|By Business Wire||
|November 30, 2016 12:37 PM EST|
Facebook fans are used to clicking on the day’s entries and finding a heartwarming story that makes the reader go “ahhhh” and then share with friends. One toy company is having the same reaction for a wonderfully unexpected reason. Testimonials are pouring in from special education professionals and special needs parents about Bluebee Pals. The plush animals that “talk” via a built-in Bluetooth connection are opening a window to youngsters who struggle to learn.
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“We just started working with Bluebee in our classroom and the students instantly responded positively. I have several students in my class that use an AAC device to speak. When introducing the Bluebee, I explained that he also needed a device to speak, just like many of us,” wrote in Jessica Carter, an ESE instructor at Princeton House Charter School. “As a teacher of students with ASD, I am excited to discover new ways to incorporate this wonderful resource to help with all aspects of academics and building confidence with social skills.”
The plush learning tool comes in the form of five personalities including Leo the Lion, Riley the Zebra and Hudson the Puppy. Each soft animal moves its mouth as it talks, sings and reads to a child. Their user friendly technology allows for a simple connection to any Bluetooth enabled phone, tablet or laptop from Apple to Android and pairs to any app. The collection is called Bluebee Pals ($64.99). Prop up a laptop, tablet or smart phone onto their laps and tuck into their plush arms. Then watch the magic begin!
“A good friend of mine has a daughter with Rett Syndrome,” emailed Theresa Bennett, M.Ed. “She bought her a Bluebee and her daughter loved it! Being a special education teacher, I was excited to have something new for my students. My students are non-verbal and love the iPad and interactive board in the classroom. It is so easy to set up Bluebee with different types of technology. They focus and attend more having the plush animal mouthing stories and singing songs!”
Parent company Kayle Concepts introduced the educational plush companions two years ago. Now thousands have been adopted into households, schools and therapy sessions. The enchanting learning tool offers so many benefits – auditory attention and processing, cause & effect, pre-literacy skills and more. The toy industry has taken notice and to date has distributed over a half-dozen awards including Mom’s Choice, National Parenting Publications, Parent’s Choice, Creative Child Award, Academic Choice and Tillywig. Most recently, Teachers’ Choice Awards, which honors products of exceptional quality and outstanding performance in the classroom and at home, gave Bluebee Pals its 2017 Teachers’ Choice Award.
As their website, www.BluebeePals.com, confirms, “teachers, parents and therapists are experiencing the impact of using Bluebee Pals as educational tools. Feedback from hundreds of special needs educators said our ‘talking tech buddies’ encourages communication, language use, attentiveness, sensory processing, and positive behaviors.”
One such poignant anecdote was widely seen on Autism Speaks blog, titled, How A Plush Bear Named Sammy Made My Son Eager To Learn.
I synced the Bluebee Pal to my iPad and started listening to The Three Little Pigs and The Little Engine That Could. Aiden is very leery of plush animals so I was very shocked when he sat beside me while I was listening to Sammy the Bear. I asked him what story he wanted to hear and we went from there.
Aiden was watching Sammy's eyes and mouth move as the story went along. As I happily watched, Aiden began to laugh and talk to Sammy, asking him questions I would normally ask him. Aiden stayed sitting for what seems like hours without getting up once... high five Sammy!
With uplifting stories like Aiden’s, it’s easy to see why The Bluebee Pals Project is an exciting educational program created by founder Laura Jiencke of Kayle Concepts.
“I envisioned the idea of placing Bluebee Pals,” explains Jiencke, “into the hands of therapists, educators and families of special needs children and sharing their testimonials with my Bluebee Pal Community. I am proud to report that we have donated hundreds of our huggable plush educational toys to special needs groups and families in order to collect data and feedback on the positive effects of using Bluebee Pals as a learning tool.”
Helen Wagner’s Children’s Speech Therapy Class in Aniston, Alabama; Dr. Howard Shane, PhD, CCC-SLP of the Autism Language Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and QSAC, New York City and Long Island’s Quality Services for the Autism Community, are just three of the special partnerships utilizing the donated plush pals.
First hand testimonials, photographs and videos of the amazing effect children experience interacting with their Bluebee Pal can be seen at https://bluebeepals.com/bluebee-pals-project-participants/
“I used our Bluebee Pals along with your stories and the kids went crazy,” gushed Helen H. Wagner, M.S., CCC-SLP. “They loved reading along with Lion, Bear, Zebra and Sheep! I noticed increased active engagement during our lesson! This translated to improved retell skills and improved memory for main idea and comprehension of important story facts. The REAL joy of the lessons was when the students recorded and retold the story, in sequence! The Bluebee Pals were talking in THEIR voices!!!! They were sooooo excited! Oh! How they love recording and listening to themselves!!! They were eager to email their own recorded narratives to our speech room, their teacher and their parents!”
Every Bluebee Pal boasts a variety of features including an embedded Bluetooth enabled speaker that connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities (phones, tablets, and laptops). Each talking interactive plush can be used as a hands free telephone with built in speaker and microphone! A rechargeable battery with USB Micro-charge cable is included with every purchase.
Bluebee Pals website offers tips on homeschooling, lesson plans and links to videos.
Be sure to sign up for their informative newsletter at www.BluebeePals.com.
ABOUT KAYLE CONCEPTS
With over 25 years of marketing, sales and operations expertise, Laura Jiencke, president of Kayle Concepts, was noticing a trend. Instead of daydreaming with a stuffed animal, a child’s playtime was being replaced by tech toys, tablets, smart phones and learning devices. Could the notion of inseparable, cuddly plush already be an obsolete concept? She dreamed of combining traditional plush toys with state-of-the-art technology that could utilize online digital content. Then kids would be entertained while developing lifelong learning skills. In 2014, Bluebee Pals was launched using Bluetooth® technology. The plush animals with the moving mouths have been refreshed in time for Holiday 2016 giving. Discover the interactive talking pals at www.bluebeepals.com.
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