Toys, games and books

Here are some great ways to help you and your child get the most out of books and reading.

Our Readers Services Team can help you find books for children. Send an email to libraryinfo@rnib.org.uk, or call 01733 375 333.

You can access these additional resources:

  • Booktouch from Bookstart aims to get blind and partially sighted babies and toddlers "bookstarted". A Booktouch pack is available free to parents or carers of blind or partially sighted children up to (and including) the age of four. Packs can be accessed via Local Authorities or by asking your Health Visitor about them.
  • You may be interested in shared reading books, these are standard print books that have been adapted to include braille on clear interleaved sheets or on clear labels which have been stuck to the pages of the book.
  • Accessible image books are designed to support and encourage the early stages of tactile graphic literacy development and enjoyment.
  • Calibre Audio Library has a wide choice of full-length books for children and young people available to borrow. Call 01296 43 23 39.
  • Cue and Review provides national magazines on tape, including five teenage titles with an emphasis on music. Call 0141 563 0306.
  • Talking Newspapers Association produces a few titles for primary age children and young teenagers, on subscription. Call 01435 86 61 02.
  • RNIB audio books service - Talking Books offers full length children's books. Subscription includes all the Talking Books you read throughout the year.
  • Clear Vision lends tactile books and dual format braille/print and Moon/print books for adults and children to share reading. Titles are suitable for pre-school children and children learning to read. Call 020 8789 9575.
  • Living Paintings Trust is a unique national charity that helps blind and partially sighted adults and children by offering a free library service. By providing pictures that can be "felt" with audio commentary, Living Paintings enables children who cannot see to enjoy popular children's books. Membership is free - every item in this charity's library is loaned and posted for free.
  • Bag Books publishes multi-sensory stories for people with profound learning disabilities. The sensory contents invite interaction and the story line encourages the teller to use exaggerated voice tones and timing.
  • Story Sacks offer a large cloth bag which contains a story book and various props to bring the story to life. They have been developed for use in all childcare settings, but can be particularly useful in animating a story for a child who cannot see the pictures in the book.
  • National Blind Children's Society sells large print titles in a range of print sizes. Call 01278 76 47 52.

Play and toys for children with a vision impairment

Toys and play materials are an important way of enabling children to discover a variety of sensory experiences. Children develop through play from birth. Different types of play can help to develop a range of skills. Blind and partially sighted children may have to work harder to use their visual skills, which can be tiring. Also, they may be more reliant on their tactile and listening skills than other children as they grow and learn.

We've teamed up with The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) to produce a leaflet on toys and play for children who are blind and partially sighted, which you can download today. This is part of a series of BTHA funded educational literature.

Toy Libraries provide an excellent opportunity to try out toys before spending money on buying them. You can borrow a wide selection of toys, and then swap them for new ones if they lose their novelty value! Contact Play Matters to locate your nearest toy library.

We also offer a great range of toys and games suitable for children and parents with sight problems, visit our online shop.

Emotional support

It's common to experience strong feelings about sight loss and there will probably be times when you wish you had some emotional support. We can help, talk to us.

Talk to somebody

RNIB online shop

Shop online for a wide range of products that you need to remain independent. From talking scales to tactile labels, mobile phones to magnifiers, we can help you keep doing the things you love.

Online shop