Last Updated on November 28, 2022
It’s true that when playing different styles of board games, some of our various senses are used more frequently than others depending on the genre of challenges we choose.
For some players, who are blind, visually impaired, or are beginning to lose vision due to illness or age, many find that certain games are perfect for utilizing other senses or for children developing a range of cognitive growth skills.
In a society that is fast becoming more inclusive and progressive, we must appreciate the detail which has gone into the creation of some marvelous games that can be enjoyed by blind or visually impaired players.
Board Games for Verbal Skills
Speaking and listening are globally the top forms of human communication and interaction. For young players it can be especially important for developing social abilities, this is why games such as Dungeons and Dragons are fantastic for growing children’s imaginations and allowing them to become creative without the need to physically see objects.
The benefits of such a challenge are that the Game Master is able to create the rules, choose the level of difficulty, and devise adaptations to focus on particular goals in terms of either development or simply enjoyable and amusing tasks.
Braille Low Vision Monopoly is a well-adapted version of the OG. A lot of verbal communication is required and an element of logical thinking is fundamental. Families and friends alike are usually keen participants in this timeless classic.
It is not uncommon for visually-impaired children to recognize vocabulary but not have full comprehension of what the language may represent. This makes games such as Tic Tac Toe an optimal choice for young children learning about real shapes and letters.
Takenoko, which has 3D components, is another lively one for feeling your way around a fantasy location. We should note that Verbalism is thought to exist more within the blind community, meaning that a general focus is put on heard expressions rather than content. Any type of kinesthetic learning tool is most beneficial in these cases.
The Deluxe Scrabble Braille version gives players the opportunity to focus on wordplay and the expansion of their vocabulary. Participants must use their imaginations, and say words aloud meaning verbal skills are practiced throughout.
Another advantage is that even players who are reasonably new to Braille can use this version of Scrabble as a brilliant learning tool.
Games for Spatial & Body Awareness Concepts
Young children growing up visually impaired from birth are likely to require assistance with understanding the spatial activity.
Their mobilization and orientation skills would benefit from games like Blindfolded Twister, where all players are in the same predicament and must not only follow instructions but be attentive not to cause any injuries!
This type of challenge is perfect for memorization and physical awareness. Providing it is played safely and responsibly, Blindfolded Twister can be infinitely hilarious.
Nyctophobia (fear of the dark) is a modern game, possibly better suited to adolescents and adult players. Inspired by the creators’ blind Uncle, this innovative and fun challenge involves all players but one being blindfolded and trying to escape an axe murderer.
It’s worth a try to experience movement and understand spatial awareness while all players are essentially experiencing the same scenario.
Who can forget playing Bop It! as a child? Instructions are purely auditory and you can enjoy it solo or with as many friends as you like! If you’re not familiar, Bop it! is a toy that tells you to pull, twist, turn, etc, allowing participants to use essential motor and cognitive skills.
Even for the youngest of players, it’s perfect for being conscious of space and overall it’s just a ton of fun!
If you’re looking for an evening of amusement then Spontuneous is going to be right up your alley! Bust out some of your favorite tunes in this music competition, which although it’s not specifically designed for visually impaired people, can be excellent for musical types who aren’t intimidated by a blast of karaoke.
It is worth bearing in mind that a spot of writing is required, so playing in teams with sighted players on your side may be a good idea.
Braille Bingo cards are perfect for practicing braille, but also younger players will benefit from number recognition practice too. Speaking of numbers, why not try Blindfolded Sudoku? Coming in a range of different difficulty levels this audio-focused game simply requires a good ear and a good swiping finger!
Auditory video games shouldn’t be forgotten by visually impaired players. Providing their screens are suitably sized, there are endless choices to suit all genres, and many adolescents often boast about learning new languages this way, through live global interactions.
Hand and Finger Dexterity & Agility
Importance of tactility is of the utmost. Using Braille and feeling one’s way around a situation both physically and mentally plays a big part in day-to-day activities.
