Teaching Empathy And Positivity: There Are Tools For That


Image: Kingston Productions

With technology and specifically entertainment, naturally comes the ability to reach a larger number of people in an engaging way, and there are a growing number of companies who are embracing the idea of using their platforms for edutainment. Two developers whose companies were consciously created from the seed idea of making the world a better place are Kicks and Stomps, which is using its platform to help raise healthier and more emotionally intelligent children, and The Bright Side Project, which helps the artists and dreamers among us get their voices heard through purchasing power.

For Kids: The Kicks and Stomps: Mission Impawsible iPad App is for kids aged 2-6 and features an entertaining story about hilarious and endearing, animated talking shoes. There is, however, a lot more than entertainment going on here. A significant dose of social and emotional learning is wrapped in this package. Emotional intelligence is just as important as math and science and can help our children develop empathy, get along with others, have less anxiety, and cope better.

This app is one of the first of its kind in parallax storybook format, a design that lets kids bring the fun to life at their own speed. Its rich, interactive environments pull children into a colorful new world that includes outrageous characters who band together to underscore the importance of teamwork. Through the shoes unique personalities, talents and appearances, kids learn to celebrate their differences along with their individual talents, while learning the value of working together as a team. 

For Adults:  At first glance, The Bright Side Project might seem like simply a “feel good” site with little merit, but upon closer look you will see an active community supporting unique artisans whose handcrafted products are often one of a kind. The editorial slant is that of witty repertoire and positivity as they maintain the idea that life is inherently beautiful. Brands and products are showcased through giveaways and in-depth looks at the artists behind the scenes as well as op-ed posts that support the theme. 

The creators believe that it is a conscious, intentional choice to focus on the bright side of life. They showcase philanthropic brands, bespoke goods and authentic artistry. The Bright Side Project firmly believes that purchasing artisan products is a powerful way to show support for the makers and entrepreneurs and dreamers in our society. It is a way to preserve the idea that consumers care about the faces behind the product.  

The Bright Side Project team also strives to encourage creativity within their community to inspire inner confidence and happiness. It's no secret that when people are happy they make better partners, employees, parents and friends. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that there is still good in the world and The Bright Side Project is the perfect site to honor that.

We have come a long way from using our computers to merely type documents, and from playing static video games to escape from reality. The ever-growing capabilities of our mobile devices have put technology (literally) in the palms of our hands. As consumers, what we have is the ability to put our money in the direction we want to take technology. By supporting apps and sites that strengthen our ability to grow as empathetic individuals, we teach our children that living within the age of technology can be a powerful tool for navigating this world in a positive way. This is a conscious choice each one of us can make every day. 

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