A little bit of coding goes a long way: Effects of coding on outdoor play

Outdoor play has known benefits for children’s development, and studies show it is in decline. Heads-Up Games have been proposed as a possible solution, in some cases with an integrated coding platform to enrich play variety. In this pilot study we set out to evaluate a Scratch-based coding platform for outdoor play. The code primitives control digital features of a stick-like outdoor play object. We observed children’s play patterns with the coding platform and with the play object, and report on three distinct patterns: “Basic Exploration “, “Advanced Exploration “, and “Game Invention “. Our preliminary findings show that all children began with “Basic Exploration ” and progressed either to “Advanced Exploration ” or “Game Invention “. With regards to outdoor play benefits, the “Game Invention ” pattern was associated with more collaborative social interaction, physical activity, and “heads up ” interaction. We discuss the implications for future coding platforms designed for outdoor play. © 2018 Association for Computing Machinery.

Outdoor play has known benefits for children’s development, and studies show it is in decline. Heads-Up Games have been proposed as a possible solution, in some cases with an integrated coding platform to enrich play variety. In this pilot study we set out to evaluate a Scratch-based coding platform for outdoor play. The code primitives control digital features of a stick-like outdoor play object. We observed children’s play patterns with the coding platform and with the play object, and report on three distinct patterns: “Basic Exploration “, “Advanced Exploration “, and “Game Invention “. Our preliminary findings show that all children began with “Basic Exploration ” and progressed either to “Advanced Exploration ” or “Game Invention “. With regards to outdoor play benefits, the “Game Invention ” pattern was associated with more collaborative social interaction, physical activity, and “heads up ” interaction. We discuss the implications for future coding platforms designed for outdoor play. © 2018 Association for Computing Machinery.

Search