We know that our project alone will not abolish the societal stigma of mental health. However, the overall aim of our work was to initiate a discussion and encourage people, (especially young children,) to openly communicate their feelings.
After the exhibition, we will continue to promote our work on social media so it reaches as many people as possible. We truly believe this product has the potential to be successful on the market and we will pursue this after university.
By transforming our ideas into a board game, we have tried to bring mental well being to the forefront of people’s minds and make it a more approachable topic. There is still much work to do in order to eradicate the misconceptions; however, we believe this project goes some way to tackling the taboo.
We asked two of our prime target users for their opinion on the concept of our project.
Firstly, we asked a primary teacher Jennifer Butler for her feedback.
“I think this game would give children confidence with communication as well as building upon experiences ‘in a hidden curriculum,’ for example sharing, leadership and friendship. It tests a child’s thinking about different concepts and develops their cognitive skills as well as being a way to to apply what they have learnt in a real life context.” (Butler, 2016).
We also spoke to Claire Dennison, a primary teaching assistant and mother-of-two children aged 10 and 12, who could use the product in both the classroom and at home.
“I definitely would buy this game because it is teaching something really important but also making it fun and that’s the best way for children to learn. I don’t want my children to feel as if I’m prying so this is a good way to communicate with them and understand what’s going on in their heads.” (Dennison, 2016).
As they both fall into our target demographic, it is encouraging that they spoke so positively about a project. They both identified the benefits of our product and consider it to be a valuable learning tool to communicate with their class or their own children. Having professionals from within the field approve of demonstrates that there is a gap in the market that our board game could potentially fill.
Butler, J. (2016.) Primary research by Antalia Terblanche and Holly Ambrose – Interview conducted with primary school teacher, Jennie Butler. 27th April 2016.
Dennison, C. (2016.) Primary research by Antalia Terblanche and Holly Ambrose – Interview with teaching assistant, Claire Dennison. 9th May 2016.
These are the characters that will be the face of each of the different zones of the board game.
Lenny the Lion – ‘Lion’s Den’ – Bullying
Millie and Mylo Monkey – ‘Monkey Mania’ – Coping with Stress
Walter the Water Hog – ‘Watering Hole’ – Health and Fitness
Zoe the Zebra – ‘Zone Out’ – Being Happy and Relaxing
Gerry the Giraffe – ‘Stand Tall’ – Self -confidence
Here are the instructions for the game. This will be printed on to leaflets to hand out and an outline of the rules will also be displayed on a banner during our exhibition.
The aim of ‘Monkey Minds,’ is to encourage children to think positively about well being. To win the game, the player must give away all of their coloured coconuts. This can be done by helping other players by boosting their confidence carrying out dutiful deeds. Players can also collect ‘Golden Banana’ by the adult supervisor who believes they have made an exceptionally good effort. However, the emphasis on this game isn’t too win and it is important that children don’t get too immersed in the competitive nature of game play. Instead, the objective of the game is to provoke them to discuss their thoughts and feelings, and consider what the concepts of fairness, friendship and forgiveness mean.
Below shows what the question cards will look like. They are coloured coded to each zone of the board and on the opposite side is the background colour and the name of each section and the character’s face.
Within our board game, we have divided the board into five different sections with twenty questions each that reflect a different aspect of well being. Below is a list of the questions that be featured on the cards that players pick up as they make their way through the board. We have applied the questions to the jungle theme, which puts the various situations that they come across into a context. We wrote open-ended questions, that provoke the user to expand on their answer and challenge the player to think how they perceive themselves, their emotions and other people. The questions are written in a child-friendly dialect, that doesn’t patronise them but that they can easily understand.
Lions Den with Lenny the Lion – The first round tackles bullying, an issue that is prevalent amongst children.
- Lenny the Lion sees Henry the Hyena crying because the older hyenas were picking on him. What should he do to help? Collect a golden banana!
- Lizzie the Lion’s mane doesn’t look the same as the other lions and they’re picking on her. What would you say to boost her confidence?
- What are the different ways one lion could bully another?
- What three adjectives do you think best describes how being bullied makes someone feel?
- Leo Lion has been receiving some nasty text messages through her mobile, what do you think she should do?
- Lenny Lion doesn’t know who to talk to about the other lions picking on him – who would you talk to?
- Leo wants to join a new club at school to make some new friends – what club would you like to join?
- Why is it important to tell someone if you feel like you are getting picked on?
- What advice would you give to a friend who told you they were being bullied! Give away a coconut
- What are three adjectives to describe a bully?
- Lizzie the Lion has been hanging out with the older Lions. She sees them picking on the smaller lions and joins in but she doesn’t feel comfortable. What do you think Lizzie should do?
- If you see someone sitting on in the playground, what should you do?
- Some of the bigger lions are picking on Lenny and it makes him angry. What do you think Lenny should do to make him smile again?
- What teachers or staff do you know you could talk to about bullying?
- If someone you don’t know is sending you nasty messages over the internet, what should you do?
- Leo the Lion is getting picked on on his way back to the jungle but he’s too scared to talk to anybody about it. How can you help him?
- Lizzie is a lot quieter than the other lions and she is too scared to speak up in case they pick on her – how would you teach her to be confident?
- What do you think the word ‘bullying’ means?
- Leo is getting picked on because of the colour of his mane – why is it important to treat everyone fairly?
- If you were being bullied, what piece of advice would you give yourself? Collect a golden banana!
Monkey Mania with Millie and Mylo – This round teaches children how to cope with stress.
- Millie Monkey is worried she’s not going to get her homework done in time! What advice can you give to help her?
