ThinkFun Creates MESH Program for Kids’ Mental Health

For quite a while now, the educational toy market has focused a lot of attention on STEM and STEAM items, getting kids interested in science, technology, engineering, art, and math, and how they all work together. This has warmed my little nerdy heart.

But since the pandemic started, priorities have shifted. Everyone’s mental health has been affected, and children’s probably most of all.

To that end, ThinkFun has devised something called the MESH scoring system, to create—and encourage other companies to create—toys and play opportunities that help kids with their mental, emotional, and social health, “to build resilience and protect their mental health.”

They have also created a task force that members of the industry can join to promote these objectives. They’ve also published a handy white paper entitled “Building Products with MESH in Mind” explaining the program in full. Here’s a brief and more digestible description from the press release:

Rachele Harmuth, Head of ThinkFun, worked with physician, professor and resilience expert Deborah Gilboa, M.D. – also known as “Dr. G” – to research and publish “Building Products with MESH in Mind.” Dr. G shares research about the state of mental health in the United States, and equally important, shares encouraging news on how to improve kids’ mental health and build resilience. Gilboa underscores the power of play in developing MESH skills, including problem-solving, self-regulation, conflict resolution and communication strategies. Learning these types of skills teach children to identify and overcome obstacles, explain what they are experiencing, and ask for help when they are stuck.

Related Post

You can get a quick overview in their YouTube video:

This is pretty exciting. I’ve been a fan of ThinkFun games and logic puzzles for years, and they’ve consistently created products that straddle the educational/fun “divide” (I find education to be fun, thus the quotes). I’m sure lot of their existing games would also promote the MESH concepts, and keeping these concepts in mind as they create new products will provide new ways to improve well-being through play.

I’m always interested in learning how play can help people (of all ages!) improve their mental and physical health. If you, too, are interested in these concepts, I also encourage you to check out my review of The Secrets of LEGO House here at GeekMom.

If you’re in a position to join ThinkFun’s task force, check out for more information.

I encourage all parents whose children have been affected by the pandemic (and who hasn’t been?) to look at some of the above resources and see how you can create more positive play experiences for you and your children, helping them adapt and heal from experiences from the past few years.

Liked it? Take second to support GeekMom and GeekDad on Patreon!

This post was last modified on March 29, 2023 10:13 pm

Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is Editor-in-Chief of GeekMom and an Editor at GeekDad. She is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, facilitating the education of her two wickedly smart kids, losing herself in history, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

Published by

Recent Posts

GeekDad: Portable DAC/AMPs — The iFi Go Link and Go Bar Are Super Portable Gear for Making Your Headphones Sing

The magical interplay between music files, the devices they are stored on, and the equipment…

May 27, 2023

Be the Artist 2023 Asks the Question, “But Is It Art?”

This summer's Be the Artist series is coming soon with some well-known types of art…

May 27, 2023

GeekDad: ‘The Time Nature Keeps’ — A Book Review

Those lovely people at Experiment Books are back with Helen Pilcher’s The Time Nature Keeps. It…

May 26, 2023

Celebrating 65 Years of BRIO Trains!

Live out your childhood dreams, on your own or with your child or grandchild, with…

May 25, 2023

GeekDad: Click That Brick! The LEGO Icons Pac-Man Arcade Set Is Coming Soon

Pac-Man originally hit arcades on May 22, 1980, and now Pac-Man fever is hitting again…

May 24, 2023

GeekDad: Spiritune: Music Mood Wellness That Works

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to bring attention to the importance of…

May 24, 2023