Dimpl Duo by Fat Brain Toys is a fun sensory play educational toy, that can be used increase finger strength and finger isolation. The toy has six silicone buttons; each button is a unique bright color and a tactile shape. The shape name is in print and braille - yes, braille! Kids love to touch, push and pop the buttons. Push the button in and flip the toy over. The other side of the game has smooth silicone buttons with print and braille color words. Kids can touch, push and pop the buttons again!
It is exciting to see mainstream toys with braille! Just like emerging print readers, emerging braille readers should have opportunities to discover braille words in their environment. Thank you Fat Brain Toys for including braille on this educational toy!
Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs) are using Dimpl Duo to help students build finger strength and isolated finger motions which are required for pressing keys on a Perkins Braille Writer and for making simple gestures on an iPad. Students are encourage to press the silicone button with only one finger. TVIs are also turning the toy so that it is similar to a braille cell (two columns of three dots) and are introducing the braille cell spatial concepts by naming dots 1 - 6. (In a braille cell, the first column starting at the top is dot 1, then dot 2 and dot 3. The second column starting at the top is dot 4, then dot 5 and dot 6.) Students are asked to push in dot 1 for the letter "a", dots 1 and 2 for the letter "b", etc.
During a recent course on the ABC's of iOS: A VoiceOver Manual for Toddlers and Beyond, preschool TVIs in North Carolina discussed that their toddler and preschool students were struggling with being able to make simple 1-finger gestures required to interact with apps on the iPad. One creative TVI, Lori B., shared how she used Dimpl Duo with a 3 year old to strengthen his index finger and to help him with isolated finger movements using the Dimpl Duo. This young student showed significant progress going from using all his fingers on the iPad screen to successfully making 1-finger taps after playing with Dimpl Duo!
Additional Dimpl Toys
- Simpl Dimpl Dimpl keychains (two silicone buttons)
- Dimple Baby Toys (5 silicone buttons in various sizes)
- Dimpl Digits (flower-shaped 10 button toy with numbers 1-10 in English on one side; Spanish and tactile dots to count on the other side)