365 ways to design my day: a daily tool to build interaction
“365 ways to design my day” is a simple way to create synergy between parents and children in order to boost toddlers to thrive.
“365 ways to design my day” is a magnetic board to put on the fridge or on the wall. On the left side is a tear-off calendar. Each page of the calendar includes on the back ideas and tips for interaction with children - arts and crafts, indoor and outdoor games, recipes to cook with the child, certified medical information, and local cultural events and activities for children.
On the right side is a daily scheduler that parents and children can use together to plan and talk about their day using the different magnets.
The calendar will be sold to a minimal price (ideally, a symbolic dollar).
Our main goal… is to provide a solution for parents from low-income families to support their children’s social, physical and cognitive development during their first 5 years.
To do so, we ran interviews within the local communities to assess their specific difficulties and needs.
What we found out…
- Parents have difficulties finding alternatives for playing outdoor during winter in Montreal, relying increasingly on screens for entertainment. Winter in Montreal is indeed tough due to its extended periods of cold and abundance of snow.
- Parents in low-income families have less time to spend researching developmental activities for their children and do not have money to spend on online applications and programs that support the cognitive development, but remain curious about existing solutions.
Our main idea… is to provide a simple and ready-to-use tool encouraging interactions between parents and children, ultimately leading to enhanced language and cognitive development.
- Through the tear-off calendar, parents will learn every day new ways to interact with their children with: indoor activities, seasonal outdoor plays, economical and accessible events in Montreal, and information on early childhood development.
- The daily scheduler and the little magnets featuring the daily activities of a child (breakfast, personal hygiene, outdoor play, storytelling, etc.) will encourage parents to discuss and plan the day together with their child. This will provide a framework for planning in early childhood and will build this successful habit for life.
Why do we think it will succeed?
- Our calendar is a day-to-day solution: every morning, it remains visible and easy to use. It works as a daily and soft incentive for parents to plan their day and interact in many different ways with their children.
- It is not expensive, easy and fun both for parents and children.
- So far, we have found no similar idea yet: different individual versions are already on the market (calendars - magnets - websites for ideas…) but none gathers all components in the same product.
- Our calendar is a source of information and inspiration for parents, and at the same time a board for sharing, planning and talking about the day with their children.
- Interaction between kids and caregivers is critical their development according to experts.
Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?
Parents and children from low-income families in Montreal area, but also early childhood educators looking for simple and efficient tools to help parents organize and enhance the interaction with their kids.
How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?
We have already tested a 1st prototype on 7 parents and 2 experts.
The 3 main things we wanted to know were if the parents would understand it instinctively, if the format would encourage natural interaction with their children, and if this would be helpful to provide fresh ideas to parents.
What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?
We will need to build strong partnership with the following stakeholders in order to have great communication relays and fundings: government or local Montreal City Council, private companies (Telus Corp., Nokia Corp., Tim Hortons Inc., Teck, etc.), associations or charities helping low income families, local health care centers (CLSC), Public transportation (STM), local event organizations (such as “Quoi faire à Montreal”).
We will need also to find key expert-contributors to build the calendar’s content on the following subjects: early childhood health and medical advise, information on education and early childhood development, indoor activities, outdoor activities and local events
Finally, we will need help from IDEO’s team to promote the project and create the buzz.
Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?
Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.