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Fun sites for students - FREE!

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All these sites are suitable for students with Learning Disabilities. Most can be simply accessed with a few mouse clicks, touch screens, switches or interactive whiteboard: not forgetting the keyboard / keyboard shortcuts of course. No need to download, the links here take you directly to the activities and are designed to be used with students of all ages and abilities, online. Have fun!
  • Plenty of black and white pictures ready to be coloured in at the click of a mouse. This doesn't appear to be switch accessible but could be made so as part of a paired activity. It's easy and fun, great for mouse skills, choice making and more. Thanks to Manicheta for the recommendation.

    http://www.coloring4all.com/
  • Another fantastic site where you can learn to use a mouse with animation, sound effects and some excellent games for mouse control, matching, spelling, number work...all sorts. Also has lesson plans and printable worksheets for ICT, Maths, Literacy, Music, Art and PSHCE. Magnificent link - many thanks to Linda Armitage for telling us about it!

    http://themouseclub.co.uk
  • Fungooms is a games website that has been designed to be extremely simple to use. All the navigation and games can be used just with the mouse. The site is completely intuitive. No instructions are required and no reading is needed. The site is based around very simple icons. The games are centered around very friendly loveable characters and have been designed to be purely fun and keep frustration to a minimum. There are no penalties or scores, only amusing events, surprises and gentle calming music. We have taken a minimalistic approach to the appearance so that the player does not get confused or overwhelmed. All the games are designed to be played in full screen by pressing f11 so that the player does not have to struggle to see what's going on. Our thanks to Ned Langman for this recommendation.

    http://www.fungooms.com
  • More FREE whiteboard curriculum activities than you'll get through in a year! Fantastic links to lovely resources designed to be used on your IWB. Search the resources by topic or key word to the left of the screen. Thanks to Sally Paveley for such a terrifically useful site.

    http://www.whiteboardroom.org.uk
  • A wonderful resource for reluctant writers or anyone who just wants to make their own comic strip. The interface is a bit busy and requires click/drag or equivalent access, but if you can get around that, it's brilliant!

    http://www.comicmaster.org.uk/
  • Alphablocks is a series of adventures that invite you to have fun with words. The Alphablocks are twenty-six living letters who fall out of the sky onto an empty, white world and discover that if they hold hands and make a word, it comes to life. They learn as they go along and they're always ready to have a go, help each other out and make their own entertainment. Alphablocks is really engaging for pupils of all ages who are learning to read. Its simple purpose is to entertain, while showing that wordplay can be a lot of fun. It is based on best-practice phonics teaching and it can help children develop engagement and confidence with reading and making words. Every episode is different: there are songs, stories and games. The CBeebies Alphablocks website will feature all twenty-six episodes, with games that enable children to join in and make words to help the Alphablocks in their adventures.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/shows/alphablocks
  • This is a sensational resource for everyone. Full of signed, spoken, well known children's stories with music and sound effects too. Absolutely brilliant. You could use a variety of inputs (switch, eye gaze, touch screen or mouse etc) to start the stories too.

    http://www.signedstories.com/
  • Animal Jam features a full spectrum of play that caters to children at all ability levels and developmental stages. With constantly evolving educational content, children can discover real-world plant and animal facts, plus follow enriching storylines paired with National Geographic's multimedia educational content! Join a community featuring fun activities and games, as well as chat with online friends in a safe and moderated environment. Thanks to Sharon Cahill for the recommendation!

    http://www.animaljam.com/
  • This is a lovely collection of spoken stories that can be accessed via a single click. Clear diction and large pictures. German, Japanese and French versions available for some of the stories too. Thanks to Chelsie Gordon and her pupil for the recommendation.

    http://www.wiredforbooks.org/kids.htm
  • Beautiful mouse/ touch screen / Smart Board / Plasma screen practise. Create your own flower garden! Thanks to Trish for recommending this to Check The Map.

    http://www.procreo.jp/labo/flower_garden.swf
  • There are soooooooo many excellent games here, each with their own description, that it would be crazy to list them all again on Check The Map, just click the link and read through. Here you'll find such retro remakes as Frogger and Whack-A-Mole, alongside puzzles, timing games, shoot-em-ups and more. We highly recommend this site for single, two switch and two player games.

