Lanterns: Configuring a Digital Resource to Inspire Preschool Children's Free Play Outdoors

Dylan, Thomas, Durrant, Abigail, Cerci, Sena, Lawson, Shaun and Vines, John (2021) Lanterns: Configuring a Digital Resource to Inspire Preschool Children's Free Play Outdoors. In: Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, New York, p. 635. ISBN 9781450380966

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Previous HCI research has highlighted opportunities for digital technologies to support outdoor play amongst children. However, the tendency has been to focus on older children and forms of play that are structured and rule-based. We report on a Research-through-Design (RtD) inquiry, grounded in an Embodied Interactional approach, that investigated configurations of off-the-shelf Internet of Things (IoT) tool-kits to inspire new forms of free play outdoors for preschool children. We designed the Lanterns, a tangible interactive resource that is made using household materials and guided by a template, and which explores new possibilities to inspire social play and embodied interaction outdoors. Based on observations of the Lanterns being used by preschool children and Early Years Practitioners outdoors, we identify qualities of free play promoted by the Lanterns outdoors, such as enchantment, improvisation, anticipation and choice. We discuss our findings by defining three sensitising concepts to support future design research in this space: Choosing the Way; Improvising through Movement; Anticipating a Response.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: interaction design, tangibles, iot, tool-kits, preschool, children, free play, outdoor play, pervasive play
Subjects: G600 Software Engineering
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2021 14:42
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 11:15

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