Feeling things close to me

These activities are suitable for children aged 4-12months and align with stage 1b of the Developmental Journal Babies Visual Impairment (DJVI).

On this page

Safety first

What you'll need

Blanket, a range of fabrics


  • When introducing your child to a new texture or object take your time, be calm and use a happy, light and encouraging tone of voice.
  • You may find you often move your child’s hand and place it towards a new object, that’s only natural. But it’s important to remember that this could startle your child. Instead, try placing your hand under theirs and explore objects together. This gives your child confidence and provides fun and empowering shared experiences. 
  • The Guiding Hands approach 
    • Try placing your hands on your child’s upper arms, elbows, lower arms, or wrists to guide them to any item you would like them to touch. Once you’ve located the item together, maintain gentle contact to show them that you’re there. For support, try placing your hands under your child’s hand while you touch the texture together. Talk about your shared experience; making this a calm but fun activity!
    • By exploring new textures in this way, your child can stop and pull their hand away if they’re not comfortable. Re-introduce the texture again next time you play. Remember, it takes many opportunities to become familiar and comfortable with new textures, tastes, and situations.
    • Take a look at our advice on the Guiding Hands approach.


  • Find some different materials, such as a foil blanket or soft fluffy material. Drape them over the edge of your sofa or a similar surface. Lay your child on their blanket on the floor nearby, with their legs pointing towards the hanging materials. Your child can try touching and exploring the different fabrics with their feet.
  • Through this activity, your child can touch new textures, learn about their bodies and develop their ability to explore. At first, start with just one texture and use this material for short but repeated periods. 

Please supervise your child at all times while completing any of these activities.

Need to print this?

Download a PDF copy of this activity below.