What’s In Our Playroom?

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Spend any time in an online forum with parents of children with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI), and you’ll see a common theme that gets asked repeatedly. It’s also something I have been asked many times through the blog and/or the Everyday CVI Instagram page.

“What toys does your child like?”

Of course, each person with CVI is unique – and just because one child gravitates to a particular toy doesn’t necessarily mean that another child with CVI will be equally interested in it. But more often than not, children that are in similar CVI Phases and/or have comparable mobility tend to enjoy related toys/activities (which surely stems from the fact that there are 10 shared CVI characteristics).

At some point I planned to write about the incredible birthday gifts Rosalie received when she turned 2, the amazing Christmas gifts from last year that enhanced our everyday play, and (most recently) my all-time favorites from her 3rd birthday…but despite my best intentions, life happened and here we are entering the end-of-year holiday season of 2020 and I have yet to impart this information. But all of that changes today!

Without further ado, I’ve compiled a giant list of all the wonderful toys I’ve been meaning to share about for months. The easiest way for me to do this is to simply share about what’s currently in our playroom! It’s not practical or helpful for me to list literally every single thing in the room, especially because I have other children that play with things that are not visually accessible to Rosalie. Rather, I’m sharing all of the things Rosalie actually plays with and/or I’m working on intentionally introducing (you know, novelty).

Let’s get to it!

Stuffed Animals/Dolls

Pictured: 3 Sesame Street dolls (left) and a Madeline doll sitting on top of a Boom Box (right)

Plastic Animals

Pictured: An assortment of plastic farm animals inside a bright red basket

Musical Light-Up Toys

Pictured from left to right: Octopus Orchestra Musical Toy, Let’s Dance Elmo, and Learn and Groove Play Drum

Make sure to check out my list of “10 Favorite Light-Up Toys” for even more – especially if you’re in search of some musical “tummy time” toys not mentioned here!

Music Makers

Pictured: Infantino Turtle Cover Band 8-Piece Percussion Set

When selecting musical instruments (real and play), I suggest considering the pitch and type of sound each one makes; many children with CVI have heightened hearing and/or are sensitive to sounds. My daughter is incredibly musical, but certain toy instruments exude tones that make her cry. Our family has many instruments, but the ones listed above are the only ones she currently enjoys.

Toy Kitchen and Food

Pictured: Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set of toy fruits and vegetables


Pictured: The Happy Little Yellow Box book by David A. Carter

Make sure you also check out my list of 8+ Beginning Books for CVI. 🙂

Stacking and Building

Pictured: SoftZone Patchwork Toddler Block Playset


Pictured: a shape puzzle adapted for CVI by blacking out the background of the puzzle board

Ride-On and Movement Toys

Pictured: yellow Rody Horse


Pictured: Crayola Mess-Free Touch Lights doodle board

American Printing House Products

Pictured: APH “All-In-One” Board as I used it to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? with my child that has CVI

Note: In the United States, be sure to speak with your Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI) about getting these materials through the use of federal quota funds. I did not purchase any of these APH products. Full disclosure: I probably have more APH products at the moment, but these are the ones I could think of (and find product names for!) off the top of my head. 😉

And there you have it! For additional ideas, make sure you check out these posts from the archives:

Last but not least, as we enter into this holiday season I highly recommend reading The CVI parent’s guide to the holidays.” This article (found on the newly-launched CVI Now website) shares tips and tricks on how to approach the complexity and novelty of the holidays and gift-giving for your child with CVI. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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