Fun and educative

Debarati Palit Singh
Sunday, 26 May 2019

Sheetal Parekh, who has launched The Pretty Geeky, says why STEM based educational games are helpful for children

Think card games and you can recall a variety of them. From Go Fish to Spit, there are many types. Now, imagine engaging your children in games that are not only entertaining but educative too. The Pretty Geeky, STEM based educational game for kids, focuses on that. 

Launched by Sheetal Parekh, these games are essentially super fun, easy, unique and attractive card games that reinforce academic concepts of the STEM subjects. 

“Typically, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) games are based on educating children in one or more of these disciplines,” says Parekh adding that each of these games comes with an engaging story of its own and are targeted at girls. They also encourage logical reasoning, strategy and critical thinking through non-screen play. 

We chat up Parekh to know more. 

Why did you decide to launch The Pretty Geeky? 
I’m a mum to a precocious nine-year old girl. While doing research on kids’ education, I read that girls are not taking up the STEM subjects and one of the reasons is because, typically, most girls’ toys are not designed to getting them to solve, strategise and conclude. Given that most future careers will need proficiency in at least one of these subjects, it seemed imperative to change that statistic.

I also come from a family of doctors. So, science and math come quite naturally to me. But I have been an advertising professional for many years and thinking out-of-the-box is something I love doing. When all of the above dots joined, The Pretty Geeky was born! They are beautifully designed math and science card games (tech and coding to follow soon) that help reinforce academic concepts in a super fun way. 

How helpful are these games for children?  
Learning STEM subjects equips you with STEM skills or ‘21st century skills’ which are key in today’s workplace — problem solving, analytical thinking and creative application. Which is why STEM games will go a long way in paving the path to creating critical thinkers and raise the next generation of innovators and explorers. 

While designing these games what did you keep in mind?
I believe for an idea/ product to work, three things are key — the target audience, simplicity and relevance of the idea, and a compelling way to convey the idea. 

We’ve designed The Pretty Geeky games keeping the same things in mind. They are very attractive, simple to use and understand, help reinforce academic concepts in a manner that will appeal to girls between the ages of 5-11. I believe if children are introduced to concepts in a way that is more play and less ‘study’, they will not just understand them but even start to enjoy them. 

There are several brands which are into STEM based educational games. What makes The Pretty Geeky different?
A couple of things. One, they are designed keeping in mind, girls. And I don’t mean just in terms of colours (not too much pink and purple, in fact) and ‘princesses’. For instance, while doing research I found out that girls display stronger verbal and communicative skills and hence are more interested in things if they have a story or a context.  The ‘why’ of things is important for them to want to know the ‘how’. Also, girls get more invested in people/ characters — one of the reasons why Peppa Pig, Thea Stilton, Nancy Drew are big hits with them. Which is why all The Pretty Geeky games boast of a gang of three regular but adventurous, curious and fun-loving girls. And each game comes with a story. The games are even titled like ‘books’. 
Being card games, they are easy to play anywhere (no installing things, no big space required). A flat surface, mum, dad or friends and laughs is all you need. They make for great travel companions (because holiday time is also when academia tends to get rusty), perfect party return favours (ones which mums too will appreciate and can be played again and again), educational tools (some international board schools have already started using them). 

Can you share your brand’s future plans? 
The future looks exciting. The Pretty Geeky was launched just a while ago and the feedback has been very encouraging. There are currently 3 math games and 2 science games on the roster. We hope to increase that number and start adding a few coding (yes non-screen coding is possible) games too.  

We’re on Amazon now and as far as offline goes, we’re currently available at a few book stores, toy stores and co-working spaces and are in talks with some more across the country.  

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