Author Archive

Priory Woods School Switch Videos

Priory Woods School Switch VideosPriory Woods School and Art College is a community special school in Middlesbrough. They provide educational support and provisions for pupils with severe learning difficulties and those who have profound and multiple needs.

Their range of switch videos is extremely popular for use within their own classrooms but as an open resource parents and teachers of children around the world can enjoy the switch accessible videos provided by the school. It’s a great resource for entertainment and education, with a wide range of different videos available.

Introduction to Priory Woods School Switch Videos

Priory Woods School switch videos are designed to be used with a single switch but can also be accessed via touchscreen. As more individuals have started to use touchscreens there has been a need to update the technology available to different users. However, there are users who still prefer to use switches or find it easier to do so.

The range of videos include classic nursery rhymes, popular songs, TV shows and films.

Key Features

Kylie Minogue Switch Videos

Kylie Minogue Switch Video

There are 61 different videos in the range available through Priory Woods School and they come in a range of different styles. Many are simple cartoon versions of nursery rhymes such as There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly whilst others use photographs of pop singers such as Kylie Minogue and TV shows including Balamory.

There are also a range of videos based on songs from movies including Billy Elliot and the Dreamworks movie Madagascar.

The team at Priory Woods have gone to great efforts to make their videos as accessible as possible. They can be viewed on the website, downloaded for Mac users or downloaded for Windows users. If there are any problems with the downloading of the videos won’t play the school will also send out CD copies of their video collection. You simply need to send them a stamped and addressed envelope as well as a blank CD.

The videos are designed to be fun and entertaining but they are also educational as they help users understand cause and effect. Some of the videos are animated whilst others are slideshows and some such as The Singing Moose and Farting Dinosaurs have a real comedy element.

Limitations

Balamory Switch Videos

Balamory Switch Video

The range of resources available via Priory Woods is limited to videos and slideshows but they are completely accessible through a range of methods. Switches of many different types can be used to activate the videos from simple plate switches to blow switches or others which allow for an action to be completed with a single movement.

Conclusion

Priory Woods Switch Videos are a great resource and can provide hours of entertainment. The range of different videos includes so many different artists, styles and stories that there is bound to be something for almost every type of user.

The range of videos can be accessed in many different ways, using different types of switch or touchscreen, making them even more user friendly and accessible.

If you have enjoyed this post on switch activities, please take a look at our Top Ten Switch Activity Websites list, which includes Lego Bricks and more and the CBeebies website.

 

 

Fun Music-Based Switch Apps

If your child is especially motivated by music, you may be interested in these music-related switch apps we have found for iPad. The first two apps are switch compatible and designed for use with children who have special educational needs – and all are guaranteed to entertain young music fans!

Icon for RadSounds app shows a cartoon drawing of a man with long hair flying upwards playing a yellow guitar, with the words "RadSounds" above.RadSounds

RadSounds is a simple cause and effect game that will really appeal to children who love music. RadSounds includes a library of tracks to choose from, however, you can also use MP3s from your personal library or even sing directly into the iPad. Once a track has been chosen, there are two switch modes: Momentary Mode enables audio to be played only when the switch is held-down, and Timed Mode where music will play for a number of seconds after the switch has been pressed, after-which it will stop until activated again. Once music is activated via switch, the user will be entertained with images of people dancing to accompany the sound. The RadSounds app has quite a dated appearance, however if your child loves music, it is possible that the entertainment value will overcome the dated graphics!

Icon for the Five Little Rock Stars app shows a yellow silhouette of a man with long hair playing a guitar on a black background.Five Little Rock Stars

Five Little Rock Stars app combines musical fun with helping children to learn counting to five. This app features bright and modern graphics and is designed especially for use with a switch. The main activity is to promote understanding of cause and effect by using the switch to prompt the next section of song and animation, whilst also learning about the numbers 1 – 5. Once your child has progressed through the 5 Little Rock Stars game, there are a selection of simple number activities that include full and clear audio support, to further promote understanding of the numbers 1-5.

 

Icon for the Bebot app is the letter B surrounded by concentric circles in green and redBebot – Robot Synth

Bebot Robot Synth is a modern and fresh music app which is not specifically switch accessible, however is easy to play using touch screen if your child is comfortable doing so. We’ve included it in this section because it has been recommended by the Drake Music Project as one of their top iPad music-making apps, and we think it looks like brilliant fun for young music fans. Bebot is a charming little robot in a tuxedo, who can be programmed with a whole multitude of synth sounds. These sounds can be easily activated using the iPad’s touch screen, and children will delight in seeing Bebot sing along to produce the sounds. Bebot needs no previous experience or understanding of music and is guaranteed to provide hours of fun and musical possibilities for little ones who love to make sound.

Take a look at the video below to see Bebot in action:

Shiny Learning Online Switch Games

a text block (3)Shiny Learning is another one of our top ten websites for online switch activities and it specialises in simple multi-accessible games. The switch games available through Shiny Learning are fun, bright and offer users a range of ways of access including through switches, touch screens and regular keyboard use.

Introduction to Shiny Learning Switch Games

Shiny Learning switch games are part of a product which can be purchased but they also have a small range of free games and demos, giving everybody the opportunity to try the games before buying. The range of demo and free games is currently at 12 and includes a range of what Shiny Learning offers in their larger package, which you can read more about in their price list.

Shiny Learning is also committed to making their games as accessible as possible through different operating systems so have launched a number of games in app for including Make a Noise and Balloon Bang, which can be found for Android and Apple devices.

