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.
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.
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.
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.
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