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Empower Mental Health with Empower Empathy

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to bring attention to the importance of mental health and the resources available to support it. It is important to recognize the impact of good mental health on overall well-being, academic success, and economic outcomes. Whether as an educator or a caregiver, you play a critical role in promoting mental health awareness and creating a positive and healthy learning environment for your youngsters.


At Tiny Sprouts®, we believe in teaching emotional awareness and emotional regulation and cultivating character traits like kindness, positive growth mindset, and socialization skills with evidenced-based strategies from clinical and research settings by ways of screen-free plays and quality bonding time.

By promoting mental health awareness in your classroom or at home, you can help children develop crucial skills like emotional regulation, self-awareness, communication skills, growth mindset, and empathy. These skills can improve their confidence, engagement, and overall academic success. Similarly, when you prioritize your own mental health and well-being, you can better support your students and create a positive and supportive school culture.


At Tiny Sprouts®, we believe in teaching emotional awareness and emotional regulation and cultivating character traits like kindness, positive growth mindset, and socialization skills with evidenced-based strategies from clinical and research settings by ways of screen-free plays and quality bonding time.


It's undeniable that technology can play a valuable role in today's fast-paced life. And it's quite tempting to stick a piece of electronic device in front of a child's face and let them be and hope for the best. However, in supporting a person's mental health, we believe that face-to-face interaction and physical proximity is key to human relationships. This is even more essential now that after we have suffered through a global pandemic that have shut people off from each for so long.


That's why we've developed evidence-based tools for mental health like Empower Empathy™, a physical board game, to help develop self-awareness and social-emotional learning through fun and engaging screen-free play. These tools can also help you identify trends or changes in your youngsters that are otherwise overlooked by data.

Empower Empathy™, a physical board game, to help develop self-awareness and social-emotional learning through fun and engaging screen-free play.


The board game Empower Empathy centers around a cute but evil villain named Goobi, who invades the City of Empathropolis™ and resides in the underground sewer hole.

Wherever Goobi lands in the City of Empathropolis, the City Block  turns to RED.

The rules to move the character pieces are simple: Spin and Roll. When players spin to Goobi, he comes out from one of the numbered potholes and starts to wreck emotional havoc onto the City. Wherever Goobi lands, the City Block turns to RED.



As one of the six superheroes: (l-r) Oceania, Captain Agape, Illumini, Sargent Maven, Tigerman, and Titanius (which allows a maximum of 6 players to play the game), your job is to empower your social savvy and turn all the City Blocks back to normal and banish Goobi back into his sewer hole.

Six superheroes of Empower Empathy: (l-r) Oceania, Captain Agape, Illumini, Sargent Maven, Tigerman, and Titanius
Oceania, Captain Agape, Illumini, Sargent Maven, Tigerman, and Titanius (l-r)

It is important to know that Empower Empathy™ is a collaborative game. There is no competition of "I win. You lose." amongst the players. Rather, all players must work together and strategize together as a team to revert the entire City back to normal. At a player's turn, they might either move their own superhero piece, the villain, or ask to move another player's piece after strategize with your fellow players to best defeat the villain.

Empower Empathy consists of FOUR teaching principles:   * Step into the shoes of another to be mindful of thoughts, feelings, and actions   * Sharpen communication skills through self-reflection    * Master emotional awareness and non-verbal cues with facial mimicry and body language    * Implement strategies with Weekly Empathy Exercises everyday with easy-to-use evidence-based techniques

Empower Empathy consists of FOUR teaching principles:

* Step into the shoes of another to be mindful of thoughts, feelings, and actions

* Sharpen communication skills through self-reflection

* Master emotional awareness and non-verbal cues with facial mimicry and body language

* Implement strategies with Weekly Empathy Exercises everyday with easy-to-use evidence-based techniques

Empower Empathy includes 160+ hand-drawn City Watch Scenarios. These are common circumstances that people typically face on a day-to-day basis.

Each RED City Block uncovers one of the 160+ hand-drawn City Watch Scenarios. These are common circumstances that people typically face on a day-to-day basis. Although the cartoonistic drawings might give a fun vibe for a younger audience, older players are often pleasantly surprised that these situations could very much apply to different aspects of adulthood as well. These scenarios included a wide variety of settings as well as a wide range of emotions, including positive ones. Non-readers can easily depict the scenarios by the drawings alone.


With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy strategies of "Thoughts-Feelings-Actions," each player who has landed on a RED City Block now has to assess a social dilemmas.


Thoughts

Players are encouraged to think rationally how this dilemma has come about. Explain the circumstances that might have caused the scenes. Discuss the critical juncture where things might have turn out differently. And share and reflect upon player's own personal experiences.


Feelings

The 28 emotions included in Empower Empathy™ have been factor-analyzed to include a wide range of emotions as well as a few that are aimed to encourage kindness.