Key Features

Crazy Chicken switch games

Crazy Chicken switch game

Shiny Learning offers 12 games for all users without purchase. These games can be enjoyed using a switch, a mouse, a keyboard or a touchscreen. They can also be played using an interactive whiteboard. Like many of the other switch games and activities featured in our series of online switch activities posts, they are a way of learning about cause and effect as well as having fun.

Many of the games involve making a choice through single clicks or timing your click to win a game, as in the Crazy Chicken game pictured where a combination of scanning and single clicks ensures the chicken drops her eggs into the basket and not onto the floor.

Balloon Bang is another of the games which involves single clicks and fun sound effects as the balloon blows up and is popped, as this video shows:

Users can also enjoy a demo video of the Mouse Click application which is available through paid versions of Shiny Learning. Mouse Click has a range of different options within and once again focuses on cause and effect at its heart.

Limitations

Many elements of Shiny Learning can only be enjoyed if purchased which is not always possible for every user. In educational environments it is possible to buy different subscription levels based on the number of computers which will use the software. This can help make the product more affordable.

The games themselves are fun and entertaining and keep users engaged as well as developing important switch and computer skills.

Conclusion

Shiny Learning provides a great introduction to its wide range of switch games and exercises. The different themed games provide fun and entertainment as well as exercising useful motor and developmental skills.

Shiny Learning is designed for use in the classroom like many of the other sites in the list. However, it can be enjoyed from home or in any environment where a switch user is setup to play and enjoy the games available.

 

Switch Accessible Gaming Apps

If you are interested in switch games that can be played on tablets and phones rather than desktop computers, have a look below as we review some exciting and fun games that are fully switch accessible. These games are for children looking to move-on from preschool themes, and are aimed at children 4 years and above.

Icon for the Treasure Island app features the face of a pirate with a red beard on a brown backgroundTreasure Island

Treasure Island is designed specifically for use with a switch, and is aimed at children four years and above. This app offers children the opportunity to explore an island map, discovering hidden objects such as pirate’s treasure, parrots and even dancing skeletons! The graphics are bold and bright, and the targeting boxes are large and clear making this app ideal for children with learning difficulties and those who wish to further their switch-skills. With full audio support and fun character design, the Treasure Island app is a brilliant step-up for children wishing to move-on from preschool themed switch games.

Icon for the Space Shooter app features pixel-art alien in white, surrounded by a yellow target on a black backgroundSpace Shooter

Much like the classic arcade game Space Invaders, Space Shooter offers a high-contrast, easy to play switch compatible version of the game. This “blast from the past” provides an exciting gaming alternative to switch games with preschool-centric content, whilst also helping your child hone their targeting skills and learning about cause and effect. Space Shooter features a number of difficulty levels, including a very basic setting where aliens can be zapped with a single switch press anywhere on the screen.

 

Icon for the Racing Car app features a cartoon illustration of a white sports car on an orange backgroundRacing Cars

Racing Cars is a simple yet fun-filled racing game that has been especially designed for use with a switch. Let your child choose from one of three cars, and then pit them against two other opponents to provide an exciting game experience! The Racing Cars app features bold and clear graphics on a black background, making it ideal for those with visual impairments, and the simplified switch control and large targets allow children of all skill levels to play.

If you enjoyed this post about online switch activities, why not take a look at our posts on the Special Bites website and the Northern Grid SEN Switcher website?

Lego Bricks & More Switch Games

Lego Bricks & More Review

Lego Bricks & More is one of the top ten websites for online switch activities. Here we’re taking a closer look at its benefits and capabilities for entertaining and educating switch users.

Lego Bricks & More is accessible through the Lego Creative website. Lego Bricks & More offers four separate games based upon different ranges within the physical Bricks & More construction sets. The Lego website interface is bright and vibrant and all four of the games are accessible via switches as they require the pressing of a single button. A couple of the games require a little more hand-eye coordination and the button may need to be held in and pressed but not in every instance.

Introduction to Lego Bricks & More Games

There are four Lego Bricks & More online games:

All four games require the pressing or holding of the space button when using a regular computer and the switch interface can allow for a single input switch such as a plate switch or squeeze switch.

Key Features

The key features of Lego Bricks & More are the four games to choose from, each has a unique theme and allows the user to practice slightly different skills.

In Fire Truck the name of the game is putting fires out. The player needs to be able to press and hold the button to allow the water to flow and they also need to be able to press the button at the same time as the fire truck is level with the fire.

In Princess the user is controlling the horse and by pressing their switch the horse will jump to catch a carrot. The switch only needs a simple quick click and the horse will jump. Of course timing is key in this game as you need to be sure the horse jumps at the same time a carrot is being thrown by the princess in the castle – she does throw other items too!

In Gas Station there is a need to press and hold much like the Fire Truck game. The user needs to press and hold until the car engine is full up and then the car will be able to drive off. If the tank isn’t full enough the driver will jump out a little angrily. Timing is the key feature of this game, as well as the need to be able to press and hold the switch down.

For the final game Monster Truck we have a quick video. It’s the simplest of the lot as it simply involves a simple switch press. The aim of the game is to keep the truck out of the way of road blocks and as you press the switch it moves from lane to lane.  Here’s the video showing exactly how it works:

 

Limitations

The limitations of Bricks & More are mainly that there are just four main games to play. They’re all great fun but it might be interesting to add a couple more. There is also a Bricks & More 4+ App which can be used with a range of devices including iPads and Android powered devices. This could be a good choice for someone who uses a tablet as well as their switch powered computer.

