We are so happy with Development on New Pre-school Project
Penny P Pug is a passion project for pre-schoolers I have been working on for many years in different forms, inspired by my daughters and my dogs.
Now, with the support of the OMDC IDM Fund, The Pet Network, The Bell Fund, and an amazing team, I have been able to bring to life this adorable puppy character based very loosely on my own little rescue puppy – Kilo the Pug.
Penny P Pug Character
Penny P Pug is an adorable 4-year-old girl in a pug puppy body. She has many mannerisms and physical attributes of a puppy but incorporates human behaviors and thoughts.
Penny P Pug is curious, friendly, loveable, and full of fun. Just like my Kilo the Pug, she enjoys discovering things, performing and playing games, and she wants to be big (except when snuggled on my lap). She loves her family and treats. Penny and her Pals are full of energy and unbridled enthusiasm, except when they are asleep in a heap snoring loudly of course. Their antics are always endearing, and often hilarious- pugs are always snorting and snoring.
Penny P tries hard, but she is not always a model of perfect puppy behavior. Paralleling the world of preschoolers, Penny sometimes has trouble with focus and patience. She makes mistakes and occasionally doesn’t really like sharing or taking turns or following instructions. Her exuberance gets her into some pretty messy, muddy scrapes and she often gets distracted. Penny P Pug is a role model for kids learning to process new and exciting, sometimes overwhelming sights, sounds and feelings.
Penny P Pug World
Each new day is an adventure, as Penny explores the world around her with her adopted older brother Digger the Dachshund starting with their suburban back yard. Their world will expand to puppy school, the park, the library, and a few other locations. Their Pug Mom is in the background setting the stage for adventures and available if they are ever really barking up the wrong tree.
The stories are shared in multiple ways, including a picture book and demo iPad app that keep the kids entertained.
The first story is a really fun Pirate Treasure Hunt. Mom has left out a map and three clues around the garden and buried a treasure for Penny P and Digger to find.
Mindfulness and Storylines
Many kids starting pre-school have trouble with focus and mindfulness. Part of improving focus is reducing or controlling stress and frustration, and learning through play and role models. Penny P Pug is given the challenges and tools to help with this in each story and in games. The kids liked and started to anticipate and repeat the catch phrase “Let’s take a Paws and think things through, Then we’ll know just what to do….
Focus Group and Other Research Feedback
July marked a huge milestone for Penny P Pug. We shared the characters, the first story, the song and one of the first games, with excited kids ages 4 to 6 and friends.
We received lots of praise from the kids about the illustrations and characters of Penny P and Digger and the adventures Penny P took them on.
Kids seem to just love anything on an iPad, so bringing technology and story-telling together was a really engaging experience. Any parent knows that pre-schoolers can get distracted very easily, so it was great to see Penny P’s story hold their unwavering attention most of the time.
Several parts of the story involve solving clues and following instructions and a map, and the little ones were so smart trying to figure them out. They gave us valuable insight on how they think and play.
Some great lines from the kids that day included “I want to play it again!”, “Wow! I like the crocodiles and when Penny P picked up the hose and sprayed herself ” and “I liked when they found the treasure”.
Everyone had so much fun reading the story aloud and playing the related splash to 20 and maze games . We did crafts and ate snacks together while immersed in Penny P’s world of fun and imagination.
We have finished the first phase of development on the iPad Apps and will be looking for production funding.
We have a wonderful draft of the picture book that we will be testing further. We also have 5 more stories in the pipeline- a scavenger hunt, meeting new friends in the garden, an ill-fated play date and trips to the park and library.
We are working on development of the animated TV series.
We have a demo website with games, songs, blog posts for moms and various activities for kids ready.