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31 October 2013

Kids Enjoy Interactive Dance Games as a Sport Activity in School

Keywords: education, experiment, games, health, North America, kids, technology,

Enjoyment is a crucial ingredient for children’s effort and commitment during sport activities. A Psychology, Health & Medicine study investigated children’s enjoyment of different types of sport games in their physical education class in school. It appears that children experience much more fun and pleasure during their physical education class when interactive dance games are offered, such as the video game ‘Dance Dance Revolution’, than when they participate in more traditional (playground) games, such as tag.  

Take aways

  • During physical education class, children enjoy the interactive video game Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) more than traditional games. 
  • Previous research showed that children’s physical health and mathematical insights can be improved by the DDR game as well. 
  • For sport educators, it’s worth looking at ways to integrate interactive dance games in their physical education program, as these games increase children’s enjoyment of sports. 

Study information

  • The question?

    Are interactive dance games during physical education class more appreciated by children than ‘traditional’ tag games?
  • Who?

    210 children in grades 3-6 (mean age: 9-years old; 53% boys) from a suburban private school (the majority of the children were Caucasian)
  • Where?

    Mountain West region, United States
  • How?

    In the first week of the experiment, all children participated in several tag games (i.e., games in which children had to tag or touch others with their hand) during their weekly 30-minute physical education class. In the second week, the interactive dance dame ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ (DDR) (i.e., a music video game that requires dance fast-foot movements) was implemented as the learning activity. After both classes, children completed a questionnaire that measured their level of enjoyment. 

Facts and findings

  • Children enjoyed the interactive video game DDR more than the tag games. 
  • Girls showed higher enjoyment toward DDR than boys, but boys still enjoyed the DDR game more than the tag games. 
  • No differences between boys and girls were found in enjoyment toward the ‘traditional’ tag games.