Bricks & More

Bricks & More Game Interface

Conclusion

Lego Bricks & More is fun and has a strong recognisable brand image which many users will be familiar with and enjoy. The games are simple but also involve the need to combine hand eye coordination skills with timing skills. The games lend themselves very well to switch users as they require the pressing and holding of a single button once setup.

 

Educational Activity Suite Apps – Part 2

In addition to the fantastic online switch activities we are covering in our Top Ten list, we have also picked-out some of the best touch screen apps that are switch compatible. In part two we review Chooseit! Numeracy – an expansive educational suite app that is switch-accessible and designed especially for SEN.

Chooseit! Numeracy

Icon for Chooseit! Numeracy app - the numbers 1, 2 and 3 in primary colours, on a green backgroundChooseit! Numeracy is an award winning educational suite, that centres on learning about maths. It features over 230 activities, which incorporate over 3000 pages of simple and educational multiple choice activities.

Designed with accessibility and special educational needs in mind, the Chooseit! Numeracy app can be navigated using both touch screen and switch, and its concise and consistent layout ensures children can concentrate easily without distraction. The clutter-free design of the Chooseit! Numeracy app is strengthened by the use of straight-forward, clear language, full audio support and also allows parents to monitor progress and performance via a report section.

The app covers all major areas of mathematics, with each section boasting graded activities – allowing your child to progress on to the next level at a rate they feel comfortable with.

The sections covered in the Chooseit! Numeracy app are as follows:

Image shows a screen shot of the Chooseit! Numeracy app - multiple coloured activity boxes on a black background

Chooseit! Numeracy is a fully-accessible, switch compatible educational suite ideal for little learners.

Foundation Shape, Space and Measure – 25 basic activities that promote an understanding of shapes, dimensions, opposites, positioning and time.

Key Stage 1 Shape, Space and Measure – this section includes 21 activities that expand-upon the basics of foundation stage, and includes counting sides, weight, length, capacity and general geometry.

Early Number – here you are presented with 32 activities that focus on the numbers 1 to 3.

Number 0 to 5 and 5 to 10 – 44 separate activities that are split into two sections, concentrating on quantity, rote counting, counting back, numeral recognition and matching numbers.

Number 0 to 100 – this section starts to prepare children for multiplication, covering more than and less than, counting in 2s, 5s and 10s, along with simple doubling of numbers.

Money – a very useful section that helps children understand currency and its uses, includes enhanced photographs of coins that are accessible for visually impaired children.

Time – 24 activities to aid children in learning about time, counting segments of time and also dates. Children can learn using either an analogue or digital clock-face.

 

If you have found our review of the Chooseit! Numeracy app helpful, have a look at our other Chooseit! educational suite reviews available – Chooseit! Science is reviewed as part of our SEN Switcher post, and the Chooseit! Literacy app is reviewed on our Ginger Tiger post.

Northern Grid SEN Switcher Switch Games

a text blockSEN Switcher is a specifically designed website which offers a range of switch accessible games designed to help teach basic ICT skills through cause and effect methods. The range of games is simple and designed by the team at Northern Grid.

Northern Grid SEN Switcher games and activities can be used to help build up basic IT knowledge and can be accessed via single switch or keyboard.

Introduction to SEN Switcher

Northern Grid is a small team of education specialists based in the North East of England. They specialise in providing support and solutions for schools and local authorities in their local area and SEN Switcher is one of their products which is accessible to all and free to use.

SEN Switcher has been described as a progressive teaching and assessment tool and there are also notes provided for use by teachers or carers. SEN Switcher is regularly used in school and education environments as well as home and there are also assessment records and checklists. SEN Switcher can be accessed online or downloaded.

Key Features

SEN Switcher features 15 different switch activities. There are seven different sections into which these activities are split:

Each of these sections of games has different complexities, allowing the user or their teacher or carer to select games of the right difficulty. The games are designed to help develop ICT skills and utilise a range of sensory and switch skills including basic clicking, row scanning and also timed targeting.

SEN Switcher can also be customised, once the panel is opened, to utilise different colours. Colours can be setup to support users who are visually impaired or may have difficulties with specific colours as this video shows:

SEN Switcher uses a range of different graphics from simple lines and shapes to more familiar objects and animals. There are sound effects as well as images and the Targeting and 5 Press sections of the suite also involves some scenes, placing objects in context.

Limitations

SEN Switcher is a far reaching and well developed suite which offers games with a progressive feel, allowing users to graduate from one activity to the next as their skill set develops. All the games teach simple but important cause and effect skills.

SEN Switcher Switch Games Homepage

SEN Switcher Homepage

Conclusion

SEN Switcher is a highly educational switch activity suite which is also entertaining and enjoyable. It can be used in a classroom environment but many people also enjoy the games at home. The related notes and additional materials give teachers and parents the opportunity to track progress and help understand the development the skills that the games are designed to work on.

Northern Grid SEN Switcher has been designed to ensure a wide range of different people with different abilities can develop their basic ICT schools in a straightforward and fun way. These switch games are designed with switch use in mind, although they can be accessed via computer keyboard.

 

 

 

Educational Activity Suite Apps – Part 1

If you child is comfortable using touchscreen devices such as iPads, we’ve found a collection of expansive, high quality educations suites that can teach a number of subjects using a range of simple activities that are all switch compatible.

Chooseit! Science

Icon for Chooseit! Science app shows an illustration of a conical flask with green bubbling liquid inside.First in the range of Chooseit! activity suites is Science – an award-winning app that hosts over 160 different activities related to learning about science. The concise and simple to navigate activities are especially designed for those with disabilities and special educational needs. There are over 3000 simple multiple choice activities to choose from, and the entire app is brimming with accessible features that allow everyone to enjoy learning more about science.

