A research group at the Department of Food and Nutrition, University of Helsinki, is developing a game app for the nursery school environment, with funding from the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (www.eitfood.eu). The purpose of the app is to make vegetables more appealing to children. Unlike regular games, the app has been built to support children in self-regulation and delayed gratification. The University of Helsinki is developing the game in cooperation with NordicEdu, a Finnish software development company specialised in gamified solutions.
The app is split into four seasons, each of which is further divided into three sections: exploration of vegetables under the guidance of an adult, recording of vegetable tasting sessions (taste bank) and mini-games that can be freely played in Mole’s World. The vegetables selected for exploration are grouped by season, broadly based on harvesting periods. Each season includes six vegetables that can be found in Mole’s World. A learning section intended to be used under adult supervision can be opened by tapping on the image of a given vegetable. The purpose is to talk about the vegetable, find out about its properties through various tasks, and play games.
Many of the tasks in the app can be carried out by a whole nursery group, but some are more suitable for smaller groups. Detailed instructions and additional material are available in the guide for teachers (download PDF version here).