Positive play in a digital age

Children spend more time online than ever – so it is vitally important that digital platforms are a safe space to explore and learn through play. Here’s how organisations are steering industry and governments to put children’s wellbeing first.

Digital play isn’t going away – and we can unlock its benefits

Mobile apps. Social media. Online games. Children live digital lives now, in a way they never have before. That can worry parents sometimes – but there is plenty of value in screen time, too. Digital spaces give children another way to learn through play: exploring, experimenting, and teaming up with other children.

To get the best out of technology, though, we need to put children’s wellbeing first.


The RITEC research project is helping to shape digital spaces around children

It stands for ‘Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children’. And it brings together universities, research hubs and child-centred organisations to deepen our understanding of technology, play, and wellbeing.

As part of RITEC, the LEGO Foundation funded and provided insights to a joint project between the LEGO Group and UNICEF, which included research partners from UNICEF Innocenti and Western Sydney Australia.  Children and wellbeing experts have been consulted to co-create a framework that will help businesses and governments make better digital decisions when designing and evaluating digital experiences.


The research team held workshops with over 300 children from 13 countries

The research also drew on data sets from 35,000 more children. The team wanted to know what children think of digital wellbeing – how young people feel when they play, chat, and connect online, and what would help them feel safer and happier.

The findings have now been shared in a report. We’ve included some highlights below, but you can download and read it in full, too.

Dive into the full report

Click here

Report highlights

For children, wellbeing is physical, emotional and social
They want their parents and teachers to support their online social life
Too many children don’t feel included in digital spaces
Safety matters to children just as much as it does to parents
Digital play sparks children’s creativity and confidence
Just like in the offline world, there are lots of ways to play
Digital play has limits, too

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