Smart Heart, a revolutionary board game created by psychologists to develop emotional
intelligence in children, is set to change the way many children express themselves and
interact with others!
The interactive game, which makes use of picture and word cards that assist children in identifying and communicating their feelings, aims to facilitate and foster mental and emotional health while encouraging children to think for themselves and create solutions to their problems.
Reasons to love it:
- Created by Christine Kritzas (Counselling Psychologist) and Dr. Saliha Afridi (Clinical Psychologist & Managing Director at The LightHouse Arabia), who are both practising psychologists at The LightHouse Arabia in Dubai.
- Develops emotionally intelligent kids
- Facilitates emotional expression and builds emotional literacy
- Strengthens self-regulation, fosters empathy and improves social skills
- Maximizes the quality time spent you spend with your child
- Provides parents with a great tool to have more meaningful conversations with their kids and to learn about their experiences on the playground, in the classroom, on the sports field, on play dates and other contexts.
- Suitable for kids aged 4-11 years
How it works:
As players move forward on the board, they land on one of three options:
1. Talk-Talk cards: answering questions that are anchored in emotional intelligence, e.g. Why should you say thank you when someone gives you something? Or: A girl is playing by herself at break time. How could you include her in your game?
2. I feel...when... cards: talking about a time when they felt the same feeling that is represented on the card, e.g. I feel embarrassed (or scared, or jealous etc.) when...
3. Pic-Tales cards: describing or telling a story about the picture on the card, e.g., a picture of a child playing by themselves on the playground, or a child standing in the middle of two adults arguing.
A few tips:
It is important to note that there is no right or wrong answer, only the experience as perceived by the person answering.
Each game also includes a Curious Conversations Booklet which serves as a guideline for adults to create a safe space for children to express their thoughts and feelings. It includes additional questions to ask that will elicit meaningful conversations around feelings and encourage further storytelling, as well as meaningful disclosures. It also highlights the differences between validating vs. dismissive statements and shares examples of each.
In essence, Smart Heart® aims to facilitate emotional expression, build emotional literacy, strengthen self-regulation, foster empathy and improve social skills in children.