Once day as I was wondering around the Pintrest world I discovered this cool printout on braille. This spurred me on to order some books from the library about Helen Keller. I also printed out an American Sign Language alphabet which L was already familiar with.
Today the books arrived. The first book Helen Keller the world in her heart by Lesa Cline-Ransome is a beautiful book that while relaying the story also shows the amazing beauty in our world. L read this by herself as soon as we got home from the library. I hadn't told her anything about this project before hand so she was full of questions.
The second book Helen Keller A Determined Life by Elizabeth MacLeod has real photographs and quotes from Helen and Annie Sullivan and goes into much more detail about her life as an adult. We read this book together and talked about what it would be like to not be able to hear, see or communicate and how frustrating it would be.
I spelled out "W-A-T-E-R" in L's hand using the hand signs that Annie Sullivan used and we both couldn't even imagine how many times she would have had to do that to Helen before it started to make sense.
I tied a scarf around L's head and let her explore the house that way. She found it scary and tricky and didn't keep the blindfold on for long but did try to identify all the objects she was touching.
Last night I prepared some cards to go along with the braille alphabet. I just pin punched some simple words onto some card stock for L to try to figure out. She LOVED it and was completely absorbed in trying to figure them out. At the end I wrote a full sentence "I love you". It took her a while to get this one as we realized that some of the letters are very similar, the dots are just closer together.
After she'd figured out all of the words she tried her hand at making up some for me. This was a super fun activity. It really helped us to realize how tricky it would be to do it all blind as we were looking at the alphabet the whole time we tried to figure it out.