Giant QWERTY Keyboard

An educational tool for preschool and kindergarten age children to learn the alphabet, learn to read and write while playing with a computer. Video (last slide) shows giant QWERTY keyboard in action.

While corporate electronic designers were making computers smaller, I made this keyboard bigger for children to learn.

Skill required to build:

1) Basic wood working skills and basic shop tools

2) Some soldering

3) A lot of cutting with Exacto knife, sharp blades and scissors

4) Volt meter handy to check continuity and shorts


Art board, foam core, fish aquarium filter material, 1 inch brass strips, screws, washers and nuts, surplus phone wire to connect giant keys to PC keyboard, contact cement, paint, wood, wood screws. Old computer and software.

Step 1: Built wood frame to hold attach the material and begin assembly

Giant QWERTY Keyboard
Giant QWERTY Keyboard

Keyboard is older model where each key has two solder points on back of circuit board to attach/solder wire to cause short and trigger event (letter).

Sand paper letters based on Montessori method of rough/smooth, tactile senses to trace and learn alphabet

Step 2: Design and assembly begins

Giant QWERTY Keyboard
Giant QWERTY Keyboard

Design and assembly time took 200 hours. Conservative estimate.

Step 3: Exploded view of each letter assembly

Giant QWERTY Keyboard

Pencil CAD

Step 4: Picture collage, painted and unpainted versions

Giant QWERTY Keyboard
Giant QWERTY Keyboard
Giant QWERTY Keyboard

Painted version used for trade show booth.

Step 5: Video of giant QWERTY keyboard in action

Original PC used was Kaypro II with 64k of RAM and dual 5 1/4 inch floppies. Shareware named "the animated alphabet" was used on a 386 PC for the video.


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