When I began researching and analysing the current mental health situation in children I discovered a range of factors can impact and effect children as they develop. Most children nowadays are confined to their home, relying on technology for any form of human interaction compared to 50 years ago. We live in a volatile society that lacks a safe space for emotional and social development, leading to higher rates of anxiety and depression.
I researched about the importance of play and creativity in a child’s mental, emotional and physical development. It not only helps develop well rounded and capable children, it also aids them to develop social relationships and skills.
I decided to divide my game into 5 task groups (create, move, talk, write and fact) that provide a range of prompts from dancing to drawing. The board itself is split into these categories and a dice is used to travel. The board also comes with a ‘share/keep to myself’ boxes which allow players to post their outcomes depending on whether they want to share or keep private at the end of the game. These boxes provide a safe and private space for children to truly express how they feel and can be used outside of the game for additional support when not playing. The winner of the game is the first person to reach the end of the game having collected and completed one of each card.
The main purpose of my project is to support, encourage and reinforce the importance of looking after children’s mental health. I am aiming to help develop more emotionally aware, open and mature children with the main aim of reducing worry and anxiety through interactive play. I want to normalise talking about emotions and starting conversations about mental health without the shame and embarrassment that has been associated with doing so for decades.
Check out my Instagram page for more pictures and behind the scenes content! @smcinnes_design
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