KidzMouse, a developer of niche-market computer peripherals for educational use, has announced the addition of a “Design Your Own” option for their KidzMouse family of computer mice at this week’s National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) 2002 in San Antonio, TX.
The new “Design Your Own” product joins KidzMouse family members MollyMouse, BenjiBee, CoolBug and MarinaBug. Unlike previous characters, however, “Design Your Own” enables kids, from toddlers to preteens, to create and recreate their own fun characters again and again, according to Susan Giles, CEO and founder of KidzMouse. A plain white mouse with big eyes, “Design Your Own” is packaged with a selection of sparkle stickers including stripes, polka dots, jungle animals, bugs and other decorations that can be used to dress the character dozens of ways.
“‘Design Your Own’ has gone over extremely well in classrooms,” Giles said. “By creating their own mouse characters, children lose their fear of computers. Some kids even make up stories about their new mouse.”
“Design Your Own” costs US$23.95 and can be purchased at the KidzMouse Web site.
The KidzMouse mice are roughly half the size of a conventional computer mouse and feature a rounded shape that better fits growing hands.
KidzMouse makes niche-market computer peripherals. The names Molly and Benjie are those of the grandchildren of KidzMouse inventor, Giles. A few years ago, Giles found that she was having difficulty teaching her four-year-old granddaughter to use a computer because the mouse was too big.
“Standard mice force children to ‘tap,’ a very difficult motion for children with developing motor skills,” Giles told MacCentral. “Squeezing is a much more natural and comfortable gesture for children, which is why I pursued a prototype that incorporated squeezing. The KidzMouse is a ‘squeezable’ mouse that’s designed for small hands.”