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Story Stones (updated Jan 15)

‘Story Stones’ generates a safe and fun environment in which players can share the wonder of imagination. A storytelling game intended to be played by groups of parents, guardians and children in the area of Sylhet, Bangladesh. The game incorporates play-based responsive stimulation, developing decision making, communication and collaborative skills.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser

Written by

Update 06.01.2015

We have uploaded the Refinement Q&A PDF responding to the questions posted by OpenIdeo and Amplify Team.

We have completed the Pilot Program application form.
If you would like to join the program please follow the link and submit the form.
https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=AjMzGiAGZrnjiP8N3IaqOA

Update 15.12.2014

The team at Story Stones would like to invite the OpenIDEO community to take part in our pilot program starting in January 2015.

Pilot Program [Overview]
  • assessment of potential collaborators
  • distribution of the final prototype
  • prototyping in the localised community
  • providing feedback via questionnaire
  • sending us your images, playing the game
 

How to get involved:
Comment on Story Stones, tell us about your community, and provide an e-mail address.

What will you get:
A boxed set of ‘Story Stones’ comprising of 60 Stones, user instructions and feedback forms.

What you need to do:
In order to be considered as a candidate for our pilot program we ask that you give us a clear description of your organisation and or project.

We are also requesting an agreement to send us images of gameplay and completed feedback forms in return (via e-mail).

The Story Stones Team is looking forward to beginning our stories with you.
 



Update: 28.11.2014
We have identified a UK registered charity and registered international NGO called UKBET (UK Bangladesh Education Trust). They currently run innovative programs within local community centres in the city of Sylhet, Bangladesh. The programs focus on Child Labour, Education and the Environment.

They are based in both London and Sylhet, therefore we are looking to organise a meeting with them to present Story Stones as a potential pilot project. We hope to send a number of Story Stone sets out to a number of local community centres in Sylhet, to test our project with the intended audience.


Update 26.11.2014
We crafted a unique set of over 165 icons inspired by bangladeshi folk tales. The icons for prototype 5 use a custom calligraphy brush to better fit into context with the Bengali sanskrit.

This prototype is edged and cut out of 3mm mdf, and the burnt edges make it not suitable for children at this point. However we learned that the game is indeed very playable and that we would like to use a thicker material, to make them easier to pick up.

In the next stage we intend to manufacture a version using 5mm acrylic.

prototype #5

Original post:
Storytelling predates writing and this makes ‘Story Stones’ inclusive to many diverse learning abilities.

The simple visual structure of the game transcends all language barriers and the self directed nature of the stories empowers players of all ages.

Stories have been shared in every human culture, as a means of entertainment, education and cultural preservation.
Other than retelling stories ‘Story Stones’ gives both parents and children the opportunity to construct unique storylines and develop decision making abilities.
The game provides a discussion forum, that is centered within the players own cultural context.
 
Key Features:
Promotes community
Develops decision making skills
Creating aspirations
Cognitive development
Communication skills
Collaborative skills such as trust, sharing, belonging, and respect.
 
How to Play:
The game consists of 60 individual stones, each stone displays two separate symbols selected from a variety of subject areas, from everyday objects to emotions.














 

Example Gameplay

The game can have 2 to any number of players.
2 players = 15 stones each
3 players = 12 stones each
4 players = 10 stones each
5 players = 08 stones each
6 players = 06 stones each7 orMore = 05 stones each.
 
Questions for the Bangladesh community:
What means of implementing this concept do you have?
Are there existing community groups who are in touch with local business and manufactures we could collaborate with?
 
Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

This concept has been based on low income communities in Bangladesh, where we identified an educational gap for 0 - 5 year old children.

“While many parents do play with their youngest children, they have little or no understanding of how play and other informal learning to help prepare children for school.”
source: http://www.unicef.org/bangladesh/overview_4841.htm

For the Islamic community we could adapt artwork to be more appropriate, such as replacing some depictions with calligraphy.

The high inclusive nature of the game could allow implementation in every community around the world.
 
How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

So far we have gone through two stages of low fidelity prototyping within our design team.
Including a video prototype of the game-play.

In the next stage we will conduct an alpha game scenario with a focus group outside of our design team.

We are currently working on a refined version of the printed paper prototype that could be made available to our target group in Bangladesh.
 
What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

Depending on possible collaborations with local ethical and community supporting businesses and manufacturers, we would adapt our artwork and manufacturing data, to be used in many mediums such as:

Paper and Card
Fabric
Wood
Metals
Stone
Recyclables


Our final prototype will be made available as a free download.
This includes a printable file (paper and fabric), and a technical drawing for (laser cutters or cnc machines).

To produce iterations and custom artwork, we would need the IT infrastructure and commercial licenses for software.
 

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am ready and interested in testing this idea and making it real in my community.
View more

Team (13)

Bernhard's profile
Chris's profile
Mahboob's profile
Lee's profile
Tanzib's profile
Arizona's profile
Arizona Vitoria

Role added on team:

"Illustrator"

Imran's profile
Felipe's profile
Amowi's profile
Amowi Phillips

Role added on team:

"Pilot Ambassador - Ghana"

Natalie's profile
Natalie Lake

Role added on team:

"Pilot Ambassador - Peru"

RAMADHAN's profile
RAMADHAN OBIERO

Role added on team:

"Pilot Ambassador - Kenya"

MeiLi's profile
MeiLi Siaw

Role added on team:

"Pilot Ambassador - Malaysia"

Theodora's profile
Theodora Papatheodorou

Role added on team:

"Pilot Ambassador - Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)"

Inspired by (1)

Saving Brains

151 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of COPE PAKISTAN
Team

Great thinking

Asher Nazir
COPE Pakistan

Photo of Dafne Melo
Team

Very good work, team! I can see lots of good contributions for the children's development! And I like the images as well, they easily explain what the idea means. Well done!

Photo of International Youth Empowerment Network
Team

Thank you Melo!

Photo of Guy Viner
Team

Great inspiration, Bernhard + team! Here's some tips on evolving it further: http://ideo.pn/oi-evolve

Looking forward to receiving updates on your prototype in Bangladesh. Are you affiliated with or partnered with an NGO in that country?

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Thank you very much for your link.
We are currently refining the visualisation and we have a new prototype manufactured.
Unfortunately we have not yet found an NGO to collaborate with.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thank you Guy,

The link you provided has been of great use. We are looking forward to sharing and collaborating with the OpenIDEO community to develop our project further.

Photo of Emmanuel Adeusi
Team

The endless possibilities of storytelling is a wonderful technique to help children articulate their thinking process, along with key features of story stones.

Traditional way of colourful storybooks are often used to illustrate the plot but lacks the active involvement that story stones possesses.

How can you + team integrate what have been taught in school into the game while keeping the story stones inclusive?

Photo of Felipe Bottrel
Team

Thank you Emmanuel for the positive feedback and suggestions!

The possibility of integration with school content is indeed a powerful tool we can take advantage of. One thing that makes it hard, is that the target group (0-5) is not often enrolled with schools yet. However, we will think harder about how to make Story Stones a tool also for formal education programmes. Any further suggestion and thoughts are welcomed

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Great suggestion Emmanuel, after playing a few games we realised that we would love to have many more icons. In fact we really loved character based stones, because they make the stories more engaging.

I like the idea of implementing educational content into the stones.

Lets for example take a street with cars, could teach the children how to cross a busy street safely. We need to take into account that this is mainly the responsibility of guardians and parents, who direct and teach while telling stories.

How could we teach guardians and parents to tell educationally positive stories through Story Stones?

Thank You.

