Connecting children to nature with technology: sowing the seeds for pro-environmental behaviour

Bronwyn J. Cumbo, Jeni Paay, Jesper Kjeldskov, Brent C. Jacobs

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Regular interactions with nature are vital for the development and well-being of children and also to build attachment and value for natural environments that potentially promote pro-environmental behaviour in later life. In this paper, we report on a study designed to identify opportunities for digital technology to support children's connectedness to the natural environment, there by encouraging positive environmental attitudes in children, as well as healthy physical play. Through participatory engagement with a group of 15 Danish children (aged 8-12) and their parents, using focus groups and follow up interviews, we explore what motivates children to undertake everyday recreational activities, focusing on activities undertaken in nature, and how these interactions influence meaning associated with their local natural place. The contribution of this paper is a deeper understanding of what motivates children to interact with nature, and a discussion of how technology may enhance this interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIDC'14
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2014 Conference on Interaction Design and Children
EditorsOle Sejer Iversen, Panos Markopoulos, Christian Dindler, Franca Garzotto, Christopher Frauenberger, Anja Zeising
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781450322720
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventInteraction Design and Children (ACM) 2014 - Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 17 Jun 201420 Jun 2014
Conference number: 13th (Proceedings)


ConferenceInteraction Design and Children (ACM) 2014
Abbreviated titleIDC 2014
Internet address


  • Child-centred design
  • Nature
  • Participatory engagement
  • Place attachment
  • Pro-environmental behaviour

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