    http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/2/switch-downloads.htm
  • Freely available interactive website designed especially for adults with learning disabilities, set around a virtual house. Visit the kitchen and learn about Health and Safety, Nutrition and Hygiene. Go into the Music Room and create your own band or orchestra. Take a look at the sensory room and choose your own themes for the bubble tubes, glitter ball, star mat etc. A Money Manager will also help you keep track on your finances. Watch this site, as it is currently in the second phase of development which will see the addition of a sensory garden amongst other elements.

    http://www.sensoryworld.org
  • Switch / IWB / Keyboard / Mouse timing games

    http://papunet.net/games/games_of_precision
  • This is brilliant! Practice simple mouse or touch screen movements and be rewarded by colour and a choice of sound effects or catchy music. If you know anyone of any age who is struggling to use a mouse, you must check out this link. Thanks very much to the Help Kidz Learn team at Inclusive. NB, this also works in conjunction with EnorMouse (also linked to Check The Map) if the intended player has a visual impairment.

    http://www.helpkidzlearn.com/creative/mouse_movements.html
  • Weird and addictive, use your mouse / touch screen to move and watch the man loop and twist around the screen. Clicking once with the mouse begins a repeating animated sequence of more and more men, clicking again returns you to just one. Excellent for early mouse skills, group work.. Thanks very much to Trish and Gill for finding this oddity.

    http://www.maninthedark.com/
  • HelpKidzLearn is a collection of free software for young children and those with learning difficulties to play online.

    http://www.helpkidzlearn.com
  • This needs a little intervention to get going but is accessible enough to warrant a link here. Choose different sizes of paintbrush, text or paint bucket splodge to create your own beautiful piece of art with a mouse. Helps to brush up (sorry) on your dragging and clicking skills. If you like this, try Art Rage and Jackson Pollock Art, both linked to Check The Map. More thanks to Mandy at Southview School for another gem.

    http://artpad.art.com/artpad/painter/
  • We absolutely love this - create your own Picasso portrait by dragging and dropping with a mouse, touch screen or IWB. Then authentically sign your masterpiece. Massive thanks to Mandy Griffin of Southview School for sourcing this.

    http://www.mrpicassohead.com/create.html
  • Free interactive reading games, perfect for using with your interactive whiteboard or on a computer. Words that rhyme, full stops, capital letters, high frequency words and much more...thanks to Suzanne Sear of Charlton School for spreading the word about this very useful and entertaining freebie.

    http://www.roythezebra.com/index.html
  • A great game for introducing the mouse or learning to press and hold a switch with a partner. Instructions are on the site so I won't go into them here. Needless to say it's easy to play with a nice colourful screen and tons of levels. Have fun.

    http://www.ninjakiwi.com/Games/Bloons-Games/Bloons.html
  • The Askability website was inspired by The Children's Society Solihull branch, after watching children at their project misunderstand the news about the war in Iraq. They decided that there was a need for a website which was presented entirely in symbol to enable children with learning disabilities to become informed about ongoing current affairs and also create a central forum for children to express their views and opinions.

    https://www.askability.org.uk
  • Thanks to Charlie Danger for telling us about this beautiful site. Use your mouse, headpointer, rollerball or joystick (or finger on a touch screen / whiteboard) to create the next masterpieces of the art world. To change colour click your mouse etc. This is a brilliantly simple program with no confusing buttons or distractions. Have fun.

    http://www.jacksonpollock.org
  • This site provides ICT activites linked to the English National Curriculum. Divided into literacy and numeracy there are tons of wonderful resources and games that cover topics such as: counting, subtracting, number bonds, weights and measurements, division, multiplication, more & less, shapes, clocks, fractions, decimals, percentages, money... and then, for literacy... phonemes, initial letters, letter forming, spelling patterns, high frequency words, sight recognition, reading, listening, rhyming.... and there's so much more. Many useful teacher tools that are great for whiteboard work are to be found here too. The site isn't switch accessible and you need Flash Player to run the games. It's a fabulous bank of learning tools and makes everything just that little bit more fun... All games are designed, made by and © copyright 2005 of James Barrett.

    http://www.ictgames.com/index.html
  • A free typing tutor with animations, spoken instructions and a colourful, fun interface that can be made full screen. The program has different levels of difficulty and simple typing exercises with visual feedback at each stage. Our thanks to Ann Middleton for this useful link.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/
  • Loads of wonderfully animated simple games with sound effects. There are jigsaws to make, pictures to colour, counting games and letter games in French and English, some simple mouse skills games, games that can be switch adapted if you use space bar and arrow keys... lots of recommendations to add this and our thanks to members of SENIT.