Photo of Emmanuel Adeusi
Team

Bernhard + team:

Indeed character-based stones would be engaging especially while learning through fun and play which Increases their vocabulary and gives 0-5 years old head start for future success.

However the design factor of the character based stones will need to be carefully considered as that would be the main influence of what kind of story told by the parents/guardians.

Age 1-2:
Guardians and parents could teach educationally positive stories through Story Stones by integrating academy based subjects/topics of their knowledge as this could be a better approach rather than teaching because not all parents would have an educational background.

Examples:

History - which however teaches children their cultural roots as this is a topic parents/guardians would have knowledge about.

English - parents/guardians could teach nursery rhymes of their own to the children as it helps develop skills such as; Cognitive, Verbal, Listening, Reading, Language, Social, Memory, Imaginative etc.


- Something to consider

Kids going to school (age 3-5):
Story stones could be used in an English class setting to tell stories as we know teachers are an influential figure.

Maybe having Story Stones inclusive in two different settings, home and school could be something to consider?

Photo of Hong Xin Hu
Team

What a great idea to draw out imagination and articulation of ideas from young children!

In addition to exploring the making of the stones using local manufacturing processes and materials, would it be possible to also consider matching the icon with the tactility of the "stone"? E.g. a picture of "hay" would correspond to a "hay" like material.

I see that might cause more complications in the scaling up and reproduction of the kit, I am just wondering if it is possible to appeal to the touch/smell senses of the young children as their imagination is sparked by the icons they see.

Photo of Adeel Zubair
Team

Very great idea, it's simple yet effective. I like how it is an interactive game that any member of the family can participate which doesn't isolate anyone and makes a each person equally important and special.

Photo of Thiago Silva Viana
Team

Hey guys, congratulations! I just saw you got HONORABLE MENTION! You deserve it for the excellent work. Happy foy u guys

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Let me add voice to Viana's and say congratulations and that our team here in Uganda is happy to continue with our collaboration. Your proposed solution to promoting early child development is great. We look forward to prototyping the stones and providing feedback.

Thanks, Alex!

Photo of Japhet Aloyce Kalegeya
Team

Hello Story stones, Thank you for your good idea that can help to solve the problem faced parents in low-income communities to ensure children thrive in their first five years.

The educational gaps is a challenge faced parent in low income communities especially in Tanzania and Ethiopia parents can not know how to play as a most important of thriving of their children.

This idea created by Story stones team can help parents from low income community to make sure their children are thriving in their first five years.
this idea is targets to implement in Tanzania and Ethiopia countries as the priority area of DIFD

Photo of Felipe Bottrel
Team

Thanks for the positive feedback Japhet! We really believe in learning through playing and also in the creative power of storytelling, which is the main concept behind Story Stones!

Thanks!

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Wow this is an amazing idea! I absolutely love this idea. I just came back from working with a community in Peru for 27 months and I think there is HUGE potential in this project. This is such a excellent, creative, yet simple ECD tool. I'm going to recommend it to all my friends still working in Peru. One of our biggest challenges was waking up the imagination in the children we worked with because of how the education system works.

I think having local artisans craft the stones out of nearby resources would be the bees knees first of all but here are a few suggestions I have (I read through to make sure they weren't mentioned.)

First of all, I think that the symbols on the stones for the most part should translate across stones because they could rely on a few universal symbols like trees, hearts, etc. But I also think, coming up with symbols within a community are very important. So I think that using those "blank joker tiles" could be a great opportunity for communities to create their own symbols. You could include a list of suggestions like "Family, Food, mythological creature etc.) and the communities could then craft their own symbols on the blank tiles. I also like the idea of having a few blank freebies where the person could invent anything they wanted to.

My second idea, would be that you could come up with different sets of stones with certain themes. For example, in Peru, the Peace Corps volunteers work in 5 different themes or topics. I was an environmental volunteer so I would want more of my stones to be environmentally based to keep the focus of our story on the environment but my friend, a health volunteer, would definitely want more stones that have to do with health.

All in all an outstanding idea. I will definitely be purchasing a set if they are made available to the public. Thank you for sharing!

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Natalie,

Thank you for your excellent feedback.

Maybe you could ask some of your colleagues who are still working in the community in Peru to pilot Story Stones with us.
A description of how the pilot program works is above.

With the initial pilot we are sending out the current set of stones, if the pilot program is a success we intend to design a system for 'User Generated Content'. The creation of new stones should be easy, as we do not assume the community will have knowledge of computer aided design tools. Story Stones goal is to harness the knowledge and skills of the local community and craftspeople.

To your second idea:
Exactly the same thoughts came up after our initial meeting with Alex Mokori who is a heath worker in Uganda, interested in nutritional education.
We envisage possible collaborations with people and organisations within communities with a view to enabling the production of customised content for Story Stones.

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi Bernhard,

I am drafting an email to my program director in Peru right now to ask if he will email all of the volunteers to gage if anyone is interested. How should they contact you if they would like to help in the pilot of Story Stones? I think the Environmental team, the Health team and the Youth development team would all definitely be interested. Would you send a set of stones to Peru or would the volunteers create their own set of stones?

Very excited about this idea!

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hi Natalie, thank you for your fast respond.

We would send one or more sets of Story Stones to Peru.

If someone wants to join the pilot program you could either post the e-mail address here in a comment, or e-mail me directly and I will get in touch with them.
eiser.burns@gmail.com

All members of the pilot program will also be added to the team here on OpenIdeo, maybe your colleagues and the organisation wants to sign up.

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Okay I will pasa la voz (let them know.) I would love to continue to be a part of this as well, could I join the team?

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

You can be our Peru Pilot ambassador! I am currently working on the proper application form for the pilot program.

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi Bernhard, I'd love that! I can definitely help coordinate the volunteers. I have passed along your contact information to two volunteers already :)

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Natalie,

The Application form is ready, could you please forward the link to your contacts:

https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=AjMzGiAGZrnjiP8N3IaqOA

The team at Story Stones thanks you in advance.

Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi Bernhard,

Application submitted! My apologies for the tardiness (working with limited internet among the volunteers.) I included a small note in the community description about our pilot (since there are two sets and two communities.) Hope that is alright! Thank you guys for this great opportunity and I look forward to continuing to work together!

Photo of Theodora Papatheodorou
Team

Hello Story Stones Team,
This is an excellent idea to promote cross-generational play and engagement and support may developmental and learning skills of children, especially language and verbal communication. This can be an additional tool which we may incoorporate in our proposed programme, too. Our programme will be implemented in the Democtratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and any pilot data will be in French. Would that be of any use to you? Please let me know. Best, Theodora

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Theodora,

Thank you for your positive feedback.

With 'pilot data' I assume you mean feedback forms will be filled in, in French?
Would you then require us to produce a French feedback form?

I believe a prototyping in the Democratic Republic of Congo would be a great opportunity and very valuable to us.

Could you please fill and submit an application form here:
https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=AjMzGiAGZrnjiP8N3IaqOA

Please add all requirements in the 'About your Community / Organisation / Project' section of the form.

Thank you very much.

Photo of International Youth Empowerment Network
Team

Hello team! We are curious to know about the progress made in refining and prototyping the idea. We are still waiting for the first game to land here in Kampala and we try it out! Thanks!

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello, are you in touch with Alex Mokori?

The manufacturing of our final prototype was delayed due to holidays, but we will update soon.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Bernhard. Thank you for adding me to the team. I am part of YEN team so all is good. The team will wait for the stones whenever they are ready. Thanks!

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Hi Alex,

The Application form is ready, please follow the link to apply for the pilot program:

https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=AjMzGiAGZrnjiP8N3IaqOA

The team at Story Stones thanks you in advance.

