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Amid a mental health crisis, toy industry takes on a new role: building resilience
As more children emerge from the pandemic grappling with mental health issues, their parents are seeking ways for them to build emotional resilience
NEW YORK (AP) — As more children emerge from the pandemic grappling with mental health issues, their parents are seeking ways for them to build emotional resilience.
And toy companies are paying close attention.
While still in its early phase, a growing number of toy marketers are embracing MESH — or mental, emotional and social health — as a designation for toys that teach kids skills like how to adjust to new challenges, resolve conflict, advocate for themselves, or solve problems.
The acronym was first used in child development circles and by the American Camp Association 10 years ago and gained new resonance after the pandemic. Rachele Harmuth, head of ThinkFun, a division of toy company Ravensburger, and resilience expert and family physician Deborah Gilboa, formed a MESH taskforce earlier this year with the goal of getting manufacturers to design toys with emotional resilience in mind and to have retailers market them accordingly.