Uno Braille is a wonderful version of a classic which puts into practice different sets of skills and awareness. This is an excellent challenge for all ages to enjoy light-hearted fun, and rules can be manipulated to create varying levels of difficulty.
The Chess Set for the Blind and Checkers Set Tactile are fabulous adaptations of Classics. During Chess, players will find particular squares that are identifiable by raised dots on the Braille board and pieces have points or pegs to distinguish them easily.
Checkers Set Tactile has elevated white squares and recessed black squares and holes to secure the pieces in place. All are optimal for refining motor coordination and logical-thinking competencies.
With Jumbo Braille Dominoes and Jumbo Finger Touch Dominoes, you can enjoy hours of entertainment. The rules remain easy enough to get into the rhythm, but it also requires a fair amount of hand movement and focus. Memory skills are an advantage too!
An ideal solo game is the Tactile Rubik’s Cube. Using the same rules and premise as the original, all you need is a little patience and a ton of practice. A more modern version of this is CuberSpeed Blind Cube which has different textures on each side.
These types of brain teasers not only fulfill the role of tactility but increase memory capacity and the ability to solve problems. Let’s not forget Braille Dice, which can be used for an array of diverse games.
There is a mountain of Tactile 3D wooden puzzles! Katamino is a wooden jigsaw-style game that can be enjoyed solo or competitively and Ubongo 3D is a cool race-against-the-clock type of challenge to solve a puzzle of interlocking shapes!
Braille Store Tactile Wooden Connect Four is another from the ‘classics cupboard’ which has been nicely adapted to allow an easy two-player competition.
Games for Low-Vision Training
Practicing eye-hand coordination and having the feeling of 3-Dimensional components is super encouraging for children with low Vision Skills. Ensky My Neighbor Totoro (Othello) is a sweet game for all ages with simple instructions and can help with cognitive skills.
Also, Giant 4 in a Row can be a fun challenge for all the family and encourage logical thinking for children. This is especially exciting for youngsters who are smaller than the actual frame of the game, so they can practice motions and maneuvers.
Super Big Boggle and Upwords Braille are nice choices for educational games for visually impaired children and adults but may require some concentration.
Super Big Boggle is a fantastic challenge that comes with a stylish cube grid and dome and is a simple game of words and letters, where participants must find as many words as possible using the chosen letters.
Upwords Braille is a 3D tile game that is similar to Scrabble but with a stacking element.
Jumbo Go Fish and Jumbo Old Maid are excellent timeless card games for visually impaired players and also wonderful family games, brightly colored and ready for any occasion.
Both are pleasant games that can be enjoyed in the classroom, in teams, or individually. And let’s not forget the old-fashioned playing cards which are also available in jumbo size.
Game Adaptations and Accessibility Kits
Fortunately, there is a range of adaptations that can be made to already existing games. Accessibility Kits can usually be built by both a sighted and visually impaired person together, with instructions in written form and braille. Check out 64oz Games for their complete catalog of accessibility kits.
Some kits will include custom dice or tokens for specific games. You may find certain kits provide you with a QR code, and of course, there is always the option of listening to material via YouTube to help with the construction of such kits.
Some accessory sensory activity kits include Build a Bear Workshop Stuffing Station and a Plant a Pizza Garden Kit all for visually impaired and blind children. These activities are certainly less about competition and more about progression, and no doubt fabulous gifts for young children.
Board Games for the Blind & Visually Impaired
These accessibility modifications to a lot of already existing games have certainly complimented their presence in the board game sector.
The ever-evolving adjustments mean that modern versions are not only becoming more inclusive but also allowing children and adults to enthusiastically develop and exercise essential skills. And remember that repetition is key, practice makes perfect!
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best accessible board games for the blind or visually impaired! Have you tried any of the games on this list? Do you know any other games that we should include? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.