My name is Sofia and I’m a mom of three. Like all moms, I want my children to be well-rounded and emotionally healthy (not just leaving the house at 18 having memorized a bunch of “stuff!”).
I think there's a perception that teaching EQ (emotional intelligence) is complicated and requires a specialist, which results in only elite schools in wealthy areas exposing kids to EQ training. But the truth is, the fundamental principles of EQ are simple and just require practice and repetition.
My dream is to give every child access to tools for improving EQ, and eventually to provide them at no cost to those who can’t afford them.
After learning about emotional intelligence at Harvard, hosting educational tv, researching, and talking with parents all over the country, I decided to create a simple format for practicing these life-changing skills at home with your kids and in the classroom.
In the board game “Q’s Race to the Top,” children can help Q race to the top of his tree house by answering questions and performing fun actions. The questions are designed to promote feeling identification and verbalization, manners, social skills, creative thinking, balance, and coordination.
You Cards help kids identify and verbalize feelings, think creatively, and talk about behavior in a way that starts great conversations.
Do Cards may just look like silly actions, but studies show that in order to develop mental and emotional self-control-- two of the most important components of EQ-- children must first learn to control their arms and legs through balance and coordination.
Q Cards allow the players to advise the monkey, Q, on what he should do in various social situations with friends and family, thereby letting them practice good manners, coping skills, and adopting a positive attitude.
The boardgame includes:
- 150 fun question and action cards
- 4 colorful Q The Monkey figurines
- 1 big green dice
- Gameboard featuring the tree house Q built!
- The first storybook, Q’s Wild Ride
Q is a dusky leaf monkey who lives with the Wunder Family. Even though Q has a high I.Q. and inspires us with his genius antics, he often makes mistakes by not reading social cues, acting impulsively, or hurting people’s feelings. The first storybook in the Q series, Q’s Wild Ride is an action-packed adventure that gives us a lesson about interpreting other people’s emotions and thinking before we take action.
Q, his parents, and siblings Redmond, Mila, and Nugget have been brought to life by a talented Sony Pictures Imageworks illustrator named Brandon Jeffords, Head of Story from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.
A growing body of research suggests that improved EQ skills in children lead to better behavior and academic scores and are likely to lead to life success-- career, relationships, health and happiness.
"There is one thing more powerful than all the armies of the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." I think the revolutionary author Victor Hugo must have been talking about the movement that’s happening right here ;). More and more parents are looking for ways to educate the whole child, knowing that academics and linear thinking can only get you so far.
I can think of several instances in my childhood when I could have used more emotional intelligence. This is the game I wish I’d had as a child! My board game originated in the idea of giving parents the tools to help their kids navigate life in a fun—and affordable!—way.
I’ve been fortunate enough to benefit from the wisdom and expertise of many talented and successful people along the journey. The long and grinding process of researching, dreaming, and sketching took flight the day I interviewed my 20th illustrator and found the man who would bring my characters to life, the uber-talented Brandon Jeffords of Sony Pictures ImageWorks, Head of Story for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Check out his awesome packages in the rewards section!). My dear friends, Gary and Christy Winston, founders of the clothing brand ever/after, lent me their experience in styling and coloring the brand characters, while sculptor Grace Garcia and Pretty In Plastic created the first 3D print sculpt and prototypes of the Q figurines.
Q’s journey really took flight when Debbie Sterling, the CEO of GoldieBlox, gave me the idea launch on Kickstarter, then was kind enough to host me at her headquarters in San Francisco to share great insight on my manufacturing, hiring, design, and crowd funding process. Dan Shapiro, creator of Robot Turtles, personally recommended that I try his manufacturer, which in turn helped me navigate every aspect of the product design. Destiny Deas, CEO of Pacific Rim Strategies used her extensive network to connect me with the factory I ultimately partnered with in China, which has an extraordinary reputation and did a fantastic job of turning around my first game prototype. (My kids and I jumped on board and started learning Chinese last year so we could “do business” together.) To add to the family effort, my big brother, Fred Lidskog, Executive Producer for Outside Eyes, produced my Kickstarter video.
Meanwhile, a team of moms from all parts of the country that had been advising me and testing all my concepts with their kids for a year, started playing the actual game in it’s roughest, rawest form, and the response was AWESOME! You see, most parents have played Q’s Race to the Top on computer print-outs with blotted ink from apple juice spills and chocolate chips as game pieces, not colorful Q figurines and the fancy tree house game board that you fine folks will experience.
I want to express my gratitude for Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, whose success and personal encouragement got me on the road to Kickstarter. I hope that Q and Goldie will one day build great things together!
Special thanks to Timothy Ferriss, my muse and inspiration for "dreamlining" this into existence. I hope to meet him someday!
Deepest thanks goes out to my husband Reed for partnering with me on this adventure, to my awesome kids for all their help, and to my right-hand-woman Madeline Pourciau for making this effort possible!
Hopefully this long road I’ve described will lead to all of you getting the chance to practice EQ at home with your kids. While my Kickstarter goal aids in the funding of the board game itself, I don’t want to stop there! With your help, we can make Q come alive with animated videos, a series of stories, and interactive apps.
Risks and challenges
This is my first Kickstarter campaign, but I’ve spent the last year seeking advice from those who have been through the process and from managers of dozens of successful campaigns. As with any manufacturing run, there are potential pitfalls, but I have taken every precaution possible to safeguard against them. The Q’s Race to the Top prototype is 100% complete and ready for production. Our products will obtain all industry-standard child safety certifications before reaching your door.
Shipping is something that trips up many Kickstarter fledglings, so I am partnering with a fulfillment center in Kentucky for rewards packages and I plan to ship packages that contain just the Game & Storybook directly to you through a FedEx distribution center. SO GET YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING DONE HERE AND NOW!
Our manufacturing consultant, Pacific Rim Strategies, adds an additional layer of security to the process so we can meet our deadlines. They most recently launched dozens of product lines for a growing sporting goods company and oversaw millions of dollars worth of product shipments.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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