Tabletop Activities for the Blind and Visually Impaired


Tabletop Board Games, Card Games, and more!


Tabletop cards, puzzles, and board games are always a great way to spend your indoor time by yourself or with a group of friends.  These activities also keep your mind active.  Unfortunately, the blind or visually impaired person may shy away from these activities because they are difficult to see. Thankfully, there are many different ways to include everyone in on the fun.  There are some simple ways to adapt your current games, and many products out there that are specifically designed for play with the sighted and the blind and visually impaired.

Merchants selling adaptive tabletop games:


Card Games


What says "tabletop" games more than a game of cards? Since there are so many games you can play with a deck of cards, this is a great way to include someone who is blind or visually impaired.  Playing card sets now come with enlarged images, contrasting colors, and with braille over the images.  There are also large print flash cards and games such as Old Maid, Skip Bo, and Uno.  Need inspiration?  Bicycle Cards has the instructions for all the popular games.  A card tray would be a welcome addition to help keep your card piles from falling over during game play.

Cribbage boards are available with larger numbers and braille so that not only can you use it for cribbage, but you can also use it for keeping track of any type of scoring.  (A,B,E,L,M)

Uno (A,E,L,M)

Old Maid (M)

3Up 3Down (M)

Braille/large tile Rummy (A,M)




Tabletop Puzzles


Puzzles are another tabletop activity that is enjoyed by people of all ages. They are great for problem solving and spatial recognition. Puzzles are now made specifically for the blind and visually impaired. There are puzzles that are tactile and are put together by feel alone. The puzzle pieces are thicker and cut so that the pieces are larger and uniquely shaped so they are all different. These puzzles can be found at specialized shops, Amazon, Target, Etsy, and other merchants.  Just search for “tactile puzzles,” “vision impaired puzzles,” etc.


Puzzle Books and Printables


Larger print puzzle books are available almost everywhere. These can be in the form of word finds, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and other types of games.  These are great ways to help keep the mind sharp, do something quiet and challenging, and gives the visually impaired person many pages of activities.  Keep in mind, though, “large-print” can be a deceiving term.  Sone are just larger than normal print.  It is best to allow the visually impaired individual to examine it before buying it.  I find that not only does the print need to be larger, he lines need to be darker and thicker to allow more contrast and the ability to distinguish the lines.   (A, L, M) 


Tabletop Board Games


Gather your whole family around the table!  There are many popular board games that are now adapted for the blind and visually impaired.  Monopoly, chess, checkers, Connect Four, Othello, Reversi, Bingo, Bananagrams, Scrabble, Dominoes, Bingo, Backgammon, Sudoku, dice,  now have versions with braille, tactile pieces, and/or large print pieces.  These board games and adaptive pieces can be purchased at: 

and other online merchants.  After each category, I have indicated where I have found the products.

Backgammon

This game already uses pieces that are color contrasted.  There are sets that are tactile to aid those with low vision. (M)

Bananagrams

Another word-building game which is played without a board, but similarly played to Scrabble, this also can be purchased with large print and braille tiles. (A)

Bingo

Available in low vision high contrast cards, braille cards, sign language cards, and in all colors, available at   (A,B,M,L)

Boggle

This family favorite is now available with larger cubes with large print.  This new version increases from a 4x4 grid to 6x6.  (A,M)

Checkers

Checkers has many options for generic modification.  Rubber dots, Velcro, braille stickers, or even sand glued on one color so it can be distinguished from the other.  You can also paint the boards so that the red squares become white for better contrast. Another option is to substitute a different shape for one of the colors.  Of course, there are an array of Checkers sets available for purchase with different board and piece options. (A,B,L,M)

Chess

The blind and visually impaired can enjoy the classic game of chess by using specially designed sets.  The pieces of one color have bumps and the board is designed so the pieces don’t easily slide off.  There are options where you can just purchase the modified pieces and not the whole set. (A,B,L,M)

Chinese Checkers

on a tactile wooden board (B)

Connect Four

This vertical four-in-a-row game usually uses checker-type pieces. Here, stickers on one color could work in this case.  There are also tactile versions for purchase.  The most important feature is to look at the colors of the "checkers" pieces that are used.  Make sure the colors have enough contrast from each other.  For some people, the traditional black and red are too close to distinguish.   (A,E,M)

Crocodile Dentist Game

"Poor old croc has a tooth that's bothering him; pretend to be a dentist and help him out. But press the wrong tooth and he'll surprise you! Fun and easy to play: just open the jaws of the plastic crocodile wide. Then, players take turns pressing one tooth at a time. If the crocodile chomps down when you press, you're out! The last player left wins."  This game can be played by children of all abilities.  (Since there is no need for a special version, this game is available everywhere games are sold.)

Dominoes

Larger tiles with larger paint and/or raised values allow the blind and visually impaired to play with their sighted opponents. (L,M)

Dice

Large-type and tactile die are readily available.  These can be substituted in any of your games. (A,L)

Hi Ho Cherry-O

This fun children's counting game is now available in a braille version which has braille on the board and the spinner. It is already a tactile game with the pieces shaped as fruit.(M)

Monopoly

Braille Edition allows everyone to play together.  All of the properties, money, cards, dice and spaces are in large type and braille. (A,H,L,M)

Othello and Reversi

Othello and Reversi are essentially the same game with pieces that have different colors on either side.  The white and black of Othello are the best for contrasting colors and some of the boards have edging so that the pieces don't move out of their squares.  (B)

Parchisi

Tactile (B)

Rubik's cube

The same as the original cube, this cube has raised tactile shapes for each of the colors  - (A,L)

Scrabble

This classic word-building game is available in large print versions which feature tiles with larger letters and with braille on them. Some merchants also sell the large print, yellow contrast and braille tiles separately.  The boards are also more tactile so the tiles won't move and are designed for the blind.(A,B,L,M)

Sodoku

Cube

This Cube version of the popular game is designed like a Rubik's cube with large contrasted numbers with braille on each number.  The object is to put the numbers 1-9 on each side of the cube.    (L)

Board

There are wooden boards with tiles that are available.  Each product should be examined to see its individual features to see if the numbers are raised.  (A)

Tic-Tac-Toe

Tactile Board - (A,B,L)




Share this page: