Kunal Botla and Aveen Nagpal

TheraPlay creates a set of materials, inspired and based on Montessori materials, to act as a method of initiating and facilitating communication and conversation between a child 5+ years old and an adult. Conversation and expressing emotions to an adult is often difficult for young children just grasping emotions and language. As a result, children may keep thoughts and emotions to themselves, impacting their overall mental health and feeling. Utilizing color, texture, and shape, TheraPlay attempts to help solve the lowering quality of mental health in children 5-11 over the pandemic and the 20% of untreated mental issues that exist in one-fifth of children, before the pandemic, according to the American Psychological Association.

TheraPlay uses prompts to start and associates color with emotions to draw initial attention while using texture and shape as a point of engagement and a conversation starter. Based off the conclusions about color by Chattanooga, Tenn. (2021), texture by Iosifyan & Korolkova (2019), and physically polling students on color and texture using samples of materials.