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New Activities and Having Fun with Helpkidzlearn

by Gillian McNeill

on Thu Sep 11, 2014

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I noticed an e-newsletter from HelpKidzLearn sitting in my inbox today which mentioned the arrival of some new activities. I hadn’t visited this site for a while, so decided to investigate further…….

HelpKidzLearn really is a great online resource for teachers and parents of younger children and children with complex additional support needs, providing 80+ accessible learning games. It’s a paid for subscription based facility with a free user option allowing you to try out a sample before parting with any money!

So my email said that 10 new free activities were now available, although not new for subscribers, but rather newly available sample activities for you to try out. (This sample then seems to change from time to time to provide different activities for trying out). Having viewed the new activities, for me 2 of them stood out, although you may have a different view on this!

Here they are: 

Card Maker Lite – this could be a fun way of making cards for any birthday or even Halloween next month! 

“Create your own cards. Add the recipient's name and click the mouse, touch the screen or press a switch (Spacebar or Enter) to choose a colourful design for Christmas, birthdays, Easter or Halloween. Choose the colour of the card and the writing and decorate the card before printing it out.”

 

Mandy’s House – great for developing traditional grid based switch scanning skills!

“Use one or two switches (Spacebar and Enter) to explore the house. Go to a room with a light on and see what happens there. Can you find the gym, dining room, bedroom, bathroom, TV room, chill out room, games room and music room?”

 

If you would rather have access to the full set of activities, a year’s subscriptions starts at £49 for a single user, with other options for multiple users and site licences.

 

Brand new games are added every month, and most recently:

More Crazy Cats – an early years activity involving brightly coloured cats popping out of dustbins and heavy rock music – cool! Great for encouraging watching, waiting and timed selection.

 

If you would like to view more from the HelpKidzLearn resource, we have an archived CALL webinar to view; it’s approximately 20 minutes long and provides a useful overview.

The HelpKidzLearn activities can be played using different access options including keyboard, mouse, touchscreen, eye gaze, joystick and switches. I’ve been checking out the HelpKidzLearn EasySwitch bundle (2 switches and 1 USB dongle) which looks like a cost effective switch option and is described as easy to set up. (I haven’t laid hands on them yet to try out, although I’m hoping to do this soon!).

The switch looks similar to the small Smoothie type (75mm), so this would need to be a suitable size and type for your child. Also, to stop your switch from sliding around, you might want to look into using it with a non-slip mat or attaching Velcro on the back and using mounts such as the Maxess Mounting System or Flexzi Switch Mount from Inclusive Technology.

And finally for information on running the HelpKidzLearn resource on your iPad visit Sally’s blog. You CAN run your favourite websites on iPad

Hope this provides you with hours of fun and learning!

 

 

 

 

Tags: complex support needs, ASN, switches

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