PacLab Play Research

Hopscotch Project

The Hopscotch project pioneers a new way of understanding children's social development through play. We used Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers and bluetooth technology to explore children's social interactions in a playground, and to learn more about how the quality of the play environment influences their movement and interactions with each other. See the video for an example. 

Outputs: Pre-print sensors & outdoor play ; Movement Computing, technical paper ; Finding 'exceptional' social behaviour

Play can improve maths outcomes!

In this study we found that maths related play for children as young as 24 months old predicted their formal mathematical abilities aged 6 years! As part of her doctoral research, Dr Vicky Yiran Zhao analysed data on over 1,000 children from a study in Germany. We found that linguistically and mathematically stimulating, sensitive parent-child play explained variance in mathematical abilities assessed at school entry age. The study was published in Child Development.

How was your playtime?

How was your playtime? is an artistic response to the findings of the Social Communication Intervention Project and the Hopscotch project. It shows the experiences of children with communication difficulties during school breaktimes.

Play and peer relations

The Children's Relationships with Peers through Play (ChiRPP) follows a group of children from Reception through to years 1 & 2 of Primary School. It investigates how children's social and emotional development, together with their language and communication skills development, relates to different aspects of their play.

Outputs: Social pretend play, sex & language ability; Self-reported playfulness ; Child's-eye-view of school readiness