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Social play

We all know that children overcome obstacles and learn new social skills whilst playing. This gives them confidence which makes it easier to approach other children. Social play gives children the opportunity to build character, deal with the challenges of social justice, and develop meaningful relationships with each other. We also know that whilst playing in a low-stress outdoor environment, kids can release energy, usually tend to behave better which makes it easier to make friends. Social activities are an important element in our interactive games for both preschoolers and school-aged children. Music on our dance arch Sona and DJ booth Fono motivate interaction and facilitate socialization, but the interactives have more to offer in terms of social play. 

Social play: form friendships by cooperating 

Many activities on our interactives require children to cooperate. When playing the game ‘Memory’ on the Memo, preschoolers learn cooperative skills because they will be able to remember more symbols by working together. On the Sona, together you might be able to remember a longer sequence during the ‘Codebreaker’ game which allows you to enter a higher more difficult level. Social play also learns children to teach each other things. A preschooler might learn a toddler to recognize different colors by helping them to stand on the correct color when playing the Color game on the Sona. 

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social play

Improve social skills by learning: 

how to take turns
The game Stopwatch on the Sona allows children to make up their own track across the playground and keeps the time (’16 seconds, best score of the day’). Children try to beat each other’s time, but given it’s a more individual game, they have to learn how to take turns.
When playing Target Multiplayer on the interactive ball wall Sutu children engage in social play by sharing. They get the instruction to hit the target of their own color, but again they have to take turns whilst paying attention because the targets do not always appear in the same order.

how to deal with rivalry and competition
Social play learns children how to deal with rivalry. Several games have an element of competition, such as Dance Battle on the Sona where team blue and team green battle against each other. Games like Tag (‘touch the post of your chosen color on time’) or Dizzy (‘who can conquer the most posts in their own color’) on the Memo announce a winner. 

how to resolve conflicts
With most competitive games the quickest player or the player with the best tactic wins, but sometimes there is also a little luck involved with our interactives. Social play also teaches children to resolve conflicts. When playing the game Switch on the interactive court Toro, children each play with their own color (they for example have to hit the goals with red LEDs). However when two minutes into the game a voice suddenly says ‘switch’. And when you are about to score and the goal suddenly changes color, that might cause some very funny situations and sometimes you might have to learn how to adapt, deal with disappointment or to resolve a conflict.

Celebratory and ritual play as type of social play

Some of our games evolve around certain events such as the Christmas and Saint Nicholas games on the dance arch Sona. These games have music and dance games related to these celebratory events. The games help children to build good memories to develop a taste for ritual play as adults. These games really build social capital.

Repeat visits allow for more social activities

Our interactives stimulate repeat visits to the playground as people want to try to beat their own high score, get to a higher level as a team or show off their new dance moves. This way, the interactives can contribute to improving neighbor relations and friendships amongst users.

5 ways to improve your social play skills while playing interactives

  • Music on the interactives stimulate interaction 
  • Form friendships by cooperating 
  • Learn how to take turns and to resolve conflicts while playing interactive games. 
  • Celebratory play on the interactives 
  • Stimulate repeat visits with interactive play

References

Rio del Sol STEAM School, Oxnard, California
Rickey Koga, Second Grade Teacher

"The YALP Memo is a fantastic addition to any playground and brings a new, fresh, and innovative dimension to outdoor playtime. The YALP Memo allows students to learn through unstructured play, which helps them develop communication and negotiation skills between peers." - Rickey Koga, Second Grade Teacher, Rio del Sol STEAM School.

Woodforest, Wallaroo Park
Texas USA

“The Sona Arch in Woodforest has turned out to be one of our most popular parks. We have a large group of home schooled children and I have heard this is one of their weekly lessons for young grade school children. It is a popular evening spot after school and filled on the weekends with all age children. The community loves it and they think it is really neat to have something so high tech for the kids to play on.”

Esther Vergeer

4 times paralympic gold medal winner with a winning streak of 470 matches

The Netherlands

"It is important that there are places that are accessible for all children and that there is given the opportunity to do sports together, outside and at sports clubs. That success starts small, like at Dokhavenpark. It leads to great personal victories and eventually in the future probably even more successes in sports."

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  • Download information: Sutu Interactive Soccer wall
  • Download information: Fono DJ booth
  • Download information: Memo activity zone
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