by Rachele Harmuth | 01 Jun 2023
Industry Commentary, Op-Ed
POST 6: MESH PRODUCTS - BRINGING CHILDREN AND THEIR ADULTS TOGETHER
Thinkfun turns their focus to the global youth mental health crisis and how play can make all the difference in protecting and strengthening children and teens. The company’s new initiative brings together stakeholders from all over the toys and games industry with the challenge: how do we build MESH (Mental, Emotional and Social Health) skills through play?
In this bi- weekly column for The Bloom Report, we will look into the different areas of this initiative in depth. This week we share an overview of the initiative.
According to the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the two most protective factors for teen health are school and family connectedness. The relationships that children and teens form with their teachers, coaches and adults at home can quite literally be the difference between life and death for them.
As children grow, a lot of their interactions with adults are instructive or corrective. Providing opportunities for fun and warmth protects and strengthens children. Even better for young people are chances to practice sharing time, communicating and problem-solving together.
Play is an early experience kids have with their adults that build their mental, emotional and social health. Offering experiences that continue those relationships through toys and games as they get older will help develop open, safe dialogue for a lifetime. Toys and games do this through:
“We all know that shared play experiences build bonds between children and their adults. Now, as we understand MESH, we can see that those shared experiences build skills as well that are essential to the development of resilience.” Rachele Harmuth, Head of ThinkFun.
For more information on the MESH initiative, please visit www.MESHhelps.org
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