Eiji Hayashi, Martina A Rau, Zhe Han Neo, Nastasha Tan, Sriram Ramasubramanian, and Eric Paulos


ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)


May 2012


Time is a difficult concept for parents to communicate with young children. We developed TimeBlocks, a novel tangible, playful object to facilitate communication about concepts of time with young children. TimeBlocks consists of a set of cubic blocks that function as a physical progress bar. Parents and children can physically manipulate the blocks to represent the concept of time. We evaluated TimeBlocks through a field study in which six families tried TimeBlocks for four days at their homes. The results indicate that TimeBlocks played a useful role in facilitating the often challenging task of time-related communication between parents and children. We also report on a range of observed insightful novel uses of TimeBlocks in our study.

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