A toy for toddlers that eases “awkward” conversations about comprehensive sexuality education that should be normal and natural for you and your child.
Create a toy for toddlers that enable parents to select learning objectives for their children, enables the child to follow a learning path and reports progress.
Problem I Wanted to Tackle:
Comprehensive sexual education is overwhelming and challenging to teach children. and the current education system isn’t helping parents much. Only 24 states in the US require sex-ed, while 13 of those states only require that the information is medically correct. Where do you start to teach your child? How do you create trust and constant, open communication between parents and children from a young age?
Reading, Talking, Listening
I spoke with sex-ed educators, nurses, people who never had sex-ed, people who had “bad” sex-ed, parents who did and didn’t talk to their children about sex-ed, soon-to-be parents, and parents with toddlers.
I asked parents about their experience talking to their children about comprehensive sexuality education. I learned two things:
- It is tough to teach sex-ed to children because they learn differently at different ages. This makes it difficult for parents because they don’t know when their child is able to receive what type of information.
- Parents did not not know what to teach and talk about with their children. This is largely due to the fact parents felt they did not have the right tools to do so.
I know I should be going to the next step, but I don’t know how I’ll do it… It’s almost easier to avoid it.
Chris, father of a 4 year old child
Sex-ed has to be age appropriate, but I don’t know what that is anymore.
Veronica, sex positive mother of two
I covered a lot with my kids and always answered all the questions they had… having no sex-ed helped me be more upfront with my kids, but if I wasn’t a nurse it would have also been a lot harder.
Marcia, nurse and mother of two
I asked children ages 3–6 what their favorite toys and activities were. Three out of the four said they liked some sort of stuffed animal or carried one with them.
From there I knew my direction was stuffed animals, I explored what the stuffed animal would look and feel. As well as direction for what the stuffed animal could do and how it could help teach children since that is the goal.
Solution: How does it work?
My main goal was for parents and children to develop open communication from the beginning. Because if that behavior starts happening at a young age, it would become much easier and comfortable for children and parents to talk about whatever they wanted.
The bunny is connected to bluetooth in order for the parent to choose and track what their child will be learning with the bunny. The bunny has a “question” button where the child is recorded asking the bunny a question. The parent can better prepare an answer the question for their child by hearing the recording on the app to better prepare the answer.
App & Systems Diagram
bunnybuddy cannot teach a child everything. In the app there are also comprehensive sexuality education lesson plans that are from Planned Parenthood that can help with teaching children by breaking down and going in depth about consent, growing bodies, LGBT+ inclusive education and more.
I would love to do more user testing around the toy and how it could possibly work. Thinking more about what the interactions between the child and toy would look like.