Players are encouraged to look through the Emotion Cards which consist of 28 emotions and select at least 3 emotions that apply to the given scenario. We'd like the players to expand their emotional vocabulary to more than the rudimentary emotions like happy, sad, or mad. The 28 emotions included in Empower Empathy™ have been factor-analyzed to include a wide range of emotions as well as a few that are aimed to encourage kindness.


Actions

This will be a great opportunity to discuss what your "natural response" to the situation might be and whether it would be considered socially appropriate or not.


After successfully resolving the encountered social problem, players can turn the City Block back to normal. This particular segment of the game not only effectively trains the players how to step into the shoes of another by tapping into the thought processes and feelings of another, but also provides the players a full set of cognitive-behavioral script so to help to save the time and mental effort of deciding on appropriate behavior the next time a similar situation is encountered.


Empower Empathy™ includes 80+ in-depth discussion topics which centers around 28 different emotions. These Power-Up discussion questions include not only coping strategies and mindfulness exercises, they also consist typically questions that a therapist may ask during clinical sessions. But because now these questions have been gamified into a board game, players are much more likely to share their experiences and thoughts in a non-judgmental and relaxed setting.

The second teaching principle is self-reflection, where a player lands on a Power-Up Block and selects a Power-Up Discussion Card. Empower Empathy™ includes 80+ in-depth discussion topics which centers around 28 different emotions. These Power-Up discussion questions include not only coping strategies and mindfulness exercises, they also consist typically questions that a therapist may ask during clinical sessions. But because now these questions have been gamified into a board game, players are much more likely to share their experiences and thoughts in a non-judgmental and relaxed setting.

Power-Up Blocks and Power-Up Discussion Cards encourages players to  self-reflect in a non-threatening way.

Power-Up Blocks hold a lot of power in the game because If Goobi lands on one, he is immediately banished back to the sewer hole. Players love to collect these Power-Up cards because at the end of the game, each Power-Up cards can be used to flip over one RED City Block. If there are any RED City Blocks remaining, the villain Goobi wins. If all the City Blocks have been turned to normal, Superheroes win against Goobi.


The third and most exciting portion of the game is when a superhero and Goobi land on the same City Block. This is a round we called "Face Off!"

The third and most exciting portion of the game is when a superhero and Goobi land on the same City Block. This is a round we called "Face Off!" And quite aptly, this double entendre is where one player randomly picks an Emotion Card from the emotion deck and shows rest of the players. Everyone else has to work together to "make the faces" that the Emotion Card shown to them without saying the word. The player has three guesses to guess the correct expression.

The "face-off" challenge during Empower Empathy is the favorite segment of the game where players make faces of different emotions for others to guess.

This activity is similar to an "emotion charade" where all other players practice displaying the selected emotion while the guesser learns to "read" non-verbal cues of an emotion by being mindfully aware of their facial expressions and body language. How one person shows "shy" may be very different from how the next person displays the same emotion - this offers a great opportunity for players to experience a whole conglomeration of postures, facial expressions, eye gaze, gestures, and body language.


But what is the point of playing an educational or therapeutic game if we are not using these strategies in our daily lives? Just like going for a clinician's counsel, you will not improve if you do not use or practice the techniques that have been taught to you. According to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.

The board game Empower Empathy™ has included an easy-to-read guidebook that showcases Weekly Empathy Exercises and tips on how to be an emotional coach as well as how to approach an array of emotions with growth mindset that will positively change you and your child's outlook on life.

Empathy is like a muscle that needs to be exercised and trained. The board game Empower Empathy™ has included an easy-to-read guidebook that showcases Weekly Empathy Exercises and tips on how to be an emotional coach as well as how to approach an array of emotions with growth mindset that will positively change you and your child's outlook on life.


Empower Empathy™ has received 7 major awards in the toy & game industry, endorsed by 8 North American professional teachers and therapists associations. This complete socioemotional learning toolkit has been widely adapted by professional therapists and school districts as therapy tools and curriculum resource. Empower Empathy™ has been played in 25 states and 12 countries worldwide to date.


So, what is mental health worth to you? Are you ready to hop on the Empower Empathy™ wagon to empower mental health?

Empower Empathy won 7 major toys & gaming awards: 2021 Board Game of the Year Award of Creative Child Magazine Staff Fave Hot Diggity Award Winner 2021 Tillywig Brain Child Award Family Choice Award 2021 2022 Board Game of the Year Award of Creative Child Magazine 2022 Mom’s Choice Silver Award 2022 Taiwan Prime Silver Award

Tiny Sprouts® offers FREE online training for any organization that order in bulk, as well as creator's visits and assemblies for schools or organizations that might benefit from this toolkit.


Contact our team at mytinysprouts@gmail.com for special discounts and arrangement that can be catered to your group.





What if there's a way to play a board game 30 minutes a week that can strengthen your child's emotional well-being and EQ?


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