Last week, we headed back into the preschools — this time focusing on social play and how our apps could encourage children to collaborate and interact. The most memorable moments of the day showed us our work is paying off.
Moment #1: BFBFFs (Bubble Fun Best Friends Forever)
We designed Bubble Fun as a two-player game to help children learn to subitize. During the pilot study, two little boys were playing Bubble Fun as if they were champion tennis players. Their secret sauce? Friendship. They had been best friends all year, virtually inseparable, and that’s what helped them learn from each other while playing Bubble Fun.
Moment #2: The Wave
During free time, the preschoolers were allowed to choose which NGPM games they wanted to play. We noticed the games travel in waves. One child would open Sara Skates, and the child next to her would notice and do the same. Pretty soon all of the children at the table were playing the same game (until, of course, someone decided to switch games and the whole thing started over again).
Moment #3: Like a Boss
We’ve seen that preschoolers mimic each other and follow each other’s lead, and so we feel confident about bringing in game mechanics that are pretty new to preschoolers — like shaking the iPad. Shaking the iPad? Yep. Strange to a preschooler at first, but we’ve seen that children show each other how to play. By using different mechanics, the games allow children to be more social, to help each other, and to play with and learn from each other until they own the game play and the learning goals.