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Adapting a Battery-Operated Toy

What You Need:

  • Any single switch

  • A battery-adapter for AA, C or D batteries (see Resources for vendors)

  • Any battery-operated toy or device with AA, C, or D batteries. This adaptation works best with toys/devices with an on/off switch.

switch-activated crab

How to Adapt:

  • Insert the copper disk at the end of the battery-adapter between the battery and battery contact; or place it between 2 batteries.

  • Turn the toy on - it should not work, since you have interrupted its connection to the battery.

  • Plug the switch into the jack at the other end of the battery-adapter. Activate the switch to operate the toy. If it does not work, adjust the copper disk.

What To Do
When starting switch use with the child, put the switch as close to the adapted toy as possible. Even attaching the switch with tape or Velcro onto the toy/device will make the connection between the switch activation and the toy more direct. As the child begins to demonstrate his understanding of switch use, move the switch further away from the toy.

  • Try adapting commercial reactive toys, such as Humbug or Mr. Potato Head, with a battery adapter so that the child can control the off and on vibrating response.

  • In addition to battery-operated toys, games such as Light Brite and Spin Art are easily adapted for switch use (see Switch Activities section).

  • Devices such as flashlights and tape recorders can be adapted in the same way.



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