘eyes’ to ‘see’. Begin by sitting down in front of a mirror and getting the children to look at their own eyes. Talk about how eyes are used for ‘seeing’ and ‘looking’ and explore what happens when you close your eyes. Introduce the concept of ‘glasses’ and how things look fuzzy without them. Only then can you introduce the idea of ‘blind’ or what it might be like if (as one three year old put it) ‘your eyes are broken’ or don’t work properly.
One of the most important things for children of this age is to be able to recognise a blind person if they saw one on the street. Some blind people carry a white cane. Others use guide dogs and this is simply a matter of personal preference. Canes and guide dogs allow blind people to get about independently. Older children, who are learning to read and write, may be interested to learn about ‘braille’, the series of raised dots that blind people ‘read with their fingers’.
To explore blindness don’t blindfold the children. ‘Pretending to be blind’ is nothing like the real thing and is more likely to give the children the wrong impression. The children would have a hard time finding things, may trip over and hurt themselves, and would probably be very frightened by the experience. This is nothing like what it is ‘like to be blind’ because blind people have training and experience that you and the children don’t have.
What are the key points I should tell the children?
- We use our eyes for seeing. Blind people can’t see. It’s like their eyes are ‘broken’.
- Some blind people carry a white cane to help them get around. Others use a guide dog.
- Older children only: as blind children cannot see to read letters they learn to ‘read with their fingers’ a series of raised dots called ‘braille’.
How to ‘Do Diversity’ with childminded children without getting it wrong
So, you want to show Ofsted that you are “doing diversity” in your childminding setting… [read more]
QUIZ: How diversity-aware is your language when it comes to talking about disabilities?
Products that can help you to explore blindness
Childminding Best Practice Club – themed packs
The Childminding Best Practice Club is basically what it says it is. It is designed to encourage you to be the best childminder you can be, no matter what your starting point. Lots of the hard work is done for you as members receive a monthly toolkit bursting with resources and bite-sized ideas to help improve and reinforce your skills.
When you join you will also receive a brand-new ‘New Member Welcome Pack’ You will also be entitled to a 25% membership discount off lots of other Kids To Go products helping you achieve best practice in every element of your work.
Diversity Awareness Pack
Our Diversity Pack Mega Pack is a collection of 20 mini printable packs with resources to help childminders teach 20 different diversity and British Values topics.
Each mini pack is designed to offer clear messages on 20 important diversity and British values themes for 2-5 year old children giving you all the tools you need to explore many ‘difficult’ topics at a level that is right for very young children. Altogether the Mega Pack contains 50 original art projects with templates plus over 100 suggested activities including printable activity sheets and cooking projects.
See also: Diversity Awareness, wheelchair users and deafness