Come play with me: designing technologies for intergenerational play

  • Hilary Davis
  • Frank VetereEmail author
  • Martin Gibbs
  • Peter Francis
Long Paper


Despite research showing that interaction between the elderly and young people is beneficial to the health and well-being of both, little is known about the grandparent–grandchild relationship. Consequently, it is difficult to make informed design decisions about technologies to support their intergenerational interactions. This paper investigates one particularly important type of intergenerational interaction, namely play. The paper presents research that examines grandparent–grandchildren interactions in preschool playgroups. Through the use of vignettes drawn from observation of playful activity, pertinent features of intergenerational play are identified, focussing on the roles grandparents and grandchildren use when playing together. The results are relevant to researchers wishing to understand intergenerational play and to technology designers wanting to support it.


Intergenerational play Grandparents Grandchildren Technology design for young and old 



We thank all the members of the intergenerational playgroups, both young and young at heart, for allowing us to observe them at play. We would also like to acknowledge the support of Grandparents Victoria and Smart Internet Technologies CRC.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilary Davis
    • 1
  • Frank Vetere
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin Gibbs
    • 1
  • Peter Francis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information SystemsUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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