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EasyPeasy - a game app for parents and children that builds character in the early years. More:

EasyPeasy is an app that sends game ideas to parents of young children, to help develop the skills that will prepare children for school, and beyond. The app provides parents with low/no cost fun and interactive games to play with their children, aged two to five, helping them build cognition, creativity, and character. Games are modelled by real parents and children in short film clips and include tips, guidance, and facts on child development. Each game has been assessed by child development experts to ensure they develop Early Years Foundation Stage Profile 'Characteristics for Learning'. Every game is based on parents helping children to complete a small challenge and to stick to simple rules.

Photo of Gemma Bull
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We've created EasyPeasy in partnership with parents and early years practitioners. We took a design-led approach, working with parents to understand the pressures in their lives, their patterns and routines, and where opportunities for better play were. We learned quickly that we could use mobile and film as channels to reach out to parents in their own homes, and to prompt them into better behaviours and routines with out being intrusive, preachy, or stigmatising.

We think this sets EasyPeasy apart from most 'parenting programmes' that are based on telling parents how to do their job, rather than arming them with ideas and inspiration, and which are usually delivered in institutional settings, require parents to leave home in order to take part. On top of that, because we are using digital technology and film, we have fewer barriers to reaching parents than practitioner-led programmes. We are working closely with children's services (nurseries, parent volunteering organisations, and children's charities), however, to see if EasyPeasy can become a resource for practitioners to use in face-to-face environments as well.

We've shared EasyPeasy with over 300 parents during co-design and prototyping, as well as with over 10 different children's services, and have been met with loads of positivity and excitement about the app. Parents particularly highlight that they like 1) getting prompts to their mobile, 2) knowing the educational benefit of the games, 3) getting the chance to connect with other parents. We also have analytics and interaction data from parents who have trialled the app that show high rates of participation (95% initial click through rates with low attrition), although we need to test this over a longer length of time to learn more. 

Does the community think that digital solutions could play a role in improving early years outcomes (if designed in the right way)?

What could motivate parents to stay engaged with a service like EasyPeasy?

Could EasyPeasy be adapted for international development programmes? Would anybody in the community be interested in working with us to look at this?

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

NEED: Only half of children achieve the Department for Education's minimum levels of development by the time they start at school in England. For disadvantaged children (those previously eligible for Free School Meals), the ratio is only 1 in 3. A child's development by age 5 is a very strong predictor of how healthy and successful they will be later in life. One of the biggest causes for this gap is poor home learning environments and lack of positive parent-child interaction amongst parents who struggle with low confidence, lack of support, and toxic stress levels at home. BENEFICIARIES: Parents and young children (age 2-5) are the key users of EasyPeasy. EasyPeasy benefits them because it: 1) Supports children's early development, both cognition and character 2) Improves home learning environment, and leads to better routines at home 3) Connects parents to each other and helps develop new local support networks 4) Boosts parents' confidence by offering evidence based information on their child's development Children's services are a second key user group who benefit because EasyPeasy: 1) Acts as a bridge between homes and children's services 2) Is a simple, mobile resource for practitioners to take into family homes 3) Provides analytics so practitioners can understand social impact 4) Supports children's 'school readiness' .

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

We'd really like to test now whether parents would be interested in downloading the app from the AppStore or Google Play without support from statutory services. We'd like to also somehow test need/demand for a service like EasyPeasy in an international development context. We'd be up for meeting with anyone in the community interested in looking at this with us.

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

We'd really appreciate any feedback from the community on the overall premise of EasyPeasy, but also in particular expert advice on developing and scaling digital solutions/products for parents (in any part of the world)!

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 Irene Blas

I think a great idea for the time when we are technologically , in addition to serving many new parents who on occasion have no effective help . In this case the only problem would be if the parents do not have the technology to build on this support.

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