Pikkuli content – animation series, books, and emotion cards, as well as applications – are already in use in many kindergartens around Finland. A nationwide network of top early childhood education professionals has been gathered around Pikkuli to develop a unified Pikkuli pedagogy. In addition to Finland, the distribution of pedagogical content is aimed at international markets, as the Pikkuli animation series is already known in dozens of countries.
At the heart of the brand are social and emotional skills
About a hundred applications were received by the Pikkuli pedagogues’ developer network, from which 20 experts were selected to create a basis for Pikkuli pedagogy. “The animation series was made as touching and fun as possible, and the educational use has come afterward. That is why we need a pedagogical model around the Pikkuli stories and also comprehensive teaching packages for children of different ages,” says Metsämarja Aittokoski, Pikkuli’s developer.
Remote meetings in active use
The inaugural meetings of the developer network were held as video calls. “Remote meetings were a great solution! If there had been no gathering restrictions caused by the corona, we would probably have started with meetings in southern Finland, which would have eliminated some great participants. In addition, everyone is now used to working remotely, which enables full cooperation both in Finland and internationally. I think this is a good indication of how companies can adapt to interest rate restrictions,” describes Meri Seistola, the operational director for the educational developers’ network.
Pikkuli TV series development started in 2013. “We weren’t planning to produce an educational concept back but after the production was ready in July 2015 we contacted Turku University Department of education. The researchers analyzed all 26 episodes and, according to that study, the Pikkuli TV series can be used especially for teaching social and emotional skills. With Pikkuli the children can learn to identify and name feelings, as well as learn social skills like teamwork and problem solving,” says Metsämarja Aittokoski. After that study Pikkuli got accepted to xEdu, which is an accelerator of educational start-ups, operating in Finland. There are also experiments made with the autistic children how holding Pikkuli toys help them. “Getting to know the character from the TV series helps kids with sensory defensiveness disorder like the child doesn’t like to be touched or cuddled,” says the study.