The joy (and the power) of experimenting in the 'gamified garden'


I like to think of my back garden is a lab in which I conduct experiments in skill acquisition...

My experimental methods are backyard games...

My children are the lab rats!

So here is a story about my latest experiment...

My little boy Evan is 8 years old and he is mad about cricket. He's not fussed about watching it (he doesn't know who Alistair Cook is and has no concept of what scoring 10,000 test runs would be like!) but he loves to play.

Almost every day he asks to play and most days I am only too happy to indulge him and his 4 year old little sister Isla (although she always has to bat first and then has a massive strop when she gets out and storms off).

We have been playing off and on for the past 2 years or so. He has a plastic bat and we play with either tennis balls or plastic 'wind balls' which bounce a bit lower and are better for development.

One of the interesting things for me has been watching his technique develop with me giving him hardly any instruction.

We play games, a lot of games...

We have loads of them...

"Pressure 6"

"12 balls"

"Runner runner"

the latest one we called...

"Maker's name"...