Using mobile phone diaries to explore children's everyday lives

Lydia Plowman, Olivia Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes a novel approach to experience sampling as a response to the challenges of researching the everyday lives of young children at home. Parents from 11 families used mobile phones to send the research team combined picture and text messages to provide ‘experience snapshots’ of their child’s activities six times on each of three separate days. The article describes how the method aligns with an ecocultural approach, illustrates the variation in children’s experiences and provides sufficient detail for researchers to adapt the method for the purposes of collecting data in other contexts. The article summarizes the benefits and shortcomings from the perspectives of families and researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberNA
Pages (from-to)539-553
Number of pages14
JournalChildhood: A journal of global child research
Issue number4
Early online date5 Apr 2012
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Children
  • ecocultural
  • Family
  • home
  • visual methods


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