Homemade or Commercially Available Products for Children with CVI

You can easily use/adapt everyday objects for assessment, intervention strategies, and play. Many of the following items can be found in your local discount stores.

Click on images for larger pictures.


  1. Reflective tissue boxes with a different color Mylar® sheet stuffed inside
    Mylar in a holiday reflective tissue box can catch the eye and tempt the child to hold the orientation. Experiment with different colors.

  2. Foil metallic or Mylar® pompoms or party blowers Mylar® cat balls

  3. Wide silver mixing bowl with rubber ball - swirl the ball inside the bowl creating a reflective motion
    A silver mixing bowl creates a reflective image of a ball.  Try swirling the ball around in the bowl.

  4. Food dye and hair gel in a double zip lock plastic bag placed on a light table or light box
    Hair gel and red food coloring in zipper-sealed plastic bags, doubled up for safety, taped to the APH mini light box made this little girl's day. Allow the child to get a close-up view of hair gel bubbles and feel the "squish" of the gel on her cheek.

  5. Roll cat bell toys on light table or light box
  6. Plastic needlepoint screens on a light table or light box
  7. Mesh place mats and coasters on a light table or light box
  8. Bathroom appliqués on a light table or light box
  9. Roll a plastic egg on a light table or light box. When applicable, place something inside the egg for noise
  10. Arm band bicycle light attached to bottle
  11. Identifier disks - attachable by band or adjustable slit for helping to identify items such as spoon, toothbrush, etc. Disks may be reflective to start.
  12. White box with silver CDs strategically placed on it so the child can see him/herself- can also double as a lap desk
  13. Dog toy-rolling, flashing light bone CAUTION FOR SEIZURES
  14. Rope Lights
  15. Iridescent light chaser
  16. Lead light wand
  17. Silver dryer duct tube
  18. Artificial or real flowers, e.g., sunflowers, daisies, orchids, etc.
  19. Multi-sensory object(s) with individual controls for sensory stimulators
  20. Solid color or two color ball with sound
  21. Wind-up penguin, first flaps wings and then walks
  22. Cat toy-plastic rat that moves upon being lightly tapped-rat says "na na na na na," available from cat catalogs and discount stores
  23. Lift-off spinning toy-stays in the air for a while
  24. Neon tubing strung with cat bell toys
  25. Bubble blowers
  26. Spinning top that changes light color as it spins
  27. Vibrating pen made of translucent colored plastic
  28. Slow moving wind-up toys
  29. Florescent bingo daubers
  30. Giant florescent puff balls
  31. Florescent foam sun visor
  32. Three plastic plates (2 one color-1 another color-use child's favorite color or florescent) on a contrasting color tablecloth
  33. Bright, one color Slinky® (on light table in the beginning, then without light)
  34. Sheet over mom and baby with red light
  35. White noise machines w/tapes and/or headphones
  36. Books and materials with simple faces
  37. Photo book equipped with recording device, available at Radio Shack
  38. Books with emphasis on internal details-same character in different poses but with a certain distinguishing characteristics such as a hair bow or baseball cap
  39. Books that are age appropriate
  40. Books about body language
  41. Books that build from one item pictures with add-ons as you go
  42. Book with tactile clues that fade out as book progresses

  43. Round vinyl tablecloths in yellow, red, or black to provide an uncluttered background creating visual contrast
    A solid yellow tablecloth placed on the floor provides an uncluttered and high contrast background for the blue and red plates.  "If she'd just let go of me I know I could reach it."

  44. Black tri-fold display board to provide an uncluttered background creating visual contrast
  45. Flome - good for some tactually defensive children
  46. Toys featuring soft noises for preemies

  47. Various color combinations can be achieved with the Lauri® Fit-a-Shape Puzzles, starting with one color and building to four colors. One side is textured and the other side is smooth.
    Lauri Fit-a-Shape Puzzles

  48. Prism Blocks by Alex® work especially well when dimming the light box a bit. I usually offer several of the same color and then add one of a different color and watch to see if the child reaches for or looks at the 'different' one. It usually works best at a light table where I am able to position the child in an upright supported position with arms on the table, it seems to get that head upright for the four children I have worked with using these. I have also used them on the small light box with a child in side-lying position with good response. —Terri Connolly, Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY
    various Prism Blocks on top of a light boxBlack paper was used to mask out the top of the light box.

  49. Many metallic, neon, and brightly colored items can be purchased commercially. Most mail order or online companies require a "unit" purchase in assorted colors. A unit can be any amount from ½ dozen to six dozen. Getting six or twelve different colors of pom poms, glitter plastic twist spinners, or glass mirror ball ornaments may be a great way to check for color preferences.

    Check out the following link and type in search words such as "glitter" or "metallic" and see what you can find: www.orientaltrading.com


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