- Mandy Monkey is upset because her Mummy and Daddy keep arguing, how do you think Mandy feels?
- Mylo Monkey has moved to a new jungle which means a new school. He is worried that he isn’t going to make any new friends, do you have any tips for him?
- What do you do to help yourself feel better when you’re sad?
- If Mylo Monkey is stressed out, he misses out on sleep! What ways do you relax before bedtime?
- Mandy Monkey has been told off by the teacher for Monkeying around, what advice do you have for her?
- How do you help a friend when they’re feeling down?
- Millie has to do a presentation in front of her WHOLE class and she is feeling really nervous. How can she overcome her stage fright?
- If you see someone crying at school, what would you say to make them smile again?
- Mylo is worried about going to the dentist tomorrow! Tell him some advice so that he doesn’t need to worry any more!
- Mandy hates Mondays because that means school tomorrow! What do you love about school?
- Who do you talk to when you’re feeling stressed out?
- Mylo gets angry when he is stressed out and says hurtful things – what is a good way to say sorry to someone?
- Where is a good place to go outside when you’re feeling stressed out?
- What happy memory do you think back to if you’re feeling sad?
- Millie Monkey is afraid of the dark – what are you scared of? And how do you try to overcome it?
- What hobby would you like to do that would make you happy?
- Mylo is playing football but the other monkeys are leaving him out – how would you try to cheer him up?
- What fun things do you like to do at the weekend that de-stress you from school?
- Mandy has a big exam coming up soon – how do you practice for your tests?
Watering Hole with Walter the Water Hog – This round covers concepts of keeping fit and healthy.
- Whizzie the Water Hog sees one of the hyenas in his class has fleas, how can he help?
- Jog on the spot for a minute – why is this good for your body?
- Why is it important to eat healthy?
- Charlie the Chimp has been eating a lot of rubbish food recently and is making his insides feel bad. What five foods should he eat every day to make him feel better?
- Why do you think sleep is good for your body?
- What foods are bad for your body and how can you replace these with good foods?
- What’s your favourite type of exercise?
- Water hogs love to drink water! Why is it so good for you?
- Sid the Snake hasn’t been smiling recently because he hasn’t been looking after his teeth. How do you look after your teeth?
- Being in the hot sun can be dangerous for the animals, what would you do to be safe in the sun?
- Instead of playing on your phone or your computer, what activities do you prefer to play outside?
- How much water should Walter the Water hog drink every day?
- What are three of your favourite fruits?
- Give the player sitting to your left some advice about how you keep fit, and give a coconut!
- What is your favourite swimming stroke for Walter and his friends to try?
- Dancing is great for your fitness – show us your best dance move!
- What healthy vegetables would you feed to Walter?
- Fizzy drinks have a lot of sugar in, can you think of three healthy alternatives?
- Charlie the Chimp has been playing his games console for four hours now! What are three exercises that he can do outside to keep him fit?
- How many hours of sleep do you think you should have per night?
Zone Out with Zoe Zebra – This round keeps children engaged by asking them to perform an activity or task and highlights how they can relax and switch off from technology.
- Draw what you think happiness look like
- Show us your best yoga pose!
- Can you juggle for thirty seconds?
- Draw a happy memory
- What colour best describes you and why
- Draw your favourite jungle animal!
- Draw what you’d like to be when you grow up
- Everyone in the group, secretly write down three adjectives that best describes you! Now show each other and find if you’ve matched each other
- With a partner, pick an animal and act how they call out to each other
- Pull your funniest facial expression!
- Hum a happy tune
- Without speaking, act out a scene that makes everyone smile!
- Write a short song about happiness!
- Make up a rhyme with a hand clap about your favourite memory
- Mime your highlight of the week
- Can you write a rhyming poem about how you can someone feeling down
- What is your favourite game to play?
- Tell us your best joke!
- Monkey around and show your best chimp impression!
- Draw what you think excitement looks like!
Stand Tall with Gerry Giraffe – The final round aims to improve a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Give three compliments and give away your coconuts!
- Pay yourself a compliment, what do you love about yourself?
- Share a happy experience or memory with the group
- What are you grateful for?
- Tell a joke and make Gerry the Giraffe laugh. How does this make you feel?
- Name three positive things about the person sitting to your left
- Gerry’s younger sister Georgia has been feeling down about the way she looks, how can Gerry make her feel better?
- Gemma Giraffe is taller than all the other giraffes in her class. What is good about being different?
- Gillian Giraffe is conscious because her spots are a different colour to her friends, how can you make her feel better?
- What is a good deed that would help somebody?
- How have you helped someone this week?
- What different ways can you think of to thank someone for helping you?
- Georgia Giraffe wishes she looks like the celebrity giraffes she sees in the magazines, why do you think this is bad for her?
- What do you love about yourself that makes you different?
- Who would you like to say thank you to?
- What is a new talent that you would like to learn?
- Do you have a secret talent or hobby that you’d like to share with the group
- Tilly Turtle is shy and feels nervous talking to new people. How do you think she can come out of her shell?
- What do you think makes a good role model?
- What do you think being confident means?
Still keeping to the jungle theme of our board game, we changed the name to ‘Monkey Minds.’ It is short and snappy compared to ‘Your Jungle Journey,’ which seemed to only focus on the individual; not a collective effort which doesn’t convey the cooperative nature of our board game. As our market research showed, the other board games are brightly coloured with a busy desing. As the logo represents our brand, we need the colours and letters to be striking in order to catch the consumers eye on the busy market of children’s board games. We firstly drew the logo which later transferred to Photoshop.