There is substantial educational research on the benefits of play, designed learning opportunities and experiences that incorporate play, and ways that collaboration through play creates opportunities for teachable moments in children's lives (Resnick 2004). Our research is based on this foundation, using participatory design methods coupled with hands-on learning to create games and activities that teach kids and their families the fundamentals of good nutrition and dietary choices.
During the generative research phase we developed games and activities in collaboration with the kids. Starting from the point of view of the learners leaves room for individualized interactions and distinct modes of game play, in which players can create their own ways of personalizing the core content to make the information resonate in their own lives.
Our research team is motivated to understand the ways children learn to understand health and wellness and how their lifestyle behaviors are altered by their interactions with the games. This paper highlights the value of qualitative evaluation of product development and suggests ways that seemingly simple design interventions can improve the effectiveness of the product.