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10 things you didn’t know about outdoor interactive play


Only one in three American children are physically active every day (HHS). Despite the compelling data underscoring physical literacy, children are more sedentary than ever before. By providing early positive experiences that are fun, you can maximize the desire to be physically active. But how do you make it FUN?

Kids are born to play. They are born to be active, experiment, run, collect, build, jump, hide & seek, tend-and-befriend, slide, swing, dance and explore. Playgrounds are ideal to spark excitement and kid’s imaginations. But the world has changed. We live in a world where children on average spend 9 hours a day using media. Slides and swings compete with the newest versions of Minecraft, AngryBirds and Pokémon Go. What would happen when you combine the positives of the digital world with traditional play by making use of modern technology? You make it more FUN!

#1: By making use of modern technology, outdoor play can be made even more fun. Most people are not aware of the existence of dance arches, interactive ball walls with led-sensative panels, outdoor classroom possibilities or DJ tables for teens.

#2: Interactive playsets greatly exceed their traditional counterparts in terms of exercise intensity. Metabolic Equivalent is a unit of measure within physiology. Games on the interactive sports field Yalp Toro result in higher exercise intensity than playing a competitive soccer game. By giving specific commands on how to move (‘move like a frog’) interactives allow children to move beyond their comfort zones and ‘learn how to move’.

#3: Dance is one of the most comprehensive representations of physical literacy. Our play arch Sona greatly stimulates key elements of agility, balance and coordination that form the basis for movement competency and greater sport participation.

#4: Existing outdoor play sets can stay inherently attractive.“Anyone who makes a distinction between games and learning doesn’t know the first thing about either” (Marshall McLuhan). All of our interactive concepts are internet connected in order to research engagement and frequently upload new games.

#5: Interactive play makes the SROI visible. For every interactive, we show you the time played and the kcal’s burned (great tool in fundraising). Play England proved that investing in play pays off and concluded that every British Pound invested results in a 150% ROI.

#6: a teen hangout can be turned into an inspiring meeting area where kids can use their creativity, socialize, enhance their self-esteem, independence and identities. There are concerns as to how social media is affecting the way in which the brain learns to socialize and how adolescents spend their time. The DJ booth Yalp Fono harnesses technology to optimize the positive effects of teen hangouts.

#7: interactive play is so much FUN that children get a diminished consciousness of self, loose track of time and get their daily exercise in without needing any further incentive.

#8: Interactive play is truly inclusive and intergenerational and allows for great family fun. Our interactives have freely accessible play surfaces and allow everyone to play together. If your child sees you enjoying being active, they will see playing outside and sport as a valuable part of life.

#9: interactive play offers a way to link physical education to other classes such as history or biology. School Principal Marco Schaap tells us: ‘Of course the math games on the Yalp Memo would never replace math lessons, but it’s a fun way the kids can choose to practice math. Our teachers often take the younger classes outside to the Memo. The lessons are becoming more dynamic, and the material actually sticks better’.

#10: There is a big difference in the offer of interactive play.

The positive effects of interactive play are only maximized when equipment doesn’t only contain lights and sounds, but truly allow for game updates and a 2-way information flow.

The world has changed. Despite the fact that the digital revolution provides challenges, I would have very much wanted interactive playsets when I was young! Aren’t you excited?


Yvonne Overmaat