Saturday, December 3, 2011

Beware of the wrapping paper visual trap!

Happy December blogland!
December is officially here and so are the holidays! I've already started my holiday shopping and picked up some new wrapping paper for all of our presents. Selecting the wrapping paper got me thinking....BEWARE OF THE WRAPPING PAPER VISUAL TRAP! Dum, dum, dum!!!
Why is simple, innocent wrapping paper something you need to beware of? Because wrapping paper, paired with tons of presents, a well-decorated Christmas tree, decorations, decorations, decorations, create a visual nightmare for our students (especially our CVI kiddos). This is something that a lot of parents don't think about.

A few things to think about this holiday present season:
1. Think simple--eliminate visual clutter!
2. Contrast! This year I've noticed a ton of black wrapping paper that you can wrap with white, red, etc.
3. Wrap presents by person. My daughter's presents are all in polka dots, my son's are all in reindeer, etc.  But just remember to beware of visual complexity!!
4. Use tactual gift tags. Use large tags and put a tactual mark on them (like a star) in felt, velcro or whatever tactual mark your child would like. Make sure they are large enough and can be easily distinguished. I've also made gift tags like this with my kids pictures on them when they couldn't read their names.
I found this one online when I Googled large gift tag ideas. Make sure you use large print (I like Arial in bold). You can also put Braille over them.
*Save them so that you can reuse them next year!
5. Think about not mixing up presents. It might be easier to put each person's presents in one group. This will help with scanning and locating presents. It will also help with children who are ASD/VI. You need to remember structure to help kids who are MI/VI and ASD/VI anticipate what's going to happen and not overwhelm them. 

Happy holiday present wrapping!!

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