    http://www.poissonrouge.com/
  • These are designed for a younger audience, but make wonderful switch/early keyboard activities with simple cartoon graphics and sound effects. Choose from 'Underwater Adventure' (any key press gets an animation); 'Guitar, Piano and Drums' - any key press generates a sound - fantastic for switch group work; 'Jump & Float', and 'Peekaboo' are great for sustaining holding down a switch or key - the longer you hold the key down the longer you see the picture; 'Balloons, Bubbles & Flowers' is a nice sensory activity where each key/switch press creates a bubble that floats upwards then pops satisfyingly. Lastly, there's 'All Aboard' when a train chugs into view and each key/switch press animates a bit of the train. My favourite is Jump & Float - but you be the judge. Our thanks to Jim Robinson of 'Punch' for permission to add this to Check The Map.

    http://www.kneebouncers.com/kneebouncers.html
  • Skywriting is taken from the growing bank of free to use tools and resources created for teachers who are teaching with an interactive whiteboard (IWB) on their main site www.iwb.org.uk For pupils learning about letters, large motor movements can really help to make the activity fun and memorable. This is a wonderful whiteboard / touch screen resource for group or individual work.

    http://www.ictgames.com/sky_writing.html
  • This is a lovely resource - part of the ton of books, puzzles and games for children of all ages on Magic Keys. Use mouse or touchscreen to choose from standard painting tools and a range of colours to create your own picture. There are loads of outlines to keep you busy - from flowers to footballers. Great practice for struggling mouse users, or for those budding artists that find an adapted mouse / touch screen access much more successful than using a paintbrush. You can print outlines to colour off the computer or your finished work to show off.

    http://www.magickeys.com/books/color/
  • If you liked the previous fireworks link and want more, this is for you. Same thing, more colours... Great for early, simple mouse/ interactive whiteboard / touch screen work or paired activities between mouse and switch users.

    http://www.maylin.net/Fireworks2.html
  • The premise is simple - clicking anywhere with your mouse (or setting a switch to emulate a left mouse click) will produce a satisfying and never ending stream of fireworks. Great for early, simple mouse / touch screen/ whiteboard work or paired activities between mouse and switch users. Thanks to May and Frank who have given permission for us add this link.

    http://www.maylin.net/Fireworks.html
  • http://www.do2learn.com/games/facialexpressions/face.htm
  • This link opens to a busy front page so look for the picture of the cat and click on it. You will then find a lovely little cartoon and song. Watch the cat thwart his owner's many attempts to get rid of it. Thanks to Richard Walter from Meldreth Manor School for recommending this.

    http://www.flashplayer.com/music/thenewcatcameback.html
  • This site links to lots of online books. Some with flash animations and sound; some have text read out. Unfortunately the site has pop ups and other links so students may need help navigating to the stories. Lots here for all ages and some lovely illustrations.

    http://www.magickeys.com/books/
  • There's no easy way to describe this site but i'll try: A wonderful collection of very colourful flash activities that interact with mouse clicks. A front screen takes you to lots of different things to explore and do. I like the synchronised blob dancing best. Go see. (Many thanks to Sarah Anderson and the pupils of Delamere School for recommending this).

    http://www.boohbah.com/zone.html
  • These lovely stories use traditional music and beautiful ilustrations. Where there is text it is clearly read out. Navigating to the stories requires quite a lot of mouse control, though once loaded, some will just play through with no interaction required. On other stories students can explore pages and find different sound effects that help explain and give context. Worth a look.

    http://www.bulaja.com/
  • You'll find lots of interactive online games to help early literacy here, from letter recognition to non-fiction and comics. Aimed at younger children, different short activities are easy to work through with lots of fun animations. There are also many classroom ideas and activity sheets for teachers to download.

    http://www.starfall.com/
  • This is a bizarre and funny site, a horse quartet! Click on the horses to get them singing and click on them again to stop. Simple, great for practising early ICT skills and very entertaining.

    http://svt.se/hogafflahage/hogafflaHage_site/Kor/hestekor.swf
  • Dedicated to the use of symbols, a wonderful site with tons of free symbol-supported stories, news, games, jokes

    http://www.symbolworld.org
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