The app has been created in cooperation with experienced teachers who truly understand the needs and obstacles that can sometimes be encountered by children with special needs in an educational setting. The app supports touch navigation, along with single or two switch scanning, and the full audio support provides clearly spoken questions that are presented in straight forward language.

Chooseit! Science features bright and appealing graphics that will instantly appeal to children, and the layout of the app is consistent and clutter-free, helping to keep distraction to a minimum so children can concentrate on learning.

Image shows a screen shot from the Chooseit! Science app - black text on white background reads "Find the metal object" below which is a photograph of a ladder and a wooden tableChooseit! Science covers four key areas of learning, which include:

Foundation Living Things – a simple introduction into the exploration of the world around us, including humans, plants and animals.

Living Things – a more challenging look at the world for those who have comfortably completed the first section.

Forces and Electricity – 30 graded activities that take a look at electricity and physics.

Materials – 30 activities that helps children study familiar materials and their properties.

Light, Sound and Space – Space is a popular area of study for children, and often a great place to start if you want to pique their interest in the sciences. This section includes 31 activities that look into the basics of Earth, space, sound and light.

Interested in more educational activity suite apps? We review the Chooseit! Numeracy app as part of our Lego Bricks & More post, and the Chooseit! Literacy app as part of our Ginger Tiger switch activities post.

Ginger Tiger Online Switch Games

Ginger Tiger switch gamesGinger Tiger online is one of the biggest provider’s switch accessible games. Ginger Tiger can be accessed on a wide range of platforms furthering the inclusive nature of the games and activities available. It is a subscription based service but users can enjoy 14 days free and it is also possible to play a range of demo games.

Introduction to Ginger Tiger Switch Games

Ginger Tiger is a well-developed online learning environment for special needs users. They cater for a wide range of technologies ensuring all their games can be enjoyed by switch users as well as those who use EyeGaze devices and touchscreens.

Ginger Tiger is always growing and offering new games to add more to their range. This video is a quick advertisement they put together to show off what their site can do:

Key Features

Ginger Tiger is a well organised online switch games provider which separates its games into different categories. The categories are as follows:

Cause and Effect Switch Games

Cause & Effect Games Interface

Cause and Effect

Simple games which help learners understand the simple connection between cause and effect. The games are bright and exciting and have many different themes from Puzzle to Touch & Go and Musical Instruments.

There are demos available for each game section. From the Cause and Effect section, we suggest trying out People Puzzle and Box.

Basic Skills

As the name would suggest the basic skills section is about helping learners understand some basic concepts. These include colours, matching and odd one out. Once again the games are bright and vibrant with a mixture of cartoon and photo based options.

From the Basic Skills section, why not have a quick go on the demos of the Dress Up and Match games.

Math

The Math section of the website can be used by older learners who are looking to expand their numerical skills. The variety includes bright graphics once more such as animals and sports and there are maths games which involve adding and subtracting, memorising series of numbers and basic counting.

Two maths demos from the section that make counting and addition fun are Animals and Number Lines.

Language Arts

The language arts section is designed for more expression and creativity. There is the chance to practice basic spelling, enjoy Alphabet Flowers and learning letters. There is also the opportunity to play the My Story game where different items can be placed on a landscape and simple works of art can be created.

Speech and Language

Speech and language games are designed to encourage conversation, verbalisation and interaction. Games such as Sounds are based on listening skills and choosing a graphic based on what you hear.

There are a large number of games under each heading so there’s no possibility of getting bored. All of the games can be played with switches and some involve the need to utilise scanning and timing techniques too.

Limitations

Ginger Tiger is a paid subscription software suite. You can enjoy a maximum of 14 days free access to the full service and then you have to pay. The full service costs £30 per year for a single use license with a single logon or £186 per year for a site license, to be used in a school or similar environment with multiple logons.

The benefits of the paid versions outweigh the limitations as new games are made available every month and there is a high level of technical customer support.

Conclusion

Ginger Tiger is so far reaching that it offers something to suit the needs of almost every type of user. It has an inclusive atmosphere and invites users of all abilities and experiences to try out the games available.

This is the last of our The Top Ten Websites for Switch Activities posts, we hope the series has been informative and useful for you and you have plenty more resources to try.

 

Educational Activity Suite Apps – Part 3

In our previous Top Ten posts, we have additionally covered the Chooseit! range of educational suites, including Numeracy and Science. Below we review the Chooseit! Literacy educational suite app – a high-quality, expansive app that has been specifically designed for SEN and children with disabilities.

Chooseit! Literacy

icon for Chooseit! Literacy app shows the letters a, b and c in primary colours, on a gradient background of orange and magentaThe Chooseit! Literacy app is an educational suite that features 250 activities and 5000 multiple choice pages that are all switch compatible, enabling your child to access learning about language via either touch screen or switch.

Designed with SEN in mind, each app from the Chooseit! range has been created in cooperation with special needs teachers, and is brimming with inclusive and accessible features which include clear and concise wording, uncluttered navigation and full audio support. All sections of the Literacy app are graded, allowing children to progress at a rate they feel comfortable with.

 

The Chooseit! Literacy app features the following sections:

Image of screen shot of Literacy app - text reads "starts with dr" and below three images include a duck, a hand drawing and a dart board

Chooseit! Literacy app is an award-winning educational suite that is switch accessible.

Listening Skills – Helps children to practise identifying familiar everyday sounds, instruments, instructions and more.

Initial Sounds – Provides activities based-around the letters of the alphabet, when both spoken individually and at the beginning of words.

Initial Letters – This section concentrates on recognition of written letters of the alphabet.

