Category: Toys with Apps

Label applied to toys that work in combination with a computer programme, commonly described as an App, running on a computer tablet or smart phone.

Music and Lights

The music and lights demo I set-up at the ASSERT conference and exhibition caused lots of interest and questions around how it worked together.

Twiligh Turtle Tunes featuring integrated Bluetooth speaker.
Twilight Turtle Tunes sensory light and sound toy

Just to recap, the kit consisted of a Twilight Turtle Tunes, my iPad (could also have been an iPhone or iPod Touch) and an iSwitch. Together these formed the basis of the music and lights show with optional switch control.

The iSwitch was not essential but I used it to show how switch access on the iPad could be used. Judging by the surprise people showed when they pressed the iSwitch most seemed unaware of switch access on the iPad. (Take a look at this earlier blog about ‘Using and iSwitch with the iPad’)

iSwitch for switch access to iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch
iSwitch for switch access to iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

Twilight Turtle Tunes is a colour changing nightlight that also includes a Bluetooth speaker. As it’s Bluetooth then the iPad connects to it through the ‘Settings > Bluetooth’ menu.

Once a connection has been made the Turtle will automatically reconnect next time you use it – provided Bluetooth is ‘on’ on the iPad.


Making the Bluetooth connection

  • Switch on the Twilight Turtle Tunes and activate the Bluetooth connection by pressing the on/off button twice – the turtle will start to flash.
  • Open the iPad Setting app and go to Bluetooth and switch ‘on’. That makes the iPad look for all Bluetooth devices within range.
  • Look for ‘Cloud B’ and touch to connect it to the iPad.

Music and Lights

Cloud B Twilight Turtle projects colour changing lights
Cloud B Twilight Turtle projects colour changing lights

Open the music app and select whatever you would like to hear. Touch on the ‘play’ and you will hear it through the Twilight Turtle Tunes rather than the iPad speaker. The other feature of the Turtle Tunes is the the colour changing light show it projects from blue through green and yellow. That’s how I set-up the music and lights show.

Although I used this set-up to play music don’t imagine that’s all it can play. Essentially what you now have is a connected speaker and I’ve used it to play nursery rhymes, recorded stories even the sound track or sound effects of games, apps etc.

There are also two apps from Cloud B – the company that makes the Twilight Turtle Tunes – that play relaxing soundscapes. (a free version or a paid-for one which costs £1.49 in the App Store.) Both apps include a timer so you can adjust how long the soundscape plays at bedtime.

Switch access with the iSwitch

The iSwitch can be connected to the iPad through the same Bluetooth menu and then set to send the ‘Play/Pause’ command to the iPad.

(Have a read of ‘Using an iSwitch with the iPad’ blog post to find out about setting it up.)

The iSwitch comes into its own when the user can’t cope with the touch interface on the iPad but can cope with switches and understands the concept of ‘cause and effect’.

So, now we have a music and lights show combined with switch access; it’s so easy to set-up.

Have fun setting up your own music and lights show. Smile

Follow our Toys with Apps Pinterest board

Are you on Pinterest? We joined Pinterest in 2013 and I’d like to invite you to follow all of our boards but especially the Toys with Apps board.

Pinterest is where we post pictures and descriptions of switch adapted toys, sensory toys, great sensory apps and, on a new board, toys that work apps.

I’ve called the new board Toys with Apps because these toys work with apps loaded on your smart phone or tablet. Here are pictures of the first two toys I’ve posted to the board:

Twilight Turtle Tunes sensory light projection and sound toy feature on Excitim's Toys with Apps Pinterest board.
Twilight Turtle Tunes play soundscapes through the app

Twilight Turtle Tunes

He’s a nightlight that projects a colour changing star pattern onto the walls of a darkened play area, den or bedroom. But, this is where the Bluetooth bit comes in, it connects to a free app that lets you play sensory soundscapes, musical playlists you’ve created or even tell stories through Twilight Turtles built-in speaker.

Read more about this on two earlier blog posts: Story time with Twilight Turtle Tunes and Twilight Turtle Tunes.

Toy-Fi Teddy featured on Excitim's Toys with Apps Pinterest board.
Toy-Fi Teddy send him messages with an app

Toy-Fi Teddy

He’s the second toy on the Toys with Apps Pinterest board. He’s one of the very newest toys to work with a app. He connects to the app on your phone or tablet (iOS or Android) and lets you send messages direct to your child’s Toy-Fi Teddy and then to receive a reply back onto your phone.

Imagine this scenario: it’s bedtime, but mum or dad is travelling and won’t be home to say goodnight. If this is you them this may just be the toy your child needs. Simply record a message in the app and send it to your child’s Toy-Fi Teddy. It doesn’t matter whether you are next door or on a different continent. The red heart flashes when the message is received and, even more, the child can record you a message and send it straight back to your phone.

Here’s a YouTube video that shows it all.

I just love this idea.

I’ll add more of these Toys with Apps on Pinterest and the Special-Needs-Toys website as I find them. Follow our boards on Pinterest now.