We can strengthen kids’ MESH!
Have you been worried about the kids in your life? You’re not alone.
We set out (with the help of experts) to understand how we can build up our kids to be stronger and more resilient. And we found the answer in play!
You’re not alone.
We asked and experts answered! Here’s what they told us!
- Comfort isn’t enough. Fidget toys and plushies help kids feel better in the moment, but don’t set them up to handle tomorrow’s struggles with any more success.
- Kids need MESH skills to navigate their feelings and the unavoidable stresses they encounter. MESH means Mental & Emotional & Social Health.
- (This one is the best news!) Playing with toys and games can teach kids these MESH skills and strengthen kids now AND in the future!
Abigail Schlesinger, MD
Clinical Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Integrated Care
Western Psychiatric Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
How can toys and games build MESH skills? When they do any of these:
- Problem solving and perseverance.
- These develop children’s ability to identify and overcome obstacles.
- Encourage storytelling
- These build children’s self-advocacy, meaning their ability to explain what they’re experiencing to themselves and to others, growing their self-regulation skills in the process.
- Navigating new or increasing challenges over the duration of play.
- These strengthen children’s adaption and cognitive skills and motivates them to determine when to seek assistance.
- Draw children and their adults to play together.
- These strengthen children’s relationships and comfort to ask for assistance when they need it.
Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., New York Times Bestselling author of The Whole-Brain Child
The Center for Connection and Play Strong Institute
Read the MESH white paper HERE.