Using "tangibles" to promote novel forms of playful learning
Tangibles, in the form of physical artefacts that are electronically augmented and enhanced to trigger various digital events to happen, have the potential for providing innovative ways for children to play and learn, through novel forms of interacting and discovering. They offer, too, the scope for bringing playfulness back into learning. To this end, we designed an adventure game, where pairs of children have to discover as much as they can about a virtual imaginary creature called the Snark, through collaboratively interacting with a suite of tangibles. Underlying the design of the tangibles is a variety of transforms, which the children have to understand and reflect upon in order to make the Snark come alive and show itself in a variety of morphological and synaesthesic forms. The paper also reports on the findings of a study of the Snark game and discusses what it means to be engrossed in playful learning.