SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SKILLS AT THE HEART OF THE PIKKULI BRAND
Pikkuli content – animation series, books, and emotion cards, as well as applications – are already in use in many kindergartens around Finland. In addition to Finland, the distribution of pedagogical content is aimed at international markets, as the Pikkuli animation series is already known in dozens of countries.
20 experts of the early childhood education from Finland
A nationwide network of top early childhood education professionals has been gathered around Pikkuli to develop a unified Pikkuli pedagogy. About a hundred applications were received by the Pikkuli pedagogues’ developer network, from which 20 experts were selected to create a basis for Pikkuli pedagogy. “The animation series was made as touching and fun as possible, and the educational use has come afterward. That is why we need a pedagogical model around the Pikkuli stories and also comprehensive teaching packages for children of different ages,” says Metsämarja Aittokoski, Pikkuli’s developer.
Pikkuli the character with a unique learning profile
Pikkuli TV series development started in 2013. “We weren’t planning to produce an educational concept back but after the production was ready in July 2015 we contacted Turku University Department of education. The researchers analyzed all 26 episodes and, according to that study, the Pikkuli TV series can be used especially for teaching social and emotional skills. With Pikkuli the children can learn to identify and name feelings, as well as learn social skills like teamwork and problem solving,” says Metsämarja Aittokoski. After that study Pikkuli got accepted to xEdu, which is an accelerator of educational start-ups, operating in Finland. There are also experiments made with the autistic children how holding Pikkuli toys help them: “Getting to know the character from the TV series helps kids with sensory defensiveness disorder like the child who doesn’t like to be touched or cuddled”, explains Metsamarja.