This is where Makey Makey comes in. It’s a $49.99 circuit board you clip onto any object you wish to turn into a controller for one of your gadgets–provided, that is, that said object is mildly conductive. As Anya Kamenetz wrote yesterday:
Turn a bunch of bananas into a piano. Turn your friends into a synthesizer. Turn a trampoline into a slideshow controller. Turn your hand into a game glove.
Since the crowd-funded venture launched 14 months ago, there are now 50,000 Makey Makeys in the world. Of those, 20% of them are being used in an educational setting, like after-school clubs, Makerspaces, and so on.