As a researcher of designs for games for children from the TU Delft, Mathieu Gielen became involved by the development of the Memo in 2012. At that moment, Yalp won the ‘ProFit’ design content* for the most innovative sports product. As a part of the award, the TU Delft started research into the way children play with the Memo and into the educational aspect.
“Let me start with a statement: playing outside has to be a free activity, where children themselves determine where they like to play and with which kind of play set. Playing outside must not turn into some kind of class. Children adapt their games to their needs at a particular moment. While playing games, children unconsciously learn new concepts, yet these are hardly measureable. The interactive Memo offers possibilities that traditional play sets do not possess. A part of the Memo that really stood out, is that games require competition, but also cooperation. Children learn to communicate, splitting up tasks and coming up with a plan to win the game.
The design of the games is easy, therefore there is leverage to vary in tactics, set goals, help each other or even thwart each other! With an educational point of view, this can be seen as socially learning by doing; learning as a combination of intellect, feeling and being physically active. The Memo also includes content that schools offer. For example, a math game or a capital cities game, with these specifications the Memo is ahead of many competitors. The perfect balance for children between the motivation to play and the desire to learn skills is still to be determined.
Fortunately, the Memo is a flexible system where games keep improving. And if children for example don’t feel like doing math games, there are many more games. The Memo even offers games that only focus on joy and playing. So the Memo really offers something for everyone.”