Photo of International Youth Empowerment Network
Team

We have completed the application process!

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Thank you very much, great stuff is about to happen!
We will update soon about the prototype.

Photo of Amowi Phillips
Team

I'm pleased to join this team! The Story Stones would be a perfect addition to park programming in Ghana, where storytelling traditions are strong and icons can be readily customized to reflect local culture. Do you have images of actual stones used as material?

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

We are waiting for our workshops to open after the holidays to manufacture the version we are sending out. I will update you as soon as we have the first batch ready.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Hi Amowi,

The Application form is ready, please follow the link to apply for the pilot program:

https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=AjMzGiAGZrnjiP8N3IaqOA

The team at Story Stones thanks you in advance.

Photo of Amowi Phillips
Team

Lee, application done! We're looking forward to taking part in the pilot!

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thank you for your quick response Amowi. We will update you in due course regarding the completion of the pilot prototypes.

The team at Story Stones look forward to working with you very soon!

Photo of Amowi Phillips
Team

Sounds great. Good luck!

Photo of MeiLi Siaw
Team

This is a great idea. We love this so much we're gonna "steal" it!
Or you could adopt us :)

Anyway, here's whom we'd steal this idea for:
Our team GreyMatter has been visiting a local community development group in Malaysia in the course of our own design research and we think there's great potential to adapt Story Stones to Malaysian folk tales, and to incorporate it in this community's 0-5 children's playgroup.

Every Wednesday in this community, mothers bring their little ones for a 2-hour session, and the first 20 minutes of the session is free play for mom & child using books and educational toys provided at the community playroom. Currently, all reading materials in the library are in English because the community members themselves have voiced the desire to learn the language. (The multiethnic community's default lingua franca is Malay / Bahasa Malaysia.)

One adaptation possibility I'm thinking of is to design slightly larger stones (Story Cards?) with icons representing characters, objects and recurring themes from well-loved Malay folktales or Aesop's fables (known to many Malaysian children). These stones/cards would also feature the name of the icon below it in English, thereby helping mothers and children alike to start telling familiar stories in the new/target language, English.

Do let us know your thoughts on this!
GreyMatter's Idea can be viewed here:
https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/coaching-clinics-for-moms-building-upon-existing-community-playgroups

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Dear MeiLi Siaw.

Thank you for your positive feedback, we are currently working on the 'Story Stones' pilot programme scheduled for release mid January 2015.

The best plan of action would be for us to arrange a meeting with you and/ or your team either in person if you have a representative in London or via Skype.

We can then discuss what needs your projects may have and how we can collaborate together.

Lee Stopher, Bernhard Eiser and the Story Stones Team.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello MeiLi, we are rolling out a pilot program. It would be great if you could run a pilot with Story Stones in your community. Let me know what you think.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Hi MeiLi Siaw,

The Application form is ready, please follow the link to apply for the pilot program:

https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=AjMzGiAGZrnjiP8N3IaqOA

The team at Story Stones thanks you in advance.

Photo of RAMADHAN OBIERO
Team

hi you can also pilot this idea in kenya .i love the idea of story stone it can aslo
work very well also in my community

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Ramadhan,
We are still working on the Pilot Application from, I can add you as Pilot Ambassador - Kenya to our team.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Ramadhan,

The Application form is ready, please follow the link to apply for the pilot program:

https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=AjMzGiAGZrnjiP8N3IaqOA

The team at Story Stones thanks you in advance.

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hello Story Stones team! We've been having early childhood experts take a look at the ideas in Refinement and I'd love for you to share your answers to some of their questions. They've asked: How do you envision this game being used by parents? What type of incentives can you provide parents? How will you keep the idea fresh once the parents have used the stones with the child several times? How can it be integrated into early childhood programs as a way to involve families in their children's learning?

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Q:
How do you envision this game being used by parents?
A:
Parents can either play the game with their children at early learning centres, or if we have the resources we could provide parents with their own personal set to be played at home.

Q:
What type of incentives can you provide parents?
A:
Story Stones provides parents with a fun and engaging tool to tell stories and interact in a meaningful way.
The simple visual structure of the game transcends all language barriers and the self directed nature of the stories empowers parents.

Q:
How will you keep the idea fresh once the parents have used the stones with the child several times?
A:
Re-playability is one of Story Stones strongest assets, every game tells a new story in a unique configuration.
With a set of 60 stones, the possibility of drawing an identical hand is minimal.
Story Stones has the potential to produce expansion packs, providing the user with fresh stones in areas of their interest.

Q:
How can it be integrated into early childhood programs as a way to involve families in their children's learning?
A:
Story Stones is the perfect tool to involve parents and families to be integrated in early childhood development.
The involvement of parents in the gameplay, gives them opportunities for meaningful communication and teaching through stories.

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations on making the Zero to Five Refinement list, Bernhard! We’ve been excited to see the amount of collaboration around your idea and that you have sought out and are speaking to potential partners to try and bring this idea to life! Do you envision the game as a stand alone product? What groups or organizations would ideally use it? Have you had a chance to meet with UKBIT? If you find a partner who wants to work with you on Story Stones, what level of involvement do you envision having? We’d love to see the final prototype that you are developing – where will we be able to find it online? It’s clear that you have been actively prototyping the game – have you thought of ways that a partner, or even a member of the OpenIDEO community could help prototype it in different parts of the world? We see that many have been messaging you – and it seems like a perfect opportunity to leverage the power of OpenIDEO to test the potential of this idea! Check out tips for Refinement http://ideo.pn/0to5-tips-refine here.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Thank you very much, the Team and I are also really happy about the response from the OpenIDEO community.

Q:
Do you envision the game as a stand alone product?
A:
We believe 'Story Stones' can exist as a stand alone product, but can also be adapted and integrated to existing or potential educational environments.

Q:
What groups or organizations would ideally use it?
A:
The game can be used by educational groups, charity organisations, families, localised communities and possibly with well-being services.
Ideally any organisation and or individuals who are working to support children and young people.

Q:
Have you had a chance to meet with UKBET?
A:
On completion of the prototype, (Friday 19.12.2014) we will be scheduling a meeting with UKBET.

Q:
If you find a partner who wants to work with you on Story Stones, what level of involvement do you envision having?
A:
We would like to remain in control of 'Story Stones' as a product, however we are open to collaborations with organisations, manufacturers or individuals who fit the profile of our ideal.

Q:
We’d love to see the final prototype that you are developing.
A:
The first batch of the final prototype will be manufactured on Friday the 19th December 2014, see details in the today's update of the idea.
Images of the final prototype will be updated shortly after the 19th Dec.

Q:
Where will we be able to find it online?
A:
If by the question 'where will we be able to find it online?' you are referring to a 'Story Stones' website, this is part of our launch strategy and we will be seeking funding for this.
(A website could also serve as a platform to share told stories. 'Story Stone Communities')

Q:
It’s clear that you have been actively prototyping the game – have you thought of ways that a partner, or even a member of the OpenIDEO community could help prototype it in different parts of the world?
A:
In the current update of the idea we are now actively looking for partners and people in the OpenIDEO community to join our pilot program.

We already had a meeting with Alex Mokori a public heath professional based in Uganda, who contacted us via OpenIDEO, he and his team will be part of our pilot program in mid January 2015.

Thank you again for your support in the development of Story Stones.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Awesome that you're collaborating with Alex in Uganda! If things go well, you might consider adding him to your Team section here (that way you all get email notifications on new discussions.

