Magic land: The design and evaluation of an interactive tabletop supporting therapeutic play with children

Olga Pykhtina, Madeline Balaam, Gavin Wood, Sue Pattison, Ahmed Kharrufa, Patrick Olivier

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    We consider the role and design of digital technologies in play therapy settings with young children. Through an aggregation of the researcher and practitioner literature, and results of discussions with therapists and counselors, we propose a set of design requirements for digital technologies that support non-directive play within a play therapy context. We explore how to design for these complex requirements through the development and evaluation of Magic Land, a set of four play therapy applications for an interactive tabletop. Based on our experiences we recommend that designers create digital interactive toys, which create opportunities for play that would not normally be possible within the traditional play therapy environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Designing Interactive Systems Conference, DIS '12
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2012
    EventDesigning Interactive Systems 2012 - Newcastle, United Kingdom
    Duration: 11 Jun 201215 Jun 2012 (Proceedings)


    ConferenceDesigning Interactive Systems 2012
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • development research
    • expressive play medium
    • multi touch tabletop
    • play therapy
    • primary school children

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