Strengthen Ethical Fitness!
Brixiples™ fills a gap - we spend only a fraction of the day with our children, reducing the opportunity to teach ethics by example. Children face ethical dilemmas all the time. When and how can we guide them?
Brixiples™ provides a forum where players discuss real-life scenarios with peers and one adult in a safe and supportive environment, all while having loads of fun! With 200 unique question cards the game is different every time. Parents are both surprised by their children's lack of knowledge and judgment on some questions, and delighted by their mature and thoughtful responses to others. Sharing experiences and ideas deepens empathy and acceptance. Kids crave a forum for talking about these confusing, frightening and controversial issues. The cards are peppered with fun instructions to role play, perform silly motions, and practice making up long apologies, so kids really love to play! Laughter alternates with seriousness as kids help their peers work through tough questions. Brixiples™ can be played at home with a parent, or in schools and organizations with educators and counselors.
Some Topics Covered on Four Card Decks:
- Academic integrity
- Respect for the environment
- "Opposing values" scenarios
- Standing up for peers
- Compassion for those with speech and learning challenges and physical disabilities
- Animal welfare...and much more!
- Tricky people
- Wild animals and pets
- Inappropriate/Unwanted touch
- Adults texting and driving
- Peer pressure
- Food allergies...and more!
Common Sense & Courtesy:
- Making new friends
- Skin color/race/religious diversity and tolerance
- Behavior toward persons with disabilities
- Courtesy in other people's homes
- Same-gender parents
- Transgender children...and much more!
This category provides an opportunity to alter the question format and give some unexpected twists.
- Practicing apologies with more than 10 words
- White lies
- Thoughtfulness, respect, compassion,
- Where our food comes from...and much more!
What You Get:
Game board, 200 cards in four categories, brick pallet tokens in 4 colors, heart tokens, four colors of wooden people, 2 dice, instructions.
The downloadable Sage Guide gives thoughtful suggested answers, background information, and main points of the questions. The Sage can be a parent, grandparent, educator, counselor, club leader - any adult! The guide will get you through all 200 questions with ease! Want a printed copy of the Sage Guide? See reward levels Compassion and higher!
Examples of Cards:
What are professionals saying about Brixiples™ after watching children play the prototype?
"A terrific game to help children practice ethical and safe decision making... A perfect way to provide opportunities to discuss difficult subjects in a developmentally appropriate and engaging way."
- Debbie Gibbs, Head of School, Lowell School, Washington, DC
"Brixiples™ is a wonderfully creative game that challenges children to think deeply about issues involving ethics, safety, and common sense and courtesy. Jackie has thoughtfully and skillfully integrated complex moral issues along with humor and enjoyment that captures children’s attention. The guide provides adult facilitators with important tidbits, research, and perspectives to facilitate healthy discussions with children of different ages. What a wonderful way to help our children develop and strengthen their moral reasoning and empathy muscles!”
- Dr. Sarah Sumwalt, Clinical Psychologist, Director of Social and Emotional Learning, Langley School
The Birth of Brixiples (or...Worry is the Mother of Invention):
Ethics has been a consistent topic in the news! Ethical breaches make headlines every day...was there hope that our children would behave any better?
I'm a mom, veterinarian, volunteer, and animal and child advocate. I see the greatest threat to our country from within as a disregard for ethics. Motivated to take action, I began researching how children learn to make ethical decisions, or how their moral compass calibrates. The term “Ethical Fitness” caught my attention. This concept can be thought of much like physical fitness.
How do we strengthen children’s Ethics Muscles?
A child may grow up hearing about values at home and in school, but unless they have a chance to flex their ethics muscles by facing moral dilemmas regularly, they won't always be ready to use good judgment. We want to encourage kids to do the right thing because they know it is right, not because they fear punishment.
Globally across cultures five core values* define ethics:
*Institute for Global Ethics
The Ethics questions in Brixiples™ are based on these values, as well as the “Golden Rule."
Children can become stuck when two values seem opposed. For example, if a friend shows them a gun smuggled into school, they may struggle with loyalty to the friend vs. safety. Many of the Brixiples™ questions address these dilemmas.
A concerned mom approached me at a party to tell me my seven-year-old was outside with a group of kids, unsupervised. I considered all the safety chats I tried to have with my son, only to see him put hands to ears in protest. How was I to teach him safety?
The context of a game provides a non-threatening forum for discussion of safety issues of all types, from fire to guns to bullying to inappropriate touch, and allows adults to gauge where knowledge needs a boost. Children feel empowered to handle potential dangers by engaging in these discussions.
Common Sense & Courtesy became a natural offshoot, as many questions that children face address kindness and appropriate choices and behaviors.
How to Play:
Object: Donate your pallets of bricks to build a Community Center between the Animal Shelter and Food Bank, by answering questions on four decks of cards. The first player to donate all their bricks and hold at least 5 hearts becomes the Wizard of Wise – but only once the shelves are filled with hearts! Play continues until all players donate all their bricks and earn hearts.
Click HERE to download the complete rules as they will appear in the box!
Brixiples™ is terrific for:
- Ethical societies
- Religious Organizations
- And other venues!
Game Development and production:
It took several months to research all of the topics covered in Brixiples™. I consulted educators and counselors, parents and kids. After writing and refining all 200 questions over and over, I started the design. Using colored pencils and paper, I designed the board, box, cards, and tokens.
My husband helped bring the designs to life on the computer, refine them, and format them for printing. We printed a game board, glued it to cardboard, and started play testing.
There were countless improvements and modifications with every group - the kids gave valuable feedback and I took it to heart. We even changed the game's name along the way. The head of my son's school said "We need this!" and endorsed the game after I showed her the questions and we played ourselves! I consulted with the Director of Diversity at my son's school. The game kept getting better and better, and really seemed to help kids open up. The name Brixiples™ comes from the union of bricks and principles, a name that highlights the idea of building community through good judgment. Kids love to say it!
Timeline and The How:
I found a printer that uses a green/eco-friendly process that meets Consumer Product Safety Commission standards as verified through testing. I'm working on the last design piece now, which is the graphic for the bottom of the box. I hope to have the first printing of games completed and shipped to me in late November, with games in little hands by mid-December (fingers crossed). After that additional orders will take another 9 weeks to print and deliver. I'll be packing up and shipping everything myself, with the help of as many elves as I can bribe with cookies.
Printing first run of Brixiples™ (minimum volume required) and delivery to my home......$4500
Development (professional prototypes, graphic design, fees)... $2000
Marketing and Rewards...$1500
I created an LLC (Dobranski Creative LLC), and a website (myself!), www.brixiples.com! I have applied for trademarks for the name Brixiples, my logo, and the tagline "Where good judgment builds community."
Visit my website HERE!
Click HERE to visit the Brixiples Facebook page!
Get sneak previews of cards on Instagram.
I'm also on YouTube! Click HERE to see my presentation to parents and faculty at Lowell School in Spring 2017. (The working title of the game was YooDoo back then.)
This has become my passion and calling. I hope you agree that this game can help children grow into ethical and kind teens and adults, and give them skills to recognize and navigate unsafe or confusing situations along the way.
Risks and challenges
I've never published a game before, but I've got a pretty good head for business and logistics. A possible risk is that the printer makes errors in production or fails to deliver according to the promised timeline. I expect that if errors are made they will be corrected, but this could affect delivery time. My aspiration is to have the games delivered by winter break, but no guarantees. If they show up at my house in time, I'll work like crazy to get them out right away so kids can start playing!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)