The family is playing the Story Game on the Memo

Story Game - Social Emotional Skills Development on the playground

Extensive research over five years commissioned by the City of Rotterdam (known as “Staat van de Jeugd”) has revealed that we can foster resilience in children by emphasizing key protective factors. Social-emotional skills development is a critically important protective factor for youth. We have an incredible opportunity to make a positive, preventative, and accessible contribution to our youth's bright future.

Published: May 16, 2022, edited: May 8, 2023
est. reading time 4 minutes

Why the ​Story Game?

Staat van de Jeugd. 2020, Staat van de Jeugd |​ The Story (Maker) Game for the Lappset Memo Interactive play pillars is the first playful step from the playground into the living room towards social-emotional skills development for children, parents, and teachers. Aimed at children aged 3-6 on the Lappset Memo Interactive play pillars. It lets children create their own short stories and reflect and learn from these stories. These stories revolve around themes and situations close to children’s experiences and situations. The game can be played alone or with a family, in larger groups, and in school classes.​

Summary of the Story Game

With the help of Sem (Social Emotional Mentor), they can select different parts of the story by choosing one of three randomly selected icons on every pillar. Every pillar has a topic: location, time, person, object, action, activity, and emotion. When the players select one of these story pieces, a car, for example, the storyteller will announce their choice with a clue (“car”) of what the players can expect during the story. This single word will transform into a more significant sentence during the story. The players will need to move between the different pillars to select the story pieces.

The physical activity makes the story game educational and a healthy exercise. Sem is their guide, subject, and storyteller, giving players a safe person to identify with while making these stories. After every story, Sem will ask the players about their experiences, emotions, and how they would respond. Players can then take this fun story home and create a fun starting point for parents and guardians to talk about emotions in a fun and safe way. More than 1500 stories are made one 50 locations every week in the Netherlands.

The steps:

  1. Listen to the introduction
  2. Find the next pillar, Choose 1 of 3 icons, Listen to the clue of the story part​ , and go to the next pillar​
  3. Finish the story
  4. Listen to the story, listen to the reflective question, discuss with the group,​ and repeat the story or make a new story

Three core​ factors

Three factors stimulate the development of social-emotional development, and they need each other in the development of social skills. ​

​Without a good Educational climate, children stagnate in their personal development. Without self-steering, one can become too absorbed in the other. Without empathy for the other and yourself (mentalize), you don’t learn to handle social situations well; understand what others want and how you can influence your relationships (order of intentionality).​

Educational​ Climate​

By the climate of upbringing, we mean the environment in which children instinctively grow up until 3-4 years. In a good climate, children do not experience stress and separation anxiety and learn to attach; this gives them a buffer to develop life skills for the rest of their lives. ​

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From the 2nd year of life (when they start to move), children begin to master the theory of mind or mentalizing and learn that multiple perspectives on life are possible. Thus, children learn to empathize with others, and they also become aware of their own feelings and their own position.​


Self-steering is the ability to look for solutions in any situation, regardless of the stress. It is the confidence/belief in your own ability to succeed in specific situations or in accomplishing a task. ​

The young adults​ of tomorrow

By developing these core factors, young adults will grow and have a better:​

  • Self-awareness​
  • Social awareness​
  • Self-management​
  • Goal-oriented behavior​
  • Relational skills​
  • Personal responsibility​
  • Decision-making​
  • Optimistic thinking

Children playing the Story Game on the Memo

Children playing the Story Game on the Memo

The Perks ​of a Memo Game​

Play = the language of children. In it, they show everything, what they like, what is unpleasant, etc. In the game, the child gets space for himself/herself. You can determine things yourself and get freedom, which is very healing. Children get a grip on situations through this (Bea Tammiga, play therapist). ​

The game is embedded in an innovative way in the educational context, whereby we connect as much as possible to the experiential world of preschoolers (learning by moving and playing). We also consider the need for parents and teachers to fit social development into outdoor play.​

Memo interactive play Jyväskylä Puhuhuhta Finland

Memo interactive play Jyväskylä Puhuhuhta Finland

Learn more about the Lappset Memo Interactive play pillars 

The Lappset Memo, Interactive play pillars, consist of a playing field and seven columns equipped with a 360° LED touch screen that shows minimalistic arcade-like visual effects. The Lappset Memo Interactive play pillars provide a lot of fun in a confined space and encourage gamification. Gamification is the application of game thinking and game techniques and shows you can quickly learn new things without using guides or manuals.

Click here to learn more about the Memo

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