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As many parents entertain their little ones with iPads and smartphones, more kids are now starting school without the necessary skills for real-life interactions. But the EasyPeasy app is helping mums and dads think beyond the screen, teaching life skills through games that harness children's imaginations. We explore the insights behind the innovation and what this means for the future of family time.

EasyPeasy, which has raised more than £750,000 in investment, gives parents ideas and instructions for creative games that stimulate their kids’ imaginations, aiming to help sharpen their basic school skills. In ‘Yummy Strawberries’, for instance, children and parents resist the temptation to eat a strawberry, while 'Imaginary Safari' sees them invent and describe animals in a fantastical safari.

EasyPeasy is helping parents entertain their kids without screens
EasyPeasy App | YouTube (2015) ©

“The games in EasyPeasy are specifically designed to support warm, consistent interactions between parents and children,” says founder Jen Lexmond. “Children’s brains are developing so quickly in those early years, which is why this kind of investment can yield such a great return.” The app has already shown results in improving children's readiness for school and their ability to manage emotions and focus. After 18 weeks of using the app, parents saw improvements in their kids behaviour – they were more willing to complete difficult tasks and happier to make decisions on their own.

UCL has found that nearly 50% of children starting school in the UK lack basic skills needed for an educational environment, such as the ability to pay attention or manage emotions. With nearly a third of British parents ‘phubbing’ their children in favour of their smartphones, and pining for more ‘me time’ amid the stress of work and household tasks, these changes in child behaviour may be a reflection of their parents’ shortening attention spans. And with nine in ten Gen Y men saying it’s important to be the ‘perfect dad’ and three-quarters of mothers constantly worried about whether they are a good enough mum, they’re looking for a helping hand. After all, 61% of parents say they don’t get to spend as much time with their families as they used to, but apps like EasyPeasy may help return quality time to busy households.

Oriyan Prizant is a researcher at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. He has a BA in law, which focused on people's perceptions of contract breaches, and cultivates an unhealthy interest in Korean pop music.

Canvas8

20 Oct 17
2 min read

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