Also – be sure to compile all your answers from our OpenIDEO questions above + a collated summary of conversations here in the comments section and submit them via the Word doc found on our challenge brief page (covert to PDF before you upload). Get more tips at: http://ideo.pn/0to5-tips-refine

And keep up the awesome work as we know it's tough time of year for students juggling everything else they've got going on!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Oh and by the way – I'm only just catching up on this idea as I was away in India when it was first posted. *Love* the sample story video – really helps brings the goodness behind the concept to life!

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thanks Meena. We are really looking forward to collaborating with Alex to test Story Stones in the community. We are hoping to connect with more potential organisations and individuals on the OpenIDEO platform to spread Story Stones to different cultures and communities across the world to gain a better understanding of the users needs and help develop the game and storytelling experience.

The final prototypes for the Pilot Program will be ready on Friday!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Great stuff – we're looking forward to them! We'd also encourage you to look over other ideas here in Refinement and post questions, feedback and suggestions. In the spirit of collaboration, we feel you bring some unique perspectives to the mix and could help impact others' ideas. You could also think about which organisations and individuals in our community may be well poised to collaborate with on your own project and kickstart some conversations around that. Exciting to think where it might lead...

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Agreed! Thanks for all of your hard work on this - very excited to see what the prototype looks like after Christmas. You might take a look at some of the more holistic ideas in the Refinement list to get a sense of how Story Stones can be utilized by community groups – or of organizations around the world that might be interested in using them. For example: https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/refinement/shishu-information-and-delivery-ecosystem-for-first-48-hours-of-newborn-care and https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/refinement/the-full-service-urban-children-s-park

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Friendly reminder to upload your PDF of responses to the OpenIDEO questions by tomorrow when our Refinement phase will close and our selection process of the Top Ideas will start. More instructions here: http://ideo.pn/0to5-tips-refine

Photo of Japhet Aloyce Kalegeya
Team

and second fruits becomes the second generation and second third, fourth and so forth generations.
The implantation plan will be as the following :-
1. Meting, identifying and discussing with the targeted groups starting with, 2. Establishment model farm, 3. Provide inputs, 4. provide trainings on preparation of manual, entrepreneurship, infant and young child feeding 5. creating agriculture and nutrition Platform among Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), (FBOs) and development partners. 6. Monitoring and evaluation report

Since the idea is under the process of being implementation, the design team have done a pilot assessment, capture feedback learning from the community, and found that; the idea impressed most people and were able to voice their desires for the program and activities planned. Most said that “The promote income generating activities in agriculture and livestock will help parents to afford a nutritious diet”. Other said “This program will help parents to raise income and solve the problem faced them in caring their children of under five years” other were showed their inspirations and claiming that

“We will cried and lost our trust if we will miss this program of promote income generating activities in agriculture and livestock” So this idea will make children to be safe from the deaths.
Once we understand how crucial the idea was and able to integrate into the program, learning continued to emerge thanks to feedback from the community and experts ( Agriculture and nutrition officer, and Nzega District midwives officer) who work with the design team of Christian Education and Development Organization (CEDO)

Photo of Japhet Aloyce Kalegeya
Team

cedsorg@yahoo.com, kalegeya@yahoo.com

Photo of Japhet Aloyce Kalegeya
Team

During the inspiration phase we found that about 175 children under five years die from January to June 2014 from causes related to malnutrition, and that is a single greatest cause of child death in our country, we learned that people are getting one meal per day, this situation found to Maria Maganga a mother of three children, the first born with 2 years, second born with 1 year and 6 months, and third child with 6 months and eat one meal per day. Also we found learned that 99 villages are faced with the food insecurity with the 20,467 tons in 2013/2014, there is a poor agriculture production, and smallholders farmer are not access the better products and inputs, such as micro-drip irrigation system, drought-restart hybrid seed and asset-backed micro-loans, also we found that there is an absence of the stakeholders groups that are working together with the government to improve agriculture and nutrition including the development partners.
This idea of promote income and livestock concept, through establishment of model farm, and creating agricultural and nutrition platform, parents in low-income communities, will be able to afford nutritious diet, produce enough food and variety nutrition rich crops will be improved and accessible to diverse diet the deaths of under five year will be reduced from the current figure of 175 to 75% in three later. Both parents, children and community in general will be enjoying the fruits of results of which will be promoting the income generating in agriculture and livestock.

The idea is planned to be sustainable. It must be a going concern entity for all generations to become, because the African country has a history of severe food shortage and acute under nutrition, especially in low- income communities, is transferring from one generation to the next. The implementation will involve training and practical before coming the first product, yields the first fruits

Photo of Japhet Aloyce Kalegeya
Team

INSIGHT STATEMENT
POOR NUTRITION is a challenge faced by the community because….
There is a poor agriculture production, so parents cannot get enough food for feeding their children.
There is a lack of income, so parents can not be able to purchase nutritious food for feeding their children.
There is a absence of the stakeholders groups that are working together with the government to improve nutrition, including development partners, UN agencies in this area.

HOW MIGHT WE QUESTIONS
How might we increase production and marketing of variety of nutrition rich food crops to improve access to a diverse diet
How might we increase income to purchase nutritious food for children
How might we engage stakeholder groups that can be working together with the government to improve nutrition, including development partners, UN agencies in this area
How might we raise income generating activities in agriculture, to enhance household’s ability to afford a nutritious diet?
How might we create labour saving technologies, particularly among women farmers
How might we ensure that nutrition interventions are included in the plans and budget of all key stakeholders

THOUGHTS
PROMOTE
Promote nutrition friendly agriculture and livestock, including homestead garden for the supply vegetables, fruits and small livestock product through the year
Promote school gardens as a demonstration tool for school children and support school children feeding program
Promote income generating activities in agriculture and livestock to enhance households’ ability to afford a nutritious diet.
Promote labour saving technologies, particularly among women farmers

INFLUENTIAL
Influential civil society organizations, private sectors, UN agencies, development partners to work together with the government to improve nutrition
Influential civil society organizations, private sectors, UN agencies, development partners to ensure that plans and budgets for nutrition are prioritized for resources allocation
Influential District officers, education, social welfare, agriculture, planning officers, faith based organizations to addressing the nutrition issues

PROVIDE
Provide inputs, e.g seeds, tubers, eggs, fingerling, fertilizers, vaccines, for the production of nutrient rich crops, vegetables, fruits, livestock and fish
Provide trainings of entrepreneurship including marketing access for private sectors and individual for increase productivity and income

PROTOTYPE
Promote agriculture generating and livestock to enhance households’ ability to afford a nutritious diet, increase production and marketing of variety of nutrition rich crops to improve access to a diverse diet, programming infant and young child feeding,

THE IDEA
Promote agriculture generating and livestock to enhance households’ ability to afford a nutritious diet, increase production and marketing of variety of nutrition rich crops to improve access to a diverse diet, programming infant and young child feeding, and creating the platform of region nutrition among CSOs, FBOs, and other development partners.


HOW MIGHT WE QUESTION
Promote agriculture generating and livestock to enhance households’ ability to afford a nutritious diet, increase production and marketing of variety of nutrition rich crops to improve access to a diverse diet, programming infant and young child feeding, and creating the platform of region nutrition among CSOs, FBOs, and other development partners?.

1. Establishment of model farm depending on climatically .
2. Provide inputs e.g orange-flesh sweet potato, oilseed crops, spinach, pumpkins, carrots, tomato, fruits, chicks for eggs and meat etc.
3.Provide training on preparation of manual, and in-service training and support to agricultural and livestock, and increase knowledge on appropriate dietary intake and food safety
4.Provide training on entrepreneurship
5.Provide training on infant and young child feeding and HIV.
6.Creating the platform of nutrition among CSOs, FBOs, and other development partners, and identify and link stakeholders involve in agriculture and nutrition related intervention.

SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE IDEA
The idea is a program of multi-stakeholders movement that tackle the problem nutritional status of under five children, pregnant and lactating women in Tanzania, the issue being addressed by studying and scrutinizing the inside of the problems associated with parents in low-income communities ensure children thrive in their first five years.

As I already identified and listed the problems and found a possible solution in practice. What it’s? It’s the promote income generating activities in agriculture and livestock, integrate concept.
HOW WILL THIS IDEA HELP TO SOLVE THE DESIGN CHALLENGE
During the inspiration phase we found that about 175 children under five years

Photo of Kieran Cooke
Team

A great idea and congratulations on the progress you have made on it already. The importance of developing a child's creativity and communication skills cannot be overstressed. Have you thought at all about how you would assess the impact that this game has on the child's development of these skills?

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Kieran, Thank you for your comment.

You are making a very important point.

It would be great to develop tools to measure benefits such as communication and decision making skills, giving us more insight and new opportunity's for development.

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

I think this is a great concept i love how it is an interactive game that all ,members of the family can take part in. Have you considered adding challenges for the more advanced players such as trying too remember one players story and then reciting it back, or maybe a story stone that can change the direction of the game.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hi Naomi, thank you very much.

The scenario you describe is accurately what happens when the game is played. Every player continuous the story from the previous players using the stones to give new directions and choices.

Photo of Diini Omar
Team

This is Fun game for family to engage and bond to communicate each other also it good children to make mistake and learn from it and this story stone game help to develop making decision wherever is right or wrong. For that this can also facilitate boost their confident while interacting other children. The greatest thing about this game is it can be excellent entertainment for low income family specially people who don’t have a TV or game to play. What is more is the game can have 2 to any number of players which is good for big family or special occasion relative can play when they visit.

Photo of asif masood
Team

The whole idea is amazing guys! Especially in Bangladesh the community bond is a strong one bringing a game in which they can tell stories and become more confident is great. The prototype and illustrations are more than enough for us to understand this and i love the way you are getting people involved buy giving them a trial pack of story stones. very inspiring at the least. I cant wait to see how far you can take this and i would also like a starter pack myself i can imagine the children from my family taking part coming up with so many story's that are never the same it would definitely build confidence in them.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thanks Asif,

Bringing out creativity and confidence in young children was a key aspect of our primary research which lead into storytelling and play. The stones gives each player the opportunity to add their part to the story providing endless options to tell a story.

The Story Stones team cannot wait to work with the OpenIDEO platform to help bring this project to life!

Photo of Vishagan Baskaramoorthy
Team

The level of detail you have put into this idea (such as the context relevant icons and the specific brush used for the designs) shows the amount of respect you have for the Sylhet, Bangladesh community throughout this process. Could this be taken further through the material choice of the stones or the packaging design? Although it is not as important as the story stones themselves, are the ways you could take advantage of the packaging/box to go beyond storage? Also, great work with the prototype and visuals, simple effective and easy to understand. Looking forward to see how this progresses. Well done!

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thank you Vish!

Selecting a localised community to target at the start of the process was key to ensuring the information was culturally relevant. Concerning the packaging of the Story Stones set going 'beyond storage' will be an interesting aspect to consider. The packaging could be implemented as part of the game.

Interesting points Vish. We are looking forward to the progression of Story Stones as well!

Photo of Jonathan Joanes
Team

Congratulations on making it into the refinement stage. Berns & Lee, If you need any help in terms of file set-up for the laser cutter for your next prototype then just give me a shout: jonathanjoanes@gmail.com

3mm clear acrylic can be polished in our workshop to achieve some what of a smooth finish. I'd also recommend picking up some off-cuts from Hamar acrylic shop to reduce the initial cost of the prototype.

Good luck!

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thanks for your support Jonathan, much appreciated!

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hi Jono, your support is greatly appreciated.

Photo of Marion Caillat
Team

I love this project. Great idea to stimulate children by creativity and imagination. Also a nice way to share with parents.
Congrats !

Photo of Arizona Vitoria
Team

Thank you so much, Marion. I really liked your idea too. One of the best ways to awaken the perception and imagination of a child is by playing, especially with storytelling and music/sound. And we have to get parents into it so it is more effective. Well done for you too

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thanks Marion,

Your right! Creativity and imagination are key to stimulating both parents and children. Story Stones creates a platform for discussion and freedom to build a story with your loved ones.

We can't wait to see Story Stones be taken to the community!

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Bernhard and team. Great project!
I really like that this game is portable. I think that adds to the appeal for families with small children as they may be on the move.
Have you considered repeating images, or image types on several stones? For example stones with images of small children, or adults - that a child can relate to? Also I can imagine a child or a parent using the stories creatively to make rhymes and songs which may have repetition. Lots of possibilities.
I also love the suggestion below for a blank stone.

From a practical point of view it might be good to consider that small children will put them in their mouth. What materials can be used that are non toxic and easy to wash off?
Good luck!

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Hi Bettina,

Thank you for your comment. Adding duplicate stones would be an interesting feature especially for larger groups playing the game. Your right the blank stones will certainly be a great addition to the game and will bring a new sense of mystery and anticipation of what stone will be added and when?

We are really looking forward to the feedback from the families to better understand their needs.

Photo of André Santos Correia
Team

Great use of local symbology, it gives the game a visual impact that couldn't be achieved otherwise.
Maybe you could think of some material that isn't acrylic, maybe something cheaper (that doesn't rely on high crude oil prices) and that once discarded can be absorbed back into nature.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thanks Andre,

The localised symbology was carefully selected to suit the intended community and culture allowing them to connect and identify certain animals or characters connected to local folk stories currently told, easing them into the storytelling process with very few instructions.

The media used for the Pilot Run will be manufactured from clear acrylic however for future development we aim to locate and contact local businessman and manufacturers close to the intended communities. Using natural and assessable materials to manufacture the stones in a sustainable way.

Photo of Uve Kindia
Team

The prototype stands outs, It defiantly brings a different dimension to creative story telling, more over the chances of creating and ending the story the same are slim. Its well illustrated making it fit for adults to play along side kids.

Maybe you should have gave the game an option where you can create your story stone to add that creative feel to the game but overall excellent idea.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thanks for your positive comment Uve!

You hit the nail on the head. The beauty of Story Stones is the interpretation and imagination of the player taking over, bringing endless ways of beginning or ending a story. Parents and children can play in harmony together to tell their own story, creating news characters, names and scenarios each time they play.

For the purposes of the Pilot Program we are sticking with the set of 60 stones provided in the box. However, for future development we would like to pass the manufacturing and distribution of the game to the community. This could build new connections across towns and villages brining them closer.

We are looking forward to the feedback from the Pilot Program in January!

Photo of Ayman Hanafi
Team

This is a great idea Bernhard. This game could lead to great things i.e stirring up the imagination, inspiring parents to interact with their children, making a great play pastime and all the while learning and creating new ideas. They are also concrete slabs, nice to hold and will inspire learning as children love to hold on to things and play with them. This is a perfect idea and let me know if my help would make a difference. Best of luck!

Photo of Chris Payne
Team

Thanks for your comment Ayman, this is what we want to do, encourage parents to interact with their children. We believe this is a key part in their early lives to stimulate them and this interaction is a key stage of their own personal development, like you said it stirs up the imagination and this is just letting the children express themselves which we believe is vital

Photo of Bidur Gurung
Team

Congrats Berns, Lee and the team for making to the refinement stage! You guys worked really hard for this. Brilliant idea, very engaging alongside creative and playful. This game very much reminds me of 3 word stories but in a physical form and it works very well. My favourite part of the Story stone is essentially everything! Great form social interaction and family time is well spent together, the outcome of the stories are always different and when going through the favourite part of the story, players are highlighting the key events thus learning through revision. So, what are your plans to develop this idea further? How can you enhance the user experience even better? Perhaps you could utilise the empty rear face of the card/stone for some short activities. Possibly be a short line of a song and players will continue through singing? Or could it be a very simple illustration for "Charades" game ? Or could be simply be a instructions on how to play the game itself? I'm sure you guys will come up with some interesting! Keep up the good work guys well done!

