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.
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.
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.
One of the main benefits of introducing technology is that it can encourage children to play games that require them to be active. Technology-based games can adapt to the level of the child’s ability, speeding up to make it harder, or slowing down encouraging children of all abilities to play the game, not just those who are naturally agile and fast. Another benefit is the fact that children are so used to technology being part of their everyday lives, they easily engage with technology but it doesn’t distract from traditional playground equipment. Instead of making children less sociable and active, technology engages children to get more from their playtime. Over time, more and more playgrounds will start embracing technology and soon it will become as common as the traditional slides and swings. Gebal has already created the first off grid kinetically charged play area, the first of it’s kind in the UAE, with more sites proposed…. so watch this space!