Initial Blends: Sounds – An activity set that covers the 26 most common initial consonant blends – includes activities for ch, sh, th, qu and tr.

Initial Blends: Letters – This section covers the visual/written recognition of the most common blends.

Tricky High Frequency Words – A section of over 600 multiple-choice activities that help children learn about the most common yet particularly tricky-t0-read and spell words.

Alphabet – This section helps children move-on from phonics use, and provides 40 activities that focus on learning the names of the letters of the alphabet. It also includes upper and lowercase letters and the BSL (British Sign Language) alphabet.

Everyday Words – A useful section of 550 activity pages that enables children to practise hearing, recognising, matching, reading and spelling many everyday words related to colours, numbers, days and seasons.

To download the Chooseit! Literacy app from the iTunes store please click here. Also available in the fantastic Chooseit! range of educational apps are Chooseit! Science and Chooseit! Numeracy.

Papunet Switch Games

Papunet Switch GamesHere we are looking at the next website in the top ten list of websites offering online switch games. Unlike others in our list Papunet Games are almost entirely accessible via switch users rather than adapted from a range of regular games. Papunet is one of the few sites that specialises in switch games.

The website is mainly in Finnish so it can be hard to work out what’s what but the games themselves are entirely functional and there are a wide range to choose from.

Introduction to Papunet Games

Papunet is a Finnish website which offers a small amount of AAC information in English but it is essentially a Finnish website through which you can access a range of 33 games and exercises, almost all of which can be enjoyed using switches.

As well as standard games the Papunet website has a range of exercises including time and number exercises, word exercises and colours and shapes exercises.  Like with our previous posts, including HelpKidzLearn and CBeebies, there is a video showing off some of the games within the Papunet website:

Key Features

Papunet is brilliant resource with a wide range of different games. Some are simply for fun whilst others allow for a degree of learning as well as fun. Some of the fun games require the ability to press and hold as well as click the switch and some games require scanning as well as clicking. There are games which can be played with two switches or a range of switches rather a single click and there are also games which can be played using an Eye Gaze device.

The games section of the Papunet website is split into several sections:

Games of Precision

Papupult Switch Games

Papupult Switch Game

These games involve coordination and timing skills. They include the Snail Game and Papupult. They are brightly drawn in cartoon style and are reliant on the user being able to press a single switch at the right time or hold the switch down and release. They are amongst the simplest games available through the website.

Sudoku

The Sudoku section can also be used by switch users though the process of clicking from square to square make take some time. Sudoku with numbers, colours and pictures are available and they are known for their neurological stimulation.

Dominoes

The domino games have the same functionality of the Sudoku and can be enjoyed by users of all ages able to click through and select, using a two-switch system as keyboard users need to use the space bar and return key.

Memory Games

Memory Games once again work along the same lines as the Sudoku and dominoes games with numbers, pictures and colour and shape options. As with the other similar games using two switches is the most effective way to enjoy memory games at Papunet.

First Games

Papunet first games once again allow for single switch use. They are simple, fun and appeal to users of all ages. Games include Find the Animal, Follow the Animal and Identify the Animal and the only input that is needed is single switch clicks. The games are bright and have an audio accompaniment which can be turned on and off easily.

Limitations

The main drawback with Papunet is the lack of English instructions and direction, though there are simple instructions it would be useful to have a better guide for some of the games to see how to play them properly with a switch or even with a keyboard.

Conclusion

Papunet is different than many of the other sites on our list as it specialises in switch gaming and activities, rather adapting to them. The range of 33 games and exercises offers something for people with different interests and hobbies and there are games of varying difficulties to offer something challenging and enjoyable to a wide audience.

Switch Accessible Apps

If you are looking for switch accessible apps for the iPad rather than PC-use, below we have listed a selection of great turn-taking apps that are perfect for younger children.

Turn Taking App

Icon for the Turn Taking app shows yellow arrows directing a loop, on a green background

The Turn Taking range of apps and additional content from the iTunes store are a brilliant way to entertain children whilst also helping them to understand waiting, turn-taking and patience. These switch games are ideal for all children with additional needs, and especially useful for helping children with autism further understand social etiquette. Each game in the Turn Taking range is both touch and switch accessible, and includes 12 different activities per “bundle”.

 

 

Screen Shot of Turn Taking app shows photo of chocolate-coated apples with one section blanked out. Image of different children playing the game are set either side of the apple image.

Turn Taking App offers motivating visuals that encourage turn-taking, along with video rewards.

The Turn Taking app is a two player game, where players must take turns pressing the screen or their switch to reveal a piece of a hidden picture. With team work, the players can eventually reveal the whole image, helping to promote patience and an understanding of waiting. When finally fully revealed, the players will be rewarded with a video presentation related to the original image.

When a player incorrectly presses their button out-of-turn, they will receive both a visual and audio prompt – both of which can be chosen by the caregiver to appeal specifically to the individual, further motivating the idea of “waiting your turn”.

There are five game bundles available for the Turn Taking app, which include the following visuals:

Bundle #1 includes Jet Plane, Balloon Game, Basketball, Candy Apples, Cows, Planet Earth, Blue Fish, Water Flume, Carousel, Seahorses, Guitar and Penguins.

Bundle #2 includes Baseball, Bicycle, Bulldozer, Dog, Fireman, Yellow Fish, Jellyfish, Logs, Parachute, Quarters, Dropper Ride and Skateboard.

Bundle #3 includes Boat, Bowling, Bus, Elephant, Fireworks, Hammerhead Shark, Jet, Meteor, Racing Car, Ferris Wheel, Soccer Ball and Wrecking Ball.

