It was only a matter of time until technology infiltrated playgrounds. This isn’t a bad thing as technology in playgrounds doesn’t mean children will be less active during their outdoor play, but instead will encourage them to interact with the playground equipment on a new and enhanced level.
Children and technology
While parents and teachers have seen the gradual introduction of technology into everyday life, children take it for granted. Children even at a very young age know how to work an iPad and by the time they are starting Secondary School are likely to have their own tablet and smart phone.
As adults, we can feel this is making children grow up too quickly, but the reality is that children are going to need to know how to use technology with ease if they are to succeed as adults, so introducing a child to these devices at a young age could help their future careers.
The fact that children take to technology with ease meant that it was inevitable that it would start being incorporated into playgrounds. While there will always be a place for classic playground equipment like slides and swings, adding technology to playgrounds can add another dimension to children’s outdoor play.
Technology in playgrounds
So what are the actual benefits that technology can bring to playgrounds? When we talk about incorporating technology into playgrounds we don’t mean devices like tablets that discourage children from interacting with each other or getting physical exercise, instead we are referring to specifically designed playground equipment that uses technology to make it easier for children to develop their social skills and to be more active during their breaks.
In fact, technology driven playground equipment is not new and has been something playground manufacturers and schools around the world have been experimenting with for a few years now. This means that a considerable amount of time has been spent researching how to introduce technology into playgrounds so that it provides the best possible benefits to children’s development.
Benefits of playground technology
One of the main benefits of introducing technology into playgrounds is that it can encourage children to play games that require them to be active, no matter what their levels of ability. Technology-based games can adapt to the level of the child’s ability, so if a child is quick, for example, a game can speed up to make it harder, while if another child is slower it can slow down to match their abilities. This helps to encourage children of all abilities to play the game and not just those who are naturally agile and fast.
Another benefit is the fact that children are used to technology being part of their everyday lives. This means that they will easily engage with technological playground equipment, but, because they are so used to technology, it won’t take them away from traditional playground equipment either.
Instead of making children less sociable and active, technology is a great way of engaging children to get more from their playtime. This means that although still in its early stages it is likely that over the next few years more and more playgrounds will start embracing technology driven playground equipment and soon it will become as common as the traditional slides and swings.