Although, after a brief introduction, the GridPlay interface is simple enough for a young child to use independently, we hope our software will be used for sharing and communicating, facilitating participation in group activities. It is fun for a parent or teacher to share the materials with youngsters and this happy, creative cooperation is very empowering for children.
GridPlay Level 1 is software that the young child can control and explore in an open-ended fashion and, time and again, youngsters have surprised us with the level and duration of their concentration and with the quality of music they have created!
For a very young (or disabled) child, you may wish to replace the mouse with a large trackball. Many big trackballs allow for dual input, with a standard mouse simultaneously connected. The layout, however, usually makes it convenient for an adult to hold down or lock the buttons while the child controls the cursor with the ball. (See below for some online suppliers)
Some grids require that the right mouse button be held down. Until recently, this meant that many disabled users required physical assistance, with a facilitator holding down the button while the child moved the cursor. Now, our friend Joris, from My Breath My Music, has created a free little utility, "Sticky Right Mouse Button". You can download it from: http://mybreathmymusic.googlepages.com/gridplay)
Computer input devices
Penny & Giles
Engaging Young Children In Computer Activities