Bundle #4 includes Dance, Drums, Football, Gorilla, Helicopter, Radio City, Shark, Skiing, Taxi, Volcano, Water Tube and Roller Coaster.

Finally, Bundle #5 includes Falling Balls, Harp, Race Horse, Juggler, Kayak, Motorcycle, Rocket Ride, Swings Ride, Stingray, Train, Turtle and Waterfall.

As you can see from the above bundle lists, there are a huge variety of images available per game download, making it perfect to pick a motivating topic of interest for your child, such as animals, fish, vehicles and sports etc.

CBeebies Switch Games

CBeebies Switch GamesThis is the third of our posts looking at the Top Ten Websites for Online Switch Activities. Please check out our previous post about the HelpKidzLearn range of switch games and apps.

This post is looking at the range of games available through the CBeebies website which have been designed for switch users as well as some other games which can be accessed via switches. Someone will be needed to setup the CBeebies game for access but once it’s been launched it can be played freely through switches.

Introduction to CBeebies Switch Games

CBeebies offers four distinct switch compatible games at present, the website allows these games to be located through a specific category search. There are other games which can be used by switch users but they need to be sought out as they don’t appear in the category.

CBeebies characters are bright, exciting and popular. Many of the games are educational as well as entertaining and many of the games are designed to be as simple as possible, to ensure no high level of mouse or keyboard skill is needed and a switch or a pair of switches can be used in isolation.

This video shows off some of the features of the games in the CBeebies range and how they can be accessed via switch:

Key Features

The four games currently listed under the CBeebies switch compatible system are:

Some of these games such as Something Special Out and About will also make use of a webcam or microphone for some games, allowing the user to use bodily movements rather than a switch for some games such as Pop the Bubbles. Tumble Faces within this game is also simple and fun as it uses a single click to make Mr Tumble pull a funny face.

Teletubbies Switch Games

Teletubbies Peek-a-Boo Switch Game

Peek-a-Boo is equally simple and uses single switch presses whilst Star-tastic Captain Jake requires a degree of scanning, but only through the use of a single switch. The rocket will move across the screen and the user needs to press their switch at the right moment.

Tiny Tumble Bubble Art is another game which uses the webcam. Users paint pictures with Tiny Tumble through popping bubbles through movements of any size. As the bubbles pop they spread paint across the screen.

Limitations

A number of games in the CBeebies range can be adapted for switch use but there isn’t any information to find them and they aren’t included in the category. As in the video above there are a wider choice of games than those made available through selected the right category.

Many of the games also rely upon webcam technology which is great as it is interactive and entertaining but doesn’t necessarily mean the game is switch accessible.

Conclusion

CBeebies has a wide range of recognisable characters which make their games popular. The fun interactive elements and the ability to play games and see your own face on the screen is a great addition which may appeal to a wide range of players.

Within some of the games available there are further choices and therefore the range is wider than it may initially seem.

 

Touch-Screen CBeebies Apps

There is also a growing-range of CBeebies apps available for both Apple and Android, and although many do not cater specifically for switch use, they are ideal for children who are comfortable using touch-screen devices such as tablets and iPhones. We’ve picked out a few below that will really appeal to children who love the various characters on the CBeebies channel:

Icon for In the Night Garden app shows all the characters on a green backroundIn the Night Garden

The wonderful, colourful world of the Night Garden is now available for your children to explore with this simple yet fun-filled app. In the Night Garden app has tons of interactive and familiar scenes that will provide hours of fun – each character has their own sub-game, and the app’s high-quality audio and HD graphics are visually stirring and immersive.

 

 

Icon for Waybuloo app, shows Waybuloo logo with Nok Tok and De Li on a sky blue backgroundWaybuloo

The official Waybuloo app really does have something for everyone – it includes a fun music scene where children can interactive with Yojojo to make him play instruments. There is also a gardening scene, where children can help De Li to plant flowers and fruit, to then water them and watch them grow! The app also includes a very simple art studio and the classic “Peeka” game.

 

 

Icon for Woolly and Tig app, shows Woolly the spider on a blue backgroundWoolly and Tig

There’s a real charm to the story of Woolly and Tig, and this app brings Woolly to life for children to play with. There are 10 motivating activities that children can take-part in, which include brushing Woolly’s teeth (great for kids who might struggle with routines such as this) and fun-filled activities such as Dress-up Woolly and Play in the Rain! Lovely, lush graphics, and a-must for any fans of the CBeebies series.

 

 

Icon for Dipdap app shows Dipdap stood on a curly line, on a yellow backgroundDipdap

The Dipdap app is a drawing game that promotes expression and creativity, without forcing children to be too structured with their creativity. Ideal for developing puzzle-solving and motor skills, Dipdap is full of imaginative interactive scenes that are high-contrast in colour by nature. Dipdap invites your child to draw in a familiar scene, which is then animated before their eyes and can be shared with friends and family.

HelpKidzLearn Online Switch Activities

HelpKidzLearn switch activitiesHelpKidzLearn is one of the biggest online resources for switch activities. The range is expansive and covers a number of different types of activity as well as a range of different input methods. HelpKidzLearn can be used for simple cause and effect exercises or it can be used for two switch application with additional timing and scanning and other skills.

HelpKidzLearn is a paid subscription and it costs £39 per year for a single user with additional prices for more users or a site subscription. It is also possible to enjoy a 10 activity free user subscription. This is a good way of trying it out before committing to purchase.

Introduction to HelpKidzLearn Switch Activities

HelpKidzLearn is a huge collection of software to play online. It is designed for young children and people with learning disabilities. The activities and games are switch accessible and can be used with a wide range of different switches.

