Kick it up a Notch! December 16, 2012Posted by adaptedworld in High Tech Toys.
Visually stimulating toys like this
Orbeez Magic Light Up Globe are great for children with Cortical Visual Impairment but they can be even more fun if they are switch adapted so the child can control them. Any toy that has a simple on/off switch (but not a “press here” button) can be adapted to be controlled by a capability switch with a battery interrupter (comes in an AA/AAA size and a C/D size),
a screwdriver, and a notching file.
The notching file is used to make an opening in the battery compartment cover for cord of the battery interrupter to fit through so it doesn’t get crushed by the cover.
Before you start switch-adapting the base for the Magic Light Up Globe you should “grow” the Orbeez sesame seed-sized beads in a bowl of water in advance (usually takes a few hours). To adapt the Orbeez Magic Light Up Globe base you first need to figure out where you will place the battery. I usually place the battery interrupter in between the coil and the negative side of the battery, near a corner.
The Orbeez Magical Light Up Globe takes AAA batteries so the AA/AAA Battery Interrupter is a little big. You can cut the disk of the battery interrupter down to fit the smaller compartment but because battery interrupters aren’t exactly cheap and I may switch out battery interrupters from toy to toy when Miss B needs a change I don’t like to cut them and instead try to notch extra space in the battery compartment and its cover if I can.
Once the notching is complete, you can insert the batteries,
turn on the toy and make sure it doesn’t work with the battery interrupter in (if it works then the battery interrupter isn’t doing it’s job) then fasten the battery compartment cover again.
Once the Orbeez beads reach the size of marbles, drain them and fill the globe halfway up with them. Then add water to the top, screw on the top and lock the globe into its base. To avoid frustration I will always hook up a capability switch to the battery interrupter to test my newly switch adapted toy before giving it to Miss B to make sure it works as expected (some toys can be temperamental and prefer a certain kind of capability switch—her Butterfly from Enabling Devices works better with a noncontinuous Big Mack type switch)…
and then let the fun begin!
By following the instructions we placed 5 different colored Orbeez packets in water and “grew” many more Orbeez marbles than was needed to fill the Magic Light Up Globe. We let Miss B play with the remaining marbles for a fun sensory activity. The filtered fridge water in the marbles made them feel cold and they are very soft, slippery and bouncy (if you drop one on the floor, prepare to chase it around the house ;D). If your child has trouble with feeling cold items you can also fill them with warm water. Also, for even more fun you can place a light box under the bowl of marbles to illuminate them from behind. Most likely because Miss B has difficulty coordinating multiple senses at the same time she tends to look away when she is feeling things so we did not use a light box for her.
The water in the Orbeez marbles will evaporate over time so we also used part of the remainder to water a household plant—this may be the only way the plant will get watered…I do not have a green thumb and appreciate the irrigation help because most plants do not survive long in our household ;P