Photo of Arizona Vitoria
Team

Hi Bidur,

Thank you for your words; we tried to do our best in emotionally connecting parent and child so we could provide them a good development.
About your idea of making the most of the rear face of the 'stone', it could be interesting. However, we already thought about making a larger 'stone' just for the visual instructions of the game. And about what you said about using a short line of a song so they can follow it on, maybe it would be difficult for a child of that age to read it, so we though of making everything visual. Your suggestion regarding the illustrations sounds nice, everything has to 'talk' through images, so that way children can turn those images into words and knowledge. We'll keep your suggestions on mind so we can improve the user's experience to its fullest. Thank you!

Photo of Yee Ting (Christy) Chan
Team

great idea!!
this is like the game for all age group!! fun and educational!!

here are some little suggestion:
sometime giving a constrain might be easier for people to think of the story, give them a direction or even for different levels like easy, normal, hard?
this might give them something to achieve for

how about in every begining of a round, pick a card of a theme??
like forest, fairy tale or sometime freestyle ..etc

hope it helps

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Hi Yee Ting,

Thank you for your suggestions.

At this point in a child's development we want to provide them with as much freedom and creativity as possible to tell their own unique stories. Making links, placing yourself in the story and learning from others around you. This is what Story Stones is all about.

For future development, we may look into adapting the game to suit different age groups and abilities.

We are really excited for the Refinement Stage.

Photo of Betul Salman
Team

Nice idea. Very fun and differnt from what I've seen here on open ideo.
It reminds me of dominos and scrabble.
But I think maybe we can think about how it could help people and make a change. How can we help 1-5 year olds thrive

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Hi Betul,

Thanks for your comment. Our inspiration has always been the art of storytelling, bringing parents and children closer together, letting imaginations run free and provide a platform for creativity and discussion.

We decided to incorporate the domino-style stone because dominoes are known across the world, albeit in slightly different forms and gameplay but the base understanding of how the game works is clear.

We are really looking forward to the Refinement Stage to get Story Stones out into the world and played by our intended audience.

Exciting times for us!

Photo of Syed Mohammed
Team

This has got be my favourite! Making my own stories spontaneously and sharing them with family and friends were some childhood moments that I still remember and cherish to this day. I really hope to see this on the ground soon! Have you thought about whether adding colour to the stones would enhance the experience?

I see some of you are based in London - have you guys gotten in touch with the East London Bengali community as well? I think you may get a lot of the contacts and answers you're looking for from them.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thanks Syed for your comment and recommendation.

We have located a number of organisations within London with direct links to local communities outside of the UK, but will certainly look into getting in contact with the East London Bengali Community to consider collaborating.

The more pilots runs we can send out to local communities around the world, the richer the feedback and stories we will receive in return. This will help develop and expand Story Stones to reach and help as many communities as possible.

Colours are an additional feature we will look at at a later date. For now we are focusing on the pilot programmes.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi great idea, it reminds me of a similar initiative with dices, Rory's story cubes, I actually bought that dice set for me and my child to tell stories before going to bed. Check it out for more inspiration and/or possible collaboration: https://www.storycubes.com/

Cheers!

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hi! Maurizio, thank you for the link. How do you feel about the turn based approach to story telling? I believe the main strength of story stones is to include the children into the creative process, and to start conversations around the stories.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Hi Maurizio,

Thank you for your positive feedback, much appreciated. Another key feature of Story Stones is the reflection upon the story itself. Both the parent and child can pick and explain their favourite part of the story. This is the beauty of the turn based method as Bernhard previously stated, it gives each player the opportunity to express their own thoughts and opinions which is why such a diverse range of stories are told and shared.

It encourages the child to speak out building fundamental skills in life such as self-confidence and self-belief.

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Lee the idea is fabulous! Looking forward to see it available. We work with several hospitals and health facilities in different countries, we'd love to have some of those sets to distribute, especially in Anti-Natal clinics as reward for the completion of the visits for example. Of course for schools will do too!
Best of luck!

Photo of Dalv Mac
Team

I love Story Stones, I love the illustrations and I got a chance to play the game.
At the start myself and Naomi found it difficult to play and tell the stories. Gradually we got the hang of the game and it became very interesting. The game has endless possibilities and may different outcomes.

P.S. This reminded me of Monopoly (Never ending), but now I can say different.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Dalv, Thanks for your feedback.

We have made a short gameplay video to demonstrate how to play the game.
Did you see the video and did it help you to understand the gameplay better?

We still have to design the instruction, that are shipped with the game, it would be great if we could get your feedback on instructions as soon as we finished the design.

Its invaluable for us to get feedback on our instructions, because we want to make it as clear as possible. I am confident with the collaboration here on OpenIDEO and in the studio we will be able to produce the perfect instruction set.

Photo of Jonathan Joanes
Team

Yeah I was going to say an instruction document would be nice to support the game. It would be great for it to be purely illustrated, to help with any language barriers

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Yes good point, we had difficulties illustrating the idea and story process without words. I am sure there is a good way to get the concept across in illustrations. We just need more time to develop it.

Photo of Dalv Mac
Team

Yeah we both watched the video, we gained an understanding of how to play the game. As we gradually played we gained a better understanding. Jonathan has a great idea for the instruction document, so people with different barriers and knowledge can come to an understanding.

Photo of Felipe Bottrel
Team

Exactly! Thank you for your helpful insights here. We were really striving to get the instructions document clear without words, so it would be very helpful to hear Jonathan's idea, and others as well!

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

The instructions for this type of game need to be visual to cater for all languages, people and cultures. Story telling is an instinctive trait embedded in all of us. When the game is understood, the story telling and imagination will flow naturally.

Photo of Dalv Mac
Team

Exactly Lee, I agree. Everyone can understand visual instructions, no matter what country or background you are from. Once this is understood, the game becomes easier and nature to the person to play. Can be understood if only seen once the game can be played many times from seeing the instructions once.

Photo of Divya  Hirani
Team

When i saw this this idea, i was like yes that's a strong powerful idea. Allowing the children to tell their own stories in their own way. To move this idea forward could you after try get them to role play their stories? This will create another activity alongside the story stones.

Great work guys, Love the visuals =]

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Thank you Divya for your nice comment.

Roleplay would be a possible option to be included in the stories.
However at this stage in the project we would like to get the story aspect of the game right first before we expand.

I have the option written down and we will see where this brings us.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

The possibility of acting the story out has potential. Brings a new dynamic to the game.

We will keep this in mind for the future.

Thanks Divya!

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Bernhard, I love your concept and are looking at it beyond this ECD challenge. As practicing public health professional I and my team are faced with the challenge of how to deliver health and nutrition messages to influence behaviour change in a fun way that is engaging to the targeted audience especially the men, youth and children. Men are often accused of not supporting women in child care and health service provision and instead spend most of their time drinking and playing games with fellow men. I am interested in collaborating with you on applying this concept to nutrition education in Uganda. How can we move forward with the dialogue?

Thanks, Alex

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Dear Alex.

Thank you for your positive feedback, we are currently working on the 'Story Stones' pilot programme scheduled for release mid January 2015.

