Since joining Stage 2 of the Knee High Challenge at the 11th hour, we’ve been working hard at Character Counts and Save the Children to catch up. We’ve had the chance to strengthen and develop our idea in collaboration with the Design Council and we’re massively benefiting from a new member of our team, our Creative Lead Sam Care. Together, we’re delighted to be developing our new, free digital service for parents, EasyPeasy.

EasyPeasy shares age-appropriate games and activities with parents that not only provide enjoyment and quality time for families but, crucially, that help children to develop key skills such as motivation, concentration, confidence and control.

Barrels of recent evidence from social science to neuroscience have confirmed that these qualities are highly influential on our wellbeing and success, and importantly, the foundations of these qualities are set in the early years.

 EP1

Learning how to focus and concentrate on a task, tackle challenges with confidence and bounce back from setbacks are qualities help us get on and get ahead in life. Young children develop these qualities through interacting with parents and carers who provide opportunities to take on challenges and who provide the praise or comfort when it is needed. These actions are incorporated into the EasyPeasy games and activities.

On Wednesday 5th March we visited the Tustin estate in Southwark to carry out our first prototyping session in stage 2. We saw a few parents we’d spoken to previously during stage 1 and met other families in a Bookstart session. We wanted to gain a better understanding of a couple of things:

  • What families thoughts of our branding and games
  • Frequency of use / access to web-based services and entertainment
  • Baseline data to feed into our impact assessment.

We had lots of fun with one parent in particular and her two lovely sons, age 1 and 3 who were happy to play out some EasyPeasy games. We were really pleased to see how much fun they were having and also the natural attunement between mother and son which came as rules were being explained, practiced together and created individual adaptations. We realised during the session that some of the games were quite difficult to grasp straight away and there was broad agreement that a more visual, and less text heavy, approach to explaining the game would be preferable.

 EP3

To test our assumptions, we asked parents a few questions. We found many parents are very used to accessing information online and sharing things with their friends digitally. However they also confirmed they enjoy face-to-face time with other parents and once a rapport is built, they’ll happily share parenting tips and experiences.

In response to the feedback, we’re moving from text based tutorials to video based tutorials. We are working with a number of parents and toddlers to film examples of the games being played. We’re really excited to start sharing these short films with the parents in our prototyping group next week.

All in all, it’s been a fantastically productive week for team EasyPeasy, with lots of feedback to help us improve the service during this crucial proof of concept stage of the Knee High Design Challenge.