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Making tactile maps is fun and extremely useful! Kids (and cats) can run their fingers along a tactile map "wall" and visualize how they will use their canes to navigate the hallways.

Below are instructions for making your own tactile map, or:

completed tactile map photo

Tactile Map Description

Remember the golden rule of tactile graphics: Keep it simple!

What You'll Need

How to Make a Tactile School Map

This activity was created by Diane Brauner for Great Expectations.

In this puzzle game from, you can create a secret shape or maze hidden within two sealed pie plates. You have to listen to the sounds and feel the weight of the marble inside for clues to solve the puzzle!

Pete's Rocking Routes

Name a room on the tactile school map. Ask the child to place her right index finger on that room. Explain this is Pete's "starting location."

Keep the right finger there; name another place (Pete's "destination") and ask the child to place her left index finger on that room.

Using her right index finger, follow the hallway(s) to the destination — naming the hallways, turns, and rooms as she passes them.
Canvas sneaker keychains

Order this adorable tennis shoe and play the games below!

Where's Pete?

Move Pete's tennis shoe around the map and ask your child to find it, "Where is Pete's shoe now?" Let the child explore the location and respond: "It's in the library!" Repeat with other areas of the school.

One of the keychain shoes on a tactile map

Sounds a Room Makes

When you announce that Pete's shoe is in the library, use a hushed "library" voice to say it. How about "Whoosh" in the bathroom, "ring-ring-ring" for the school office, "la, la, la" for the music room, etc.

Let your child identify the sounds he or she associates for each room.

You might be surprised to discover the door to the classroom "squeaks"!

Edible Maps

Teddy graham cracker naps on a marshmallow with a fruit rollup sheet

Make an edible map of your child's bedroom using your child's favorite foods: a Hershey bar for the bed, mini-marshmallows for the pillows, a fruit roll-up for the dresser, etc. Tuck a Teddy graham into bed!

Build the "tactile bedroom" on a toaster or cookie tray and use the raised edges for the walls of the room.

Don't Forget the Key Code!

Photo of print/braille tactile keycode, titled Coralwood School. Shows keys for rooms, hallway, stairs, and grass.
Image shoes all mazes, says 'Create a tactile map of your child's school to teach orientation and mobility skills.

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