Any Key Goes

Press any key, for sounds, stories and songs.

Screenshot of the Ballylanders in front of an image of a boy peeling his nose.

This level is specifically designed to put the child in control and to enable him or her to play independently, explore, have fun, and learn. The keys open up a world of sounds, stories, music and songs. Every child will recognise familiar situations and enjoy the funny and surprising sound effects and animations.
Key-strokes only produce sounds and images, or mini animations.
Active play is encouraged via audio feedback.
The sounds are not based on an alphabetic structure, which makes Ballyland very special.
It was designed for very young children, with no literacy skills. The sounds are not randomly chosen. They are all familiar, everyday sounds. Also, in order to support young children who are blind in their efforts to 'map' the computer keyboard without sight, categories of sounds/images correspond with categories of keys.
Read more about the many learning opportunities - including early literacy skills - this concept provides for all children in Tips Any Key Goes.

Tips Any Key Goes

Give the child time to play and explore on his/her own, without too much interference.

  1. As soon as another key is pressed, the sound of the previous keystroke stops
  2. If a child uses the whole hand to 'hit' the keyboard, only the single key that the hand touches first will give a response, and no cacophony will ensue
  3. Turn the spoken description ON (Settings) so that if you press one key and then wait before pressing another key, you can listen to a spoken explanation of what the sound was. This feature supports understanding and speech development and is also useful for non-native speakers
  4. If - in the manual colour control panel - you set the outline and fill to the same colour, for example: white, the result is a simple, uncluttered effect that may be suitable for some children
  5. Introduce the child to the real situation or object represented by the sounds in Any Key Goes. Tie the program in with hands-on educational materials, themes and every-day experiences. Build a tower. Find a ball that squeaks or has a little bell in it. Splash in the bath
  6. Let the child explore a balloon and experience its behaviour and sound when it is blown up and tied up, when air escapes, etc.
  7. All the sounds used in the stories and songs can be found under different keys of the keyboard
  8. The voice-over is professionally recorded by Natalija, a young Australian girl who is blind.

Extra learning opportunities

Let the child…

  • describe all the sounds that you hear or the images that you see
  • press a key, listen to the sound, and then go back to the same key again
  • find all five Ballylanders on the keyboard, all the animals, the musical instruments, human sounds, household sounds and stories
  • create his or her own story, or recreate one of the existing stories, by pressing keys
  • create a tune with the keys of the musical instruments
  • play with real musical instruments
  • discover matching pairs of keys
  • talk, telling you what he or she thinks that each key represents
  • listen to the spoken description of each sound(effect)
  • count the farm animals, musical instruments, etc…

Adjustable settings Any Key Goes

  • Set the number of seconds it takes before the child is encouraged to press a key
  • Turn on a spoken descriptions of each sound
  • Adjust the colour contrast to suit special needs. Default setting is automatic, standard colours. Turn manual colours ON to access the colour control panel in order to adjust the colours to suit special needs. OFF resets the images to the automatic standard colours.
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