Early Years – Let’s Play

Fibre optic fun

Fibre optic lights are a staple in many sensory rooms. If your child is partially sighted using these types of lights in their environment is a great way to stimulate what useful sight, they do have.

Safety note – never leave child unattended with the fibre optic lamp due to risk of suffocation or choking, it is not a toy and should only be used with an adult.

Why use fibre optic toys with your visually impaired child?

Sensory fibre optic lights are a good way of unifying and processing your senses. This is partially important for children who are facing issues adjusting into different environments, which may be common for children with vision impairments. You can make use of the sense of touch as the lights are tactile. They can benefit sensory integration and sensory processing, enabling those with sensory challenges to engage with their environment.

Fibre optics offer a child a unique experience to get up close and explore lights in a tangible way. This is particularly helpful for partially sighted children; the vivid colours, tactile properties and the brightness of these lights means that they can engage with them in a meaningful way.

Start playing!

  1. Use the movement property of these lights to encourage younger children to track lights.
  2. Always under supervision, allow your child to handle the lights – this may ignite more interest in the object. The fibre optic lights can be grabbed and pulled, just be mindful of the possibility of strands becoming loose.
  3. Make use of different brightness settings and colours.
  4. Fibre optic curtains are a great way to make a divider in a play space of an activity room.
  5. The strands of the light can be separated or ‘fanned’ out on the floor. This encourages the user to create different shapes and swirls.
  6. Use in darker settings to make the light more vibrant and simplify the activity. See our information on creating a dark den >
  7. If your child does have some vision, these lights can be helpful when learning the names of colours up close.
  8. In a darkened space, run the strands in different directions slowly to help you child follow them. Use directional language to reinforce the meaning.
  9. Use the different element of the lamp to describe textures – running the long length over your child’s hand feels smooth, but the ends of the strands feel spiky.
  10. Use the lamp with your space blanket, the reflective qualities of the blanket will add another dimension to the play.

Sensory story time

The tactile element of the lamp combined with it’s calming qualities and colour changing effect make it a great addition to story time.

You’ll find story suggestions to use with our sensory items here >

Music time

Songs that induce a calm break can be played with sensory lights. Songs such as ‘twinkle, twinkle’ can be brought to life up-close with the lights when stars may not be visible.

You’ll find song suggestions to use with our sensory items here >

Where next?

Keep exploring…