Co Create


Digital Resources to Inspire Children’s Free Play Outdoors

Thomas Dylan, Abigail Durrant ,John Vines, Sena Çerçi, Shaun Lawson

The Lanterns were designed to inspire new kinds of free play outdoors for children. We worked with a local community centre to learn about how the children liked to play, and then co- designed play interactions with off-the- shelf Internet of Things (IoT) toolkits.

We took those early experiences to a Montessori nursery that prioritises outdoor free play and worked with staff to design the Lanterns. The children at this nursery had access to both a garden and a woodland in which they were given the freedom to play and learn. Throughout our design work, we ensured the interactions supported physical activity, engagement with the outdoors and other children. This involved creating shared interactions where each Lantern responded to the other. The Lanterns were designed using the BBC micro:bit, cardboard and milk cartons meaning they can be shared, constructed and adapted by community groups and nurseries themselves.

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