The multiBALL movement wall helps improve children’s motor skills

The Netherlands’ first multiBALL movement wall is now in the Zuiderpark Sport Campus. The Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment research group and its students will carry out research into the role this technology can play in stimulating the motor development of children.

The multiBALL movement wall is an interactive wall that has a large touchscreen. Children can use a ball to play different interactive games and can take training modules. The wall consists of a large frame with infrared sensors, a computer system and integrated sound amplifiers. The sensors can recognise any ball – or hand – that is larger than four centimetres. These signals are then fed back through an internet connection to a computer and beamer. The beamer projects videos onto the screen using Augmented Reality, real life images of reality to which computers add other elements. The players are challenged while moving to play a game or to take a training module.

The norm is sitting still

The Educational Inspectorate research shows that primary school children have started to move with greater difficulty over the last decade. Movement is important for children’s health, but they are not moving enough by far to stay fit and healthy later in life. Sitting still has been the norm, even in schools. The movement wall offers a challenging and intuitive sporting and learning environment in which children can enjoy sports and movement. Much can be won here, according to the research. In 2017, 16,000 primary school children took the Motor Skills Quotient Scan that was partly designed by The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Almost one quarter of the children scored below desired levels on the motor skills test.

Stimulating motor skills

The Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment research group and students from different degree programmes will carry out research into the role that the multiBALL movement wall can play in stimulating the motor development of children. The research will be carried out in the Gym of the Future at the Zuiderpark Sport Campus in The Hague. “Digital technology is firmly embedded in the lives of children,” says Sanne de Vries, professor of Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment. “It offers plenty of opportunities to get pupils moving by introducing a ‘fun and games’ factor.”

Further improvements

The researchers will investigate how the wall can best be used in physical education, and its effects on children’s motor and cognitive development compared to regular teaching methods. Sanne: “Once we have the results of the research and the feedback from teachers and primary school pupils, we can further improve the interactive movement wall.”