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Age appropriate items for middle schoolers?

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4 months 1 week ago - 4 months 1 week ago #27 by Super User
Super User created the topic: Age appropriate items for middle schoolers?
I work with middle school aged children and struggle to find affordable age appropriate items that, especially those that light up, make sounds and vibrate. Any suggestions?
Jeanette
Last Edit: 4 months 1 week ago by Super User.
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4 months 1 week ago #28 by Super User
Super User replied the topic: Age appropriate items for middle schoolers?
Patty Obrzut Responded:

"Jeanette,
It is very important to have a wide range of materials to work with when using Active Learning techniques. I would recommend reading the materials section of the website for ideas. You want to include items that expand from the typical "toys" that you can find at local toy stores.

Start collecting catalogues from companies that specialize is "different" types of items like musical instruments, sensory materials, visual materials, etc. Here are a few suggestions: West Music, Music is Elementary, Fat Brain, Flaghouse, TFH, Southpaw Enterprises, Guitar Center, Brookstone, Imagine the Challenge, Hearth Songs, Kapable Kids, Game Time, Kaplan, Lakeshore, Ablenet, Achievement Products, Enabling Devices, Jump In.

Here are some the items that light up, have sound and that light up that we use: mini massagers (by Water Dancer), Z-vibes, facial brushes, shoe polishers, vibrating toothbrushes, seed pod rattles, quack sticks, canary sticks, thunder tubes, paddle drums, egg shakers, chimes, (more musical instruments in catalogues), Light up DNA ball, boing balls, mini light up spike balls, etc.

There are hundreds of ideas. Remember vibrating doesn't have to be mechanical - an item can vibrate by banging on it. Sound doesn't have to be battery operated - it can be a ping pong ball bouncing on a wood board, Sight can be - reflective paper, yellow on black, or things that light up."
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4 months 1 week ago #29 by Super User
Super User replied the topic: Age appropriate items for middle schoolers?
Cameron Ware Responded:

"I really like this list of resources and materials. I don't think that this has been addressed yet... What type of iPad apps are best for Active Learning-based activities?"
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4 months 1 week ago #30 by Super User
Super User replied the topic: Age appropriate items for middle schoolers?
Kate Hurst Responded:

"Cameron,
I would be interested in hearing what Patty has to say about iPads. To me there is not much a child can learn from iPads at the level except making something light up. I suppose if the student was really into visual information or perhaps auditory information it might be okay. What do other of you think?"
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4 months 1 week ago #31 by Super User
Super User replied the topic: Age appropriate items for middle schoolers?
Patty Obrzut Responded:

"Cameron,
I find that most electronic devices offer limited opportunities to learn new skills. Think about the basic electronic toy from the toy store. You push a button and it plays a song. This is the skill of cause and effect. Once a child has learned cause and effect they are ready to move on. But most electronic toys for children are just a repeat of the cause and effect activity. The toy may actually encourage the passive activity of sitting and listening to music all day.
I have found most iPad apps to be the same type of cause and effect activity for children who are visually impaired. When introducing cause and effect they can be helpful, but once a child has learned all they can learn from the cause and effect concept - they are ready for a new skill. I do not find apps that offer this flexibility.
I find most of our children interact with real objects they can feel, taste, touch, smell and see. New skills are easier to encourage when children can push, pull, knock over, stack, take apart, etc. A child with multiple special needs will have difficulty performing these new skills using an app on an iPad. Thus, we have an iPad - but hardly ever use it for our special needs children."
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4 months 1 week ago #32 by Super User
Super User replied the topic: Age appropriate items for middle schoolers?
Kate Hurst Responded:

"Jeanette,
I find a lot of kitchen utensils and materials from hardware stores can be good for creating vibration and sounds. For example, use coffee cans with coffee beans, rocks, pennies inside (tape the top closed) which will make a great noise when rolled. Things like keys, castanets, chains can also make a great noise. Sometimes using reflective or shiny tape or ribbon on an object makes it visually attractive or consider using the child's preferred color if he/she has one. The key is thinking outside of the box. Check out the list of Attractive Materials link on the Points to Consider under the materials tab. Oh, and take a look at the things the child's same-age peers play with....sometimes these can be put to great use as well. The main thing is make it appropriate for the student's developmental level and preferences."
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