Kids ditch iPads for Tampa's interactive playgrounds

Crystal Clark reports

- The old saying “out with the old, in with the new” reaffirms itself, but this time on Tampa Bay playgrounds. The light and sound machine called Neos 360 is popping up on Tampa playgrounds across the city.

While some adults may find the new playground to be a bit futuristic, kids are lifting their hands off of the iPad and onto the Neo’s 360. The interactive game uses an array of sounds, lights, and game modes to get kids up and moving again.

“When I was a kid, we had merry-go-rounds,” said Bay area grandfather Ruben Malpica. “Now they have this kind of like, electronic merry-go-round type of thing."

The piece of playground equipment isn’t that cheap, either. It costs nearly $30,000, but the Friends of Tampa Recreation has already helped offset the cost - pay for installations in Curtis Hixon Park and Perry Harvey Senior Park.

"The kids love it. They're running, they're screaming, and they're enjoying it, and they're just being kid,” said Executive Director of Friends of Tampa Recreation, Kitty Lyons. “It's nice to see them outside enjoying the fresh air."

The Neo’s 360 is intended for kids aged 2-12, but Lyons says that it’s big enough for adults and children in wheelchairs to use.

The game is free for everyone and you don’t have to worry about connecting to Wi-Fi. Lyon’s hopes that the Neo’s 360 get the kids and you up and active. 

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