An Animated Video Answering Kids Questions About COVID-19
Happy at Home: How Kids Can Cope with the Coronavirus
As Alex and I have been trying to help our girls understand why all of a sudden we are going through so many big life changes due to COVID-19, we got the idea to create a short animated film about it. Our goal was to convey some of the core messages we adults are hearing, but in a less scary and more kid-friendly way. And to show what life looks like for kids right now, being at home for school, play, and family time.
We had always planned to do animated films or short video episodes, but we figured that would be well down the road after we launched our first series of apps. However, what we learned in early conversations with our educational advisors – and then saw later in our Letter Meadow focus groups with parents and children – is that kids playing the app really gravitate towards the Wonder Bunch kid characters. They like to hear them talk and they listen closely to what they say. Ruby, Leo, Molly, and Finn are just a little bit older than our mostly preschool players. We think of them kind of like the kids we looked up to when we were little and wanted to be like when we grew up. So, we thought, maybe our kids and your kids would listen to the Wonder Bunch kids when it comes to how to be happy – and healthy – at home right now.
We wrote and created the Happy at Home animated film from the Wonder Bunch kids’ perspective. While they are also playing, connecting, and having fun, of course, Ruby, Leo, Molly, and Finn take your kids through a full day and demonstrate a number of things including:
• How to keep a routine: Ruby wakes up, gets dressed, and eats breakfast every day so she can have a good attitude and focus on her schoolwork.
• How they are learning: Learning for the kids takes place both at a table or desk doing schoolwork and through creative projects and observing nature outside.
• How they are helping their parents (some of whom are working): Leo helps keep his sister occupied while his mom gets some work done. He also helps his dad make lunch and does household chores.
• How to practice healthy habits: From washing their hands to maintaining social distance and eating their veggies, the kids demonstrate how to avoid spreading germs and how to stay healthy.
Since the background artwork in our first series of apps is specific to each game and takes place in the outdoors, our artists had to get to work drawing each child’s home environment, and then our animators helped us quickly bring them to life. Within the apps, the kids are world travelers. However, to tell the Happy at Home story, the kids live next door to one another in the city. It was a fun and exciting challenge for our whole team to create the film together. And, yes, maybe a distraction from thinking about our own grown-up fears. We hope to make more Wonder Bunch animated films in the future to help our kids and yours learn even more outside of the apps.
You can watch Happy at Home right now here and we would love to hear what you think of it! Please send us a note through our Contact page or through Facebook or Instagram. Feel free to share the film with anyone you think might need it right now. There’s also a Spanish version of the film at this link.
Thanks for watching! We hope you and your loved ones are healthy and as happy as you can be at home right now.