HelpKidzLearn is part of the Inclusive Technology Ltd group, a company which produces a wide range of hardware and software for the assistive technology and education market. This means that there are many hardware options including the HelpKidzLearn EasySwitch which are designed with the activities on this site in mind. These items aren’t a prerequisite but they are designed to create the best possible user experience, ensuring full accessibility to the games.

This webinar offers an in depth look at HelpKidzLearn:

Key Features

HelpKidzLearn requires the user to login and then they can enjoy a wide range of different switch activities and games. The current collection has over 87 titles and new ones are constantly being developed to provide special education environments with an invaluable tool. HelpKidzLearn is split into five broad sections.

Rockets Switch Activities

Rockets switch game

Early Years

Early learning activities such as Rockets and Mystery Egg. Each game is bright and vibrant and the majority are simple cause and effect programmes which help develop basic keyboard or switch skills. Touchscreen users can also benefit from these games.

Games

Games is the most popular section of the site and offers hours of fun and entertainment. Games include BrickOut, Space Shooter and Memory Pairs and can once again be accessed via switch and touchscreen, with some games more advanced with the need for two switches, scanning and timing.

Stories

The stories section of the website brings together a range of classic stories and songs. Activities include counting songs and encourage learners to join in and count along. They can be activated with a simple switch click.

Creative

This section is great for those with a bit of artistic flair. Build sandcastles, play with train tracks or simply practice Early Mouse Movements. There are also music based games.

Find Out

This section of the HelpKidzLearn website is all about exploration and learning. Explore a wide range of things from facial expressions to keyboard skills and other concepts from telling the time to shopping lists. Here’s the chance to enjoy simple education games including Load the Truck (scanning with one to two switches) and Talking Parrot (speaking and listening skills).

Limitations

HelpKidzLearn offers something for users with different skills who utilise different input devices. There are apps available as well as the desktop-based use and all the activities available are switch accessible. There is a lot of hardware which can be bought to use with HelpKidzLearn but none of it is necessary if you already have your switch, interface and mount in place.

Conclusion

HelpKidzLearn is a must have for switch users who want to enjoy the widest possible range of educational and entertaining games. The expansive range of switch activities available offer different levels of complexity, allowing for wider inclusivity and accessibility.

If you found this post helpful, please take a look at our Top Ten Switch Activity Websites list, which includes CBeebies interactive games and the Owlieboo switch website.

HelpKidzLearn Apps

In addition to the HelpKidzLearn range of computer-based switch games, they also offer a number of fun and educational apps for both Apple and Android.

Image shows a black iPad with a screenshot of "Sensory Room" app - a blonde girl in a wheelchair surrounded by colourful disco lightsSensory Room

Sensory Room is a fun and free app that features an imaginary sensory room full of lots of interesting images to touch and interact with. Lots of cause and effect features allow your child to experiment with bubble tubes and disco lights, just like a real sensory room!

 

 

Image shows a black iPad with a screenshot of "Touch to Jump" app - a girl in a yellow dress plays the flute in a dark room with a spotlight to her rightTouch to Jump

Touch to Jump is a simple cause and effect game, where your child must touch the musician to make them move towards the spotlight – and once they do, they will be entertained by a whole host of music and colours that are guaranteed to delight!

 

 

Image shows 4 black iPads, each with a swirling, high contrast patternBig Bang Patterns

This app has been developed in conjunction with specialist visual impairment teachers, and each activity has been especially created for children with low vision and complex educational needs. Big Bang Patterns is a feast of visuals and music, that will really appeal to your child’s senses!

 

 

 

 

Image shows three black iPads, with high contrast illustrations of a smiling sunshine, a dog and a girl jumpingBig Bang Pictures

Much like the Big Bang Patterns app, however Big Bang Pictures features clear, high contrast images of familiar objects, animals and activities with accompanying sound effects. Allows you to choose from a number of background and foreground colours, and is an ideal tool for assessment of picture recognition.

Specialbites Online Switch Activities

Specialbites Online Switch ActivitiesSpecialbites is a constantly developing website which is home to a wide range of inclusive online switch activities and games. They are all designed to be educational and fun. They began by offering games to download for switch users. Now they also offer online switch activities and iPad apps. They were designed with the inclusive classroom in mind but can be used by anybody in any environment.

 

Introduction to Specialbites Online Switch Activities

Specialbites is dedicated to ensuring as many resources as possible are inclusive. They offer a wide range of tutorials so teachers and parents can work to make the internet accessible to all. Their range of tutorials has a wide number of features including how to turn any YouTube video into a switch accessible application through Specialbites, as shown below:

This feature is especially useful for adult switch users. Many switch games are cartoon based or child-focused which isn’t always what an older user is looking for. Specialbites is classroom-focused but the development and application of their technology appeals to a wider audience.

Key Features

Specialbites has been designed to offer something for switch users and those who use touch screens. Many of their games are important for the learning of early mouse skills and there is even the scope for users to create their own accessible, age appropriate games, thanks to the tutorials available.

The range of games available is split into a number of categories:

Angry Pigs Switch Accessible Online Activities

Angry Pigs Switch Game

There are also free videos with fun, musical and talent show video options. Many of the games are designed with a range of complexities so users can test and develop their skills. Angry Pig games for example have a fun, familiar theme and there are four different levels with growing complexity, all of which can be accessed using a single press switch and all of which teach the basics of cause and effect. This is just one of the many games in the huge Specialbites range. There are 11 different sets of online, non-download games as well as four different categories of iPad switch app and five sets of downloadable games.

