The playground of the future? Virgin Media O2 opens an interactive adventure park in London where the swings and slides are transformed into musical instruments as children play on them
- Virgin Media O2 has opened a high-tech playground in Islington, London
- The swings, slides and climbing frames have sensors to track interactions
- These interactions create a unique piece of music that the child can download
Want to get your kids off their computers and let them go outside? A high-tech playground can offer a solution.
Virgin Media O2 has opened an interactive adventure park in London where children can make music while playing on the equipment.
The swings, slides and climbing frames of ‘The Connected Playground’ are equipped with sensors, pressure cushions and infrared rays that follow the child’s movements.
Each device adds a different layer to a unique piece of music as they make their way through the track, and their interactions change the pitch and tempo.
The track can be heard through speakers located throughout the park and then downloaded to take home.
Virgin Media O2 has opened an interactive adventure park in London where children can make music while playing on the equipment
The swings, slides and climbing frames of ‘The Connected Playground’ are equipped with sensors, pressure pads and infrared rays that follow the child’s movements
All the play equipment, currently set up at King Square Gardens in Islington, is connected via gigabit broadband and 5G mobile networks.
Children who exercise have a lower risk of ADHD and behavioral problems
Not only is exercise good for kids’ waistlines, but it can also stop bad behavior and boost mental health, a study found.
Regular moderate to vigorous exercise reduced hyperactivity and behavioral problems, such as loss of patience, fighting with other children, lying and stealing in children ages 11 to 13, according to research.
They claim their paper is the first to provide such a comprehensive approach to examining mental health and physical activity in young people.
Read more here
Research from Virgin Media O2 shows that 64 per cent of UK parents are concerned that their children are not getting enough outdoor stimulation.
A study from the University of Cambridge found that only 53 per cent of six-year-olds in England get an hour of vigorous exercise a day – the amount recommended by the NHS.
Indeed, the amount of time children spend on screens each day has increased by more than 50 percent since 2020 – the equivalent of an extra hour and twenty minutes.
The new playground is inspired by these findings, believing that the future of play is a combination of technology and the outdoors.
Gareth Malone, famed choir director and parent, has endorsed the idea.
He said, “Our kids live in a connected world of gadgets and gizmos. It’s the world they grew up with.
“I think it’s essential to lure young people out with a style of play that excites them and that reflects their style of play.
‘Virgin Media O2’s Connected Playground is a good example of this. It uses technology, lighting, sounds and musical elements to provide a sense of achievement that all children strive for when playing.
“I’m intrigued to see what else can be done with future technologies and connectivity.”
All play equipment, currently set up at Kings Square Gardens in Islington, is connected via gigabit broadband and 5G mobile networks
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of more time outdoors for children as they improve their happiness, health, eyesight and even school work
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of spending more time outdoors for children as they improve their happiness, health, eyesight and even schoolwork.
Dr. Sam Wass, child psychologist and expert on Channel 4’s Secret Life of 4 and 5 Year Olds, said: ‘The scientific evidence is overwhelming now that spending time outside has both immediate and long-term benefits for children’s concentration and mood. .
“But encouraging this as a parent can be difficult as children’s expectations and what they get from digital play are constantly evolving.
‘New hybrid environments, such as Virgin Media O2’s Connected Playground, could play a vital role in the future in encouraging children to embrace technology in outdoor environments, and help provide children with the tools they need to think and play creatively .’
The Connected Playground is open all day today and tomorrow. Click for more information or to reserve a slot here.
METHODS FOR PARENTS TO KEEP THEIR CHILDREN SAFE ONLINE
Children as young as two are using social media, according to research by charity Barnardo’s.
Internet companies are being forced to do more to combat harmful content online, but parents can also take steps to change the way their children use the Internet.
Here are some suggestions of how parents can help their children.
Use parental controls
Both iOS and Google offer features that allow parents to filter content and set time limits for apps.
For iOS devices, such as an iPhone or iPad, you can use the Screen Time feature to block certain apps, content types, or features.
On iOS 12 this can be done by going to settings and selecting Screen time.
For Android, you can install the Family Link app from the Google Play Store.
Talk to your kids
Many charities, including the NSPCC, say talking to children about their online activities is essential to keeping them safe.
The website contains a number of tips for starting a conversation with children about using social media and the wider internet, including getting parents to visit sites with their children to learn about them together and discuss how to stay safe online and act responsibly.
Understand their internet usage
Tools are available for parents to learn more about how social media platforms work.
Net Aware, a website operated by the NSPCC and O2, provides information on social media sites, including age requirement guidelines.
Limit screen time
The World Health Organization recommends that parents limit young children to 60 minutes of screen time per day.
The guidelines, published in April, suggest that children between the ages of two and five be limited to one hour a day of sedentary screen time.
They also recommend that babies avoid sedentary screen time, including watching TV or sitting still when playing games on devices.