Designing integrated physical–digital systems for children–nature interaction

Valentina Caiola, Elisabetta Cusumano, Margherita Motta, Ludovica Piro, Mirko Gelsomini, Diego Morra, Mehdi Rizvi, Maristella Matera*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Studies in the last decades have highlighted how children spend less time outdoors, while they are increasingly attracted by screens and indoor digital activities. Based on the assumption that technology and open-air activities are not necessarily mutually exclusive, this article illustrates the design of integrated physical–digital systems motivating children to connect with nature and learn from it. A key ingredient is providing unobtrusive technology supporting playful, creative, and educational outdoor experiences without distracting children from their experience with nature. Based on the insights gathered through design-based research, the article also outlines design considerations that aim to refine the theory and practice of technology for children–nature interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100582
JournalInternational Journal of Child-Computer Interaction
Early online date13 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Children–nature interaction
  • Outdoor education
  • Outdoor smart experiences
  • Pervasive games
  • Smart-thing design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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