Limitations

There is a paid element to Specialbites and when you join there are a range of subscription options. Each payment is a one off annual subscription and is no more than $50 (with this price bracket for a whole school). Many of the accessible games and downloads are great without paying but there is even more available if you do choose to pay. The cheapest subscriptions option for a single user is just $6.

Conclusion

Specialbites takes accessibility and inclusive technology beyond most other sites. As well as their innovative range of online switch activities, it also adds further functionality to other sites such as YouTube. It is accessible through a range of devices, including those with touchscreens and can be customised and personalised with a little work.

This is the seventh post in our top ten websites for online switch activities series, check out the main menu for more information about the others in the list.

 

Cause and Effect Switch Accessible iPad Apps

Further to our above post, we have taken the time to find some exciting and fun cause and effect iPad apps that can be accessed using a switch or can be played via touch screen.

Sights and Sounds Series

The Sights and Sounds Series of iPad apps have been especially created to allow switch users of all ages to learn more about cause and effect. There are several apps available in the series, each one with a different theme. These simple yet fun apps provide bright graphics along with clear animation and high quality sound, and the range of themes available allow you to pick an app that will appeal specifically to your child’s interests. The apps also feature a number of switch modes that include press and hold and latching, so you can choose a mode your child feels comfortable with.

Icon for the Sights and Sounds Fireworks app shows a Manhattan-style skyline at night, with fireworks in the sky

 

Sights and Sounds: Fireworks – Brightly coloured fireworks fill the night sky above a cityscape, with complimentary sound effects which can be set to random, or chosen specifically.

 

 

 

Icon for the Sights and Sounds Flowers app features colourful rainbow flowers on a black background

 

Sights and Sounds: Flowers – Rainbow-coloured blooms fill the screen when activated via switch, providing a beautiful and bright visual experience. This app also includes audio and a range of switch modes.

 

 

 

Icon for the Sights and Sounds Cars app features brightly coloured cars in a car park

 

Sights and Sounds: Cars – All types of car, from sports to truck, fill an empty car park when activated by a switch. This colourful car game is ideal for children who love vehicles, and includes a range of fun noises to accompany the graphics.

 

 

 

Icon for the Sights and Sounds Popcorn app shows a photograph of popped-corn

 

Sights and Sounds: Popcorn – This delicious app features realistic popcorn graphics with fun, silly sound effects that are guaranteed to entertain!

 

 

 

If your child enjoys these switch compatible apps, why not check out our Papunet post – including a number of free-to-play online switch games, and information on a brilliant “turn taking” app designed specifically for switch users and children with special educational needs.

Owlie Boo Switch Games

Owlie boo Switch GamesThis is the second of our Top Ten Websites for Online Switch Activities post. We’re looking in depth at Owlie Boo, which offers a range of switch games.

Owlie Boo is a website which was designed by tech savvy parents who wanted to teach their young son how to use computers in a fun and entertaining way. It is packed with a range of educational games designed initially for young children but many of the games are ideal for switch users because of the simplicity of their design. Many of the games are activated through pressing any button on a keyboard.

Introduction to Owlie Boo Games

Owlie Boo games offer a combination of entertainment and educational. Their range of games is expansive and they also have a range different apps for Android and iOs use specific to different games in their range:

The games are ideal for switch users as many of them involve only the pressing of a single key, any key, which means once they’ve been setup (as cursor use is necessary to setup the game) they can be enjoyed through a single switch. Many of the Owlie Boo switch games are also available to work with Eye Gaze technology.

This video gives a quick overview of how the games work for a switch user:

Key Features

PC or Mac based Owlie Boo games are broken into three key sections:

  • Pressing Keys
  • Moving the Mouse
  • Clicking and Dragging

The games in the pressing keys section are the simplest and easiest to access via switch technology. There are 12 bright, vibrantly coloured games to choose from including Shells, Dolphin, Crazy Monkey and Animals and they are all accessed by simple clicking a button on the keyboard or a single press of a plate switch or similar device. Pressing the switch will cause the animation on the screen to react in some way be that through animation or sound.

The other two groups of games aren’t designed for switch gamers and involve the use of more sophisticated controls. Some users may be able to configure a switch system that works with them but most users recommend sticking to the twelve Pressing Keys games.

Limitations

Owlie Boo Switch Games Screen

Owlie Boo Main Screen

Owlie Boo has advertisements and doesn’t play in full screen mode which may be problematic for visually impaired gamers. It is possible to purchase a subscription to Owlie Boo without advertisements and larger game interface on three different plans: $5 a month for three months, $12 a year or $25 for an institution subscription for up to 30 devices.

We also suggest investing in the apps – these are ad-free, fullscreen and are available at a one-off cost, rather than subscription.

The Owlie Boo apps currently available are:

Animals

Owlie Boo 1 (includes Animals, Jungle, Leaps and Egg)

Owlie Boo 2 (includes Marine, Flying, Shells and Hidden)

Owlie Boo 3 (includes Crazy Monkey, Frog, Dolphin and Dog)

Owlie Boo 4 (includes Bugs, Deep, Bubbles and Kids)

Conclusion

The educational element of Owlie Boo makes it especially popular as the games have a purpose as well as being fun. The interface is simple and the games work quickly and seamlessly. The wide range of games is another plus point as it means users can play for longer and try a range of games before getting bored or moving on.

Owlie Boo is a great choice for encouraging further activities and learning. The games are simply cause and effect but there is scope to discuss what happens and even what we think might happen before the switch is pressed.

For further reading, please have a look at our reviews of the Shiny Learning switch games website and the Special Bites online activities website.