Identifying Factors of Young Children's Engagement in Active Play to Inform the Design of TEIs

Dannielle Tarlinton, Nicole E M Vickery, Yuehao Wang, Linda Knight, Alethea Blackler

Session: Tangibles and AI - Wednesday 2022-11-30 14:00-15:30 AEDT
Paper Track
In-Person Presentation


Physically active play is essential in early childhood. Yet, many children aged 3 to 5 do not engage in enough physical activity or active play. Consequently, there is a need to increase young children’s engagement in active play and understand the factors that enable them to sustain this play. Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI) systems have shown promise to facilitate new opportunities for active play. Few TEIs have been designed to engage children aged 3 to 5 in active play. We ask the question, how can TEIs be better designed to effectively engage young children in active play? This paper begins to answer this question through an exploration into how young children currently engage in active play. We conducted semi-structured interviews with fifteen families and five early childhood teachers. These interviews highlighted activities, contexts, equipment, people, and environmental factors associated with active play engagement. We found that equipment shapes children’s activities and provides a context for active play. These findings can inform the design of new and innovative TEIs that facilitate new opportunities to engage young children in active play.