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Baby Steps Playbook

The baby Steps Playbook is a monthly guide providing parents in low-income communities with the right tools to ensure their children thrive in the first five years. Taking baby steps is at the heart of this intervention, to make sure parents are in control of the development of their child, without feeling the pressure of having to meet big expectations.

Photo of Céline Herbiet
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The Baby Steps Playbook is a fun and innovative methodology of providing information, whilst at the same time inviting the parents to interact with the Playbook. Parents can record the progress of their child and fix memorable moments by adding pictures of their child or by quoting their first sentences. Hence, through the interactive possibilities of the Baby Steps Playbook, it becomes a personalized toolkit to assist parents in low-income communities in parenting.

How does it work?

1. Collecting Stamps. Parents can collect monthly Baby Steps Stamps at the local supermarket in the low-income community. With every expenditure on selected baby or children's products, they receive a Baby Steps Stamp. The mere act of collecting stamps engages the parents and awakens their curiosity. The stamp in itself provides a tip or fun fact on children’s life skills, health or habits to let their child thrive and make parents aware of their influence on their child. For example, did you know that 90% of your child’s brain is developed within his first five years?

2. Returning stamps for Baby Steps. If the monthly savings card is completed and parents collected five stamps in a month, they can trade their savings card at the local supermarket or health center in return for an issue of the Baby Steps Playbook. This simple trade might trigger excitement or conversation while at the same time providing parents with a feedback moment from their peers.

3. Pursuing Baby Steps. After having received the monthly issue of the Playbook, parents are encouraged to track the progress of their child, by writing down new activities, lessons learned, the child’s new words, favorite stories or even favorite foods. This transforms the Playbook into an interactive and personalized toolkit to let parents discover the full potential of their child. With the help of playful tips and tricks on children’s games, nutrition, education, health, life and social skills, the Playbook will unlock the parent’s imagination on how to become a good parent when their resources are scarce.

4. Treasuring memories. Over a period of five years, the parents will have collected 60 issues of the Baby Steps Playbook, which can eventually be bundled in one big album memorizing the first five thriving years of their child.


Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Initially this idea was designed for parents living in low-income communities in The Netherlands. Our research made it clear that parents need information about how to help their children thrive, but they don't know where to get it from. The Playbook will advice them in parenting, by making concrete examples of what to expect with their young children. Hence, as this idea was originally projected for a European setting, through the easyness of contextualization of our idea, the project could be easily implemented in other, non-European settings.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

1. Go to the market in the low-income community where we interviewed parents and present them the first prototype of our Playbook. Get feedback from them. 2. Get feedback from our teacher expert. 3. Ask our teacher expert to hand over copies to the parents.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

Expert advice on how to reach a wide segment of people in low-income communities, as well as advice on how to partner with a commercial entity who would sponsor the stamps collecting part.

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.

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Photo of Guy Viner

Great share, Celine! With the focus of this challenge centering around children in developing world countries, how might you adapt this idea to keep their unique needs and challenges in mind?

Photo of Guy Viner

And here's a friendly tip: update your OpenIDEO profile so folks can dig who they're collaborating with. Think skills, experience, passions & wit! Looking forward to seeing more of you across conversations on this challenge...

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