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Planning for an Enjoyable, Accessible, and Safe Halloween

With Halloween approaching, many children eagerly await the candy, costumes, and festivities associated with the occasion. With some advance planning, those who are blind or have low vision can take part and be included in “all things Halloween and activities leading up” to the day. Following are suggestions for activities, costumes, and more:

Crafts: Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired (IBVI) offers a number of ideas for Halloween crafts and costumes, with detailed instructions. These include:
– Tactile projects, such as pumpkin decorating with items in a range of textures that can be affixed with double-sided tape;
– Sensory coloring: This allows children to “color” using the sense of touch with puff paint and potpourri with an autumn scent;
– Homemade costumes: Customized Halloween attire can be designed using a standard paper bag as a base and then adding tactile elements like cotton balls for ghosts or faux fur for costumes with animal themes.
Find out more details and additional suggestions on IBVI’s webpage featuring 10 Halloween Craft Ideas for Blind and Visually Impaired Children.

Accessible Activities: The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) Connect Center outlines suggestions that can be enjoyed leading up to and on Halloween, such as:
– Trick-or-Treating: When selecting a costume, keep in mind that some may present sensory issues. For a child with low vision, it’s advisable to avoid masks or decorations that limit vision. If the trick-or-treater uses a cane, it can be incorporated into the costume.
– Leaf Collecting: Children can help in raking leaves and then taking them indoors to create a sensory wreath that be displayed for Halloween and beyond.
– Navigating a Corn Maze: Exploring a corn maze can be fun for all family members. Children who use canes can “trail along the cornstalks locating the twists and turns,” making the maze an opportunity to “reinforce orientation and mobility skills.”
Learn about additional activities on the APH webpage describing A Meaningful and Accessible Halloween for Children with Blindness or Low Vision.

A Braille Halloween Game: The “Roll a Jack-O-Lantern Halloween,” a tactile Halloween game for braille users, can be enjoyed by players who are blind or have low vision as well as those who are sighted. Paths to Literacy provides details about how to create and play the game. Among the materials needed are foam sheets in orange, black and brown; Braille paper and braillewriter, a magnetic or stickable board or sheet; sticky magnetic or Velcro sheets or tape, and one braille die. These items are used to assemble a pumpkin, stem, eyes, nose, and mouth. The object of the game is to gather all the parts needed to create a Jack-O-Lantern.

Find out more about creating the game and joining in the fun on the Paths to Literacy webpage describing the Roll a Jack-O-Lantern: Braille Halloween Game.