Object Functions

By Activity Bank on Jul 09, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Charlotte Cushman and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

This activity helps students who are blind or visually impaired to identify the functions of common objects. Skills include English Language Arts, Concept Development, and Independent Living Skills.


Familiar, concrete objects from the student’s daily experience, including a cup, comb, shoe, fork, hat, toothbrush, soap, bell, towel, bowl and shampoo


Present the student with two distinctly different objects on a tray or a defined work surface. After she has examined both objects, ask her to find the one that is used for the given function. Ask the student to, “Give me the one you…”

  • Wear on your foot (shoe or fork).
  • Brush your teeth with (toothbrush or spoon).
  • Use to wash your hands (soap or cup).
  • Use to comb your hair (comb or sock).
  • Use to scoop your food (spoon or shoe).
  • Use to dry your hands (towel or comb).
  • Use to wipe off the table (sponge or hat).
  • Drink from (cup or soap).
  • Wear on your head (hat or toothbrush).
  • Use to blow your nose (tissue or cup).


  • For expressive identification, give the student the object and ask her to name it and to state its function.
  • Try this activity by using only the questions, without the actual objects.
  • When the student is able to select the correct object when given a choice of two objects, increase the challenge by having her reach inside the box or bag and pull out the correct object from a group of three or more.

Hint: Discuss the function of the objects which the student encounters throughout the day. Talk about what objects are used for and ask questions about what item is needed to accomplish daily goals – “My hands are wet. What do I need to dry them with?”