Author Topic: MaKey party for senior citizens  (Read 6683 times)

James B

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MaKey party for senior citizens
« on: August 16, 2013, 11:02:11 AM »
I'm tossing around ideas with different activity directors in my area.

So far, general consensus is that the MK is perfect for creating unique and magical experiences for seniors.

The consensus also seems to be that for my area, the technology aspect should be somewhat obfuscated or at least not a focal point. In my area, while there are many seniors with formidable technology experience themselves, there are also many other seniors who have little to no experience and still view technology with fear, disdain, and/or mistrust.

I'd love to eventually figure out how to use positive experiences to battle misnomers about technology, but the focal point for now is just simply having a good time with unique activities.

Known favorite activities and areas of interest of our local seniors involve:
  • Music
  • Dancing
  • Cards
  • Board games
  • Trivia
  • The arts
  • Cultural experiences
  • Socials
  • Dining

Anyone have any ideas about something we can throw together?

Looking for experiences that do not involve trip hazards or octopus tangles of messy wires, experiences that are easy to interact with and follow instructions about, and experiences that encourage experimentation and exploration.

I can use Scratch, we will have access to a laptop and a speaker system, and we can get wi-fi access but will need time to get any web services pre-approved by IT.

Thanks for any suggestions or help  :)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 08:25:25 PM by James B »
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jesuxp

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Re: Help me help seniors
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 04:40:49 PM »
It's a difficult issue, I'm thinking the last days of your idea using MM for elder people. Sure you can create interesting projects, but seniors are different than kids. Imo (not a professional opinion) working with seniors should be more personalized, more customized. But maybe you can see two main groups:
-Seniors that can create projects with different levels of knowledge.
-Seniors with physical or mental handicaps, which are not able to create, but can take advantage by using MM for their rehabilitation programs or entertaining. MM is great to replace the tiny keys in a keyboard with bigger elements, and with MM seniors don't need to look for a key among 110 when they only need 1, 4, 5 or 10.

As I said, for me it's difficult to figure out what can be developed for seniors without having contact to them. There are also cultural differences that are to be taken into consideration (I live 4000 miles east from Tampa, Fl)

Sorry for my English, I don't usually write in this language.

sparks

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Re: Help me help seniors
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 05:10:34 PM »
Yeah, I've been thinking about it too, and it seems to be a very different thing to creating for children, which I'm more used to...

James B

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Re: Help me help seniors
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2013, 02:42:33 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, gang.

If something comes out of it, I'll post pics and a walk-thru of what we did.

A lot of the same magic inherent in the MK enjoyed by children can be easily enjoyed by all, the same way singing and dancing can be enjoyed by someone of any age. I'll try to figure out some really good uses of the MK with seniors in mind, though.

If anyone reading happens on any ideas, please reply! Love to hear other ideas, too
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James B

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Re: Help me help seniors
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 02:04:23 PM »
OK, so far this is what we've dreamt up:

We plan on having a TV that uses the space key to transition between slides showing information about the MK, WASDFG keys to control different bowls of soup and a grounded spoon for soup piano, and the arrow keys rigged to flowers that "sing."

We plan on giving instructions on how to play classic tunes ("tomato soup, tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, tomato soup..."), and let the seniors visit and play around with the singing flowers and slideshow at their leisure.

We're also thinking about having a craft area for anyone to make their own sensors with.

That's what we have so far, I'll keep this thread updated as it comes to hopeful fruition.

Thanks for all the help so far!
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 12:22:24 PM by James B »
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jesuxp

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Re: Help me help seniors
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2013, 02:28:40 PM »
Maybe when your seniors get familiar with MM you could start a mini-contest among them. I'm sure they come up with interesting ideas.

James B

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Re: Help me help seniors
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2013, 05:05:13 PM »
Great idea!

I think we're surfing the same brain waves today, friend. I just got back from my local Amvets store (like Goodwill and Habitat, proceeds help American veterans) with a found trinket I imagined using with the MK or offering as a design prize.

I like the idea of contests so I might use what I found today for that, or I might try for a later MK day for them with a cruise ship theme.

Here's what I scored for three dollars US:



tb;ds (too blurry; didn't see, haha): that's a near mint mini craps table!
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 05:07:39 PM by James B »
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James B

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Re: Help me help seniors
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 01:54:20 PM »
Got greedy and am using that for my own project, but I think I will have more faith in our elderly's ability to MaKey MaKey and leave a bigger portion of the event to chance. I'll still incorporate prizes, I like that idea a lot.

Longer term backburner added to backburner pile: make a mini craps table mod that ties MK to an educational Scratch game that shows maths about craps, inspired by paddle2see's roulette wheel.
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"All life is an experiment, the more experiments you MaKey MaKey the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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