Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Summer Activities for Fun and Learning

by Connor Courtien, RDPFS Intern:

Summer is nearly here, which means parents will likely have to find many ways to keep their children occupied. If you’re the parent of a child living with vision loss, there are some great activities that can help them have an enjoyable and productive summer vacation. One surefire way for your child to have fun, while building valuable skills such as teamwork and communication, is to get them involved in adaptive sports. Some examples include goalball or beep baseball, both of which use audio signals in their gameplay, allowing for a fun, productive, and visually accessible experience. Another idea is to venture out on tandem bicycle rides with your child, offering them an exhilarating, safe experience in the outdoors. If your child is too young for some of these activities, other fun ideas can be arranged for them as well. Making a ball pit from an inflatable pool and plastic balls is an enjoyable, tactile experience that can provide hours of entertainment. Another activity is to play “parachute” by taking a bedsheet and putting some audible items on it, such as bean bags, bells, and rattles, and shaking the sheet up and down to create a symphony of fun sounds. Some more summer activity suggestions can be found in this press release on summer activities for blind or visually impaired children and youth issued by PR Newswire for Wayfinder Family Services, and this blog post on Fun Summer Activities for Students with Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities from Paths to Literacy. If you are looking for a more extensive and immersive summer experience, you can also check out the many camps designed for children who are blind or have low vision, several of which have been previously featured in RDPFS Bulletin posts Summer Camps for 2023 and Summer Camp Options, along with another program featured in the following piece.

Camp Bloomfield

Camp Bloomfield is a summer camp that “offers activities adapted for children of all ages and abilities and gives them a natural and safe environment to develop self-esteem and build independence.” It’s the only one of its kind in the state of California, designed for children with blindness and multiple disabilities. They accept applicants from anywhere, and offer free admission for blind and visually impaired participants. Two programs are open for registration, and both offer a sleep-away camp experience for children aged 7 to 17 with blindness. The first, the traditional Camp Bloomfield experience, is designed for children with blindness and multiple disabilities and takes place from June 21 to June 25, 2023 at Camp Whittier in Santa Barbara, California. Campers will have the opportunity to enjoy beep baseball, archery, surfing, arts and crafts, and more. The second program, a collaboration between Camp Bloomfield and Camp Bob Waldorf in Glendale, California, will integrate 24 campers who are blind and visually impaired into Camp Bob Waldorf’s camp session attended by more than 100 sighted children aged 7 to 17, offering everything from sports to culinary workshops. This session will take place from July 23 to July 29, 2023 and requires the prospective camper to submit a short video or essay as part of the application. You can register a child for the traditional Camp Bloomfield session here, and apply for the Camp Bloomfield session with Camp Bob Waldorf here.