The best plan of action would be for us to arrange a meeting with you and/ or your team either in person if you have a representative in London or via skype.

We can then discuss what needs your projects may have and how we can collaborate together.

Lee Stopher, Bernhard Eiser and the Story Stones Team.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

We are in Kampala, Uganda. The best option is skype call. My skype: alexmokori

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Alex, Thank you for your quick response.

I will add you to my skype now.

I understand that you are 3 hours ahead in time difference.
We can have a quick chat tomorrow between 11:30 am and 15:30 pm GMT if you are free.

skype: burn-s

Thank you, Lee and Bernhard.

Photo of Valeria Fernandez Cortina
Team

Loved the idea congrats!

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thanks Valeria,

We are really happy with the response from the OpenIDEO platform. It is such a great way to collaborate with others to push your idea further.

Photo of Tino Elgner
Team

Hi Bernhard, in terms of making this even more viable from a financial perspective maybe you can think about a way in which "users" can add new stones to their initial deck to create more stories by expanding the game...thus, you create a longer lasting relationship with the customers which might increase the lifespan of the idea and product itself...

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Tino, great inspiration. This makes me think of editions that are relevant to the current happenings.

[Lets say in the west a particular character is currently popular with children through media, we could have a dedicated expansion pack related to this character (example: ninja turtles *grins*)] going even deeper storystones could licence existing characters from cartoons or other media.

Re-playability is already huge with storystones, but I agree that new content will definitely add to the life-span of the product.

Thank you!

Photo of Tino Elgner
Team

cowabungaaa ;)...that's exactly what I was thinking about

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thanks for your comment Tino. You have highlighted a path that we wish to pursue. Giving the community the freedom to create their own stones is key to ensuring longevity and sustainability.

We are hoping to send out a pilot run of the game to Sylhet, Bangladesh soon. To test the game with the intended audience in their own environment.

Photo of Marzia Benito
Team

I really like the product , i think it is an easy way to stimulate children and involve parents!! Regarding the symbols, i guess that depending on the country they should be adapted to fit their storytelling, but it seems to don't be very difficult nor expensive to produce new stones right?

Very inspiring! Thanks :)

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thank you very much Marzia for your comment. One of the main objectives of Story Stones was to help strengthen the bond between parent and child. We focused on a specific community to work with, in Sylhet, Bangladesh , basing the majority of the symbols on traditional folk stories and characters originating from their culture.

However you are right, the symbols could easily be adapted and changed to suit another community or culture. We want to encourage families and communities to produce their own stones to help push the storytelling process on beyond the standard symbols.

I look forward to your feedback and comments.

Photo of Kastriot Hasani
Team

I really like this idea and i had the chance to see it through the developing stages. The story telling stones are a great way of escaping reality and wonder off into a world of freedom. I do however think that the materials used for the stones could be new to the people in Sylhet. Maybe you could look at materials that they would encounter on a daily basis?

Photo of Felipe Bottrel
Team

Hi Kastriot! Thank you for the feedback, it is really important to the team. We are trying to figure this out in a nice way, using not only material they know, but to involve the community in the manufacturing processes. This way we could take advantage of local crafts expertise and materials, according to each community.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

We have identified a huge amount of garment manufacturing, that is happening in our target community. I agree with you in order to allow easy adaptation we shall use materials and processes local people are used to. The beauty of storystones is the flexibility of implementation. If we find a partner who works with fabric, we can adapt the design and make a fabric version.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

In addition, there are a variety of manufacturing process out there to choose from. Story Stones is flexible because it can cater for different communities with different skill sets. Icons/ symbols can be added to many types of media.

Getting the local community involved is key to the sustainability of this project.

Photo of Lisa Moran
Team

Love the idea of storytelling. One of the parents we interviewed for our idea was very adamant in having an open dialogue with her children and striving for that connection with them, outside of any material things she could provide for them or how much she could do as a parent to make sure they were educated within her means. This storytelling game would be a great way to create that type of dialogue and benefit parents and children of all ages.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Lisa, thank you for adding your insights to the conversation.

I am really glad, you pick up on this particular aspect of the game, creating conversation and a platform for meaningful discussion is our main goal with storystones.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for your insightful comment. It was at the forefront of our research and development to incorporate the idea of freedom and discussion into the Story Stones game, to actively engage and connect both parent and child in the storytelling process.

We are currently considering adding a small number of blank stones to the set. This would give each player the opportunity to add their own characters and objects to the game, whilst still forming a story from the pre-set stones.

We are really excited to push this project on!

Photo of Emmanuel Agu
Team

The idea is fantastic. it is both creative and straight forward for the understanding of young children. the idea of providing the children with with the power to create their own story using symbols on stones is great way of making them become expressive and teaching them to learning by associations with real life things is great.

maybe you could identify a stationary place in which it could be held... you might also look at how the parent could tell a real life story/event to the children using the stones..

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thanks for your comment Emmanuel!

Your right, Story Stones provides a platform for creativity and expression. We considered telling stories from old folk myths using symbols to represent certain characters within the story. However we felt this to be rather constrained and not allowing much freedom or creativity.

We want the game to push a child's imagination past what currently exists in their environment. To help them form and treasure their own stories and dreams to take with them into the future, and most importantly help them grow and thrive during this window of development.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Thank you Emmanuel for your great comment!

I think you are making a really important point here. To identify a space and also where and when parents, guardians and children pick up the game.

One of the great aspects of storystones is the encouragement of parents to start discussions, and meaningful conversations with young children.
We need to research, when, where and how does our target audience play the game.

Photo of Julia Starzyk
Team

Great job guys. Really loads of good work. I had this chance to see that and I can only share with you my experiance. Im not sure if that was a plan but I couldnt understand meaning of some of the symbols you have used. I guess its because you adapted some of the symbols.
Also I think you should consider symbols like heart being appropriate especially when players are to be different age and gender. One of my friends comes from Bangladesh and he said that there is plent of 'tabu' themes. Love etc is not something that should be shared in public. Maybe its not going to impact your work massively but probably something worth to be aware of.
Good luck with this project!

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Julia, thank you for your comment.
We did not intend a set in stone iconography, indeed as you said we want to leave space for interpretation.

In terms of the icon content, every one of our 165 (120 being used currently in a set) have been extracted from Bengali folk tales such as:

"The Fox and the Crocodile"- a folk story from Bangladesh
“The Naughty Tiger” Bengali Folk story
“The Glory of Prayer” Bengali Folk story
‘The Two Old Women’ ‘Tetan Buri and Boka Buri’ A Bangali folk tale told by David Heathfield

We hope those are appropriate, until we have established a good contact with the local community we need to rely on those sources.

If there are icons in the game that are not accepted within the community we will of course replace them.

Photo of Jonathan Joanes
Team

Great idea with story stones. I'm a particular fan of the simplicity of the game, giving the children to opportunity to express themselves using a visual stimulus.

I was thinking maybe the game could benefit from the occasional 'blank' stone. Drawing parallels from scrabble, the blank tile encourages the player to become invented with their word selection. Might be a nice opportunity for children to further their creativity through the game

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Amazing input Jono, thank you. I agree a stone similar to a Joker card would be brilliant.

We will in-cooperate this element in our next prototype, I will report back when we get some more insights on this.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Would be a really nice addition to the game. Thanks Jono!

This would bring a new dynamic to the game, removing any previous constraints with regards to the icon selection.

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

very, very interesting,let me visualize the idea and i will get back to you, very very creative and out of the box thought. nice.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thank you Waweru,

I look forward to hearing your thoughts to help us push this concept further.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Waweru, thank you for the reassurance that we are on the right track. Looking forward hearing more from you.

