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Be inspired with technology

Simple ideas on how technology can support communication and language and be used in the great outdoors without a screen in site.

Posted on Tuesday 07th March 2023

Technology is everywhere

From screens and computers to pedestrian crossings and department store lifts, children are growing up in a world surrounded by technology.

Much like pencils and books, technology is an integral part of life. It can be used as a subtle tool to empower children and to facilitate, enrich and enhance learning across all areas. Sometimes we associate technology with screens, but in the early years there are many opportunities for children to use technology in learning and play without a screen in sight.

Technology for talk

Technology is a valuable tool. It can be used to excite, motivate, and facilitate communication and language skills. It offers opportunities for children to express themselves, celebrate and share their achievements, and can give those less confident a platform to become involved. Some resources are great for facilitating talk, and can be used for those all important conversations and interactions.

A few ideas that you may like to try

  • Get conversations buzzing with pretend telephones that inspire and stimulate language and introduce children to concepts such as cause and effect and stimulus response. Call friends, book an appointment with the dentist or to have a chat with your favourite fairy tale character. The list is endless.
  • Illuminate dark spaces such as dark dens with torches and light projectors. They can create the perfect settings for sharing audio stories or for telling a tale of your own. Adding a light source also encourages shadow play which will spark engaging discussions.
  • For many children, including those who have English as an additional language, ICT resources such as microphones or other recordable devices can help them to find their voice and explore language in a fun and interactive way.

Taking technology outdoors

Whilst being out in the open often gives children a rest from screens, using different types of technology can be a great way to enhance learning and play, without taking away from the outdoor experience.

  • Take children on a journey of exploration and discovery by using the metal detectors. They can hunt for buried treasure or find different materials hidden in the sand. A perfect opportunity to have conversations about sustainability and the world around them.
  • Rechargable mini mobile phones can be a good way to inspire conversations between multiple children. Why not use them to give clues in a game of hide and seek? Or to share secret missions with friends?

  • Listen to stories outside with an outdoor speaker. Imagine pretending to be the gruffalo or going on a bear hunt. Immersing children in a natural outdoor setting can fire their imaginations and bring the words to life. Why not challenge children to use the speaker to create an open-air performance of their own?