Photo of Sam Graham
Team

Loved the idea from the start of your project. Its easy to relate to as we have a similar games called dominos guessing you used this as am inspiration! well done

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Thank you Sam,

Ironically dominoes didn't feature until later on in the development process. We focused initially on storytelling, social interaction between parents and children, dreams and aspirations.

We wanted to use a world re-knowned game such as dominoes to provide a base level of understanding. This offers parents the opportunity to build upon past experiences passing on their knowledge to their children from the outset.

Photo of Khushwant Kasba
Team

Great work team

I went to India this year,

Families have two target, that I notice was education, and material good.
This stems from the marketing Companies in the adverts between films which there are lot of channels and Bill boards.

Indian Films and TV drama or soaps operas play, a big part to escape there hardships of ever day lives.

And notice that kids of around the target age of you project watching their favourite hero on TV at their home or whether around friend home, even in low income families.

Reminds of what happens in the great depression in the 30s in America films were an escape from everyday life.

Kid also act out and copying their moves, which they watched on TV, and in even in low income homes.

Can you somehow create a hero and villain in your story telling game.
All story telling have type of hero

Type this into Google, and see “bangladeshi cartoons for kids”.

From the Shakespeare to Indian and Bangladeshi cultures, storytelling has hero and villain to show empathy in story telling.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hi Kas thank you very much for your feedback!

As I mentioned in an earlier comment, while playing the game we also found that character based stones work exceptionally well.
I think the hero aspect of characters develops naturally while playing the game.
In every game I played so far, we developed some sort of heroic actions by characters.
I think this just again underpins the importance of character based stones.

Photo of Thiago Silva Viana
Team

Loved the idea, and I really think it has a great potential! I had the opportunity to play it a little bit with one of the team members and it was great. It is really good to play and it really can exercise your creativity. It must be rewarding to play it with children... You should really try to test the idea with young children!
Congratulations folks!

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Hello Thiago, I am really glad you enjoyed playing Story Stones. We will contact 'UKBET (UK Bangladesh Education Trust)' early next week for a potential pilot with story stones in Bangladesh. Additionally we have been in touch with the manager of the nursery at our university. Where we could potentially see what young children make of the game.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Hi Thiago, I'm really pleased you enjoyed playing Story Stones. We certainly had a lot of fun during the development of the game, the vast range of stories shared just goes to show the power of imagination.

As Bernhard stated in the previous comment. We are looking to collaborate with UKBET and will contact them soon to discuss the project and it's potential to be sent out to Sylhet, Bangladesh to run a pilot of Story Stones, implementing the game into a real community or Early Learning Centre to see whether the game is accepted, understood and most importantly fun to play, pushing the boundaries of their imaginations and aspirations.

Photo of Felipe Bottrel
Team

Hi Team! I just want to thank you all for the effort! It was amazing to work in this project with such talented people. Let's keep up the good work!

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Its been an absolute pleasure working with you all. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this project leads. Thank you for all who hard work throughout the entire process. Let's push this on further than we imagine!

Photo of Imran Williams
Team

This has truly been such an amazing journey to partake in. Thank you guys for the effort, support and skills that were prominent throughout this task. Lets see where this leads! Thanks again Team!

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Big applause to the team, its been a fantastic ride so far. Thank you again for your commitment, I believe the extra hours have really been worth it.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Recently asked Questions (Q&A outside openIDEO):

Q: Once all the stones are places on the board can there be a bigger picture?

A: Currently when all stones are placed each player reflects upon the story and picks their favourite element.

Q: Is there the opportunity to use local scrap or waste material?

A: We need to take additional care regarding material selection as children this age could potentially put the stones into their mouths.

A: Other than this issue we see the potential for working with scrap material.

Q: Can we include local artists and craftsmen to create new story stones?

A: We are looking to produce the first batch in collaboration with a local manufacturer, however as the project progresses we would like to give local artists, craftsmen and the community the opportunity to contribute in generating their own story stones related to their personal stories and experiences.

Q: How would people acquire this product?

A: Since this is a new game we need to first introduce the concept, once the concept is established, people can craft, produce or manufacture their own editions.

Q: How would the data provided be accessed and downloaded?

A: Data could be made available through the established early learning centres and also on the internet.

Photo of Bernhard Eiser
Team

Recently asked Questions (Q&A outside openIDEO):

Q: Is there a way to simplify the game, specializing in stuff they know?

A: We are focusing on implementing the Bengali language into the game, we are also researching local folk law and existing cultural stories to add more context.
In our most recent prototype we created new visual language reflecting the Bengali Sanskrit.

Q: Is the concept best suited to your location?

A: In our research we have identified an educational gap for early child education in Bangladesh.
Our concept helps guardians and parents to really strengthen the bond with their children, and generate positive conversation to educate through storytelling.

Q: How useful is this for education and interaction with parents?

A: Through stories parents learn what their children are currently thinking about.
Provoking a discussion will improve communication skills and vocabulary.

Q: Is it too Complicated for 0-5, and how will it influence them, how does it improve the development of speaking?

A: Children start to vocally articulate at approximately the age of 2, this game creates a safe environment to explore language and imagination, while interacting meaningfully with parents or guardians.

Q: Is there an opportunity for the player to create or trade stones to generate revenue?

A: We are looking to manufacture stones locally, potentially players could create their own stones and trade them. We are not looking to generate revenue ourselves from this project.
If a micro-economy around trading stones emerges, that is positive for the community, we will happily support that.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Recently asked Questions (Q&A outside openIDEO):

Q: Do you think the parents and guardians will understand the sign language you are using on your stones?

A: We conducted a cultural probe experiment presenting our prototype to a targeted group of adults/ parents giving us a greater understanding of the visual language of the stones.


Q: Bangladeshi men only mix with women at food times, how can you break the cycle or deal with this cultural condition?

A: It would be great if our game could solve this particular cultural element, however we feel that with this project we are targeting early childhood education and gender segregation might be out of our scope.


Q: What about adding words to the Icons?

A: We have considered the option to add words to our icons, after prototyping a version in Bengali sanskrit we came to the conclusion, that the interpretation of the icon is one of the most valuable elements of the game. Apart from the educational benefit of the interpretation process we are aiming to keep this game as inclusive as possible.

Q: What kind of stories do you want people to tell?

A: With our iconography we are promoting positive and engaging stories.
Story Stones gives players the opportunity to explore their imagination, the told stories should be those of the people, community and their surroundings.

Photo of Lee Stopher
Team

Recently asked Questions (Q&A outside openIDEO):

Q: How are the two sides of images connected?

A: The two sides on the stones are intentionally not connected to each other allowing the player to shape any possible story from their imagination.

Q: How will it be implemented?

A: Depending on possible collaborations with local ethical and community supporting businesses and manufacturers, we would adapt our artwork and manufacturing data, to be used in many mediums such as:

Paper and Card
Fabric
Wood
Metals
Stone
Recyclables

Q: What initiatives / projects are currently doing similar / or have a delivery model you could link with?

A: UNICEF is currently working on a number of early child development projects in Bangladesh, aimed at our target audience of children between 0 -5 years. Within this scheme UNICEF has established numerous Early Learning Centres where parents, children and communities come together. We believe that Story Stones will easily fit into this context.

Q: How could the manifestation of the idea be linked to local resources and skills?
(make it locally sustainably)

A: We are currently looking to collaborate with local ethical and community supporting businesses and manufacturers to produce a first batch of the game.

A: Once the game is established local communities and craftsmen could use their resources to create their own individual story stones.

Q: How can the visual stones help tell various and more diverse stories?

A: We have now crafted a custom set of icons that allows the player to interpret each symbol in their own unique way.