The Big Tree App
The Australian Childhood Foundation has launched a new app to support children to have fun while they practise calming techniques and listen to stories that teach them problem solving strategies.
The app, called ‘The Big Tree’ is specifically designed for children under eight years of age. Featuring the voices of our patron, Chris Hemsworth, our ambassador, Nadine Garner, and Chris's mum Leonie Hemsworth, it uses narratives, games and creative activities to help children learn how relationships can support them to meet challenges which can feel overwhelming on their own.
“Research tells us that all children need a strong sense of belonging and connection with carers and family to develop important regulation as they grow up. The Big Tree app is a beautiful and playful way for children to be part of stories that show the importance of connecting to others while solving problems that seem at first to be insurmountable,” said our CEO, Dr Joe Tucci.
“The Big Tree app, which was originally funded by the Telstra Foundation, was initially developed for children suffering from trauma and trialled in our specialist counselling services. We know the app is beneficial to all children because its themes and activities are universal and easily understandable to them and their carers.
“The central stories about trust, respect and love show children that challenges can be overcome and that seeking out people who care about you when you are unhappy, stressed or confused can help you feel calmer,” said Dr Tucci.
The Big Tree incorporates four core narratives featuring four main characters; Morten the Monster (voice of Chris), Ellen the Caterpillar (voice of Leonie), Ollie the Monkey (voice of Chris) and Sleepy Susan the Cat (voice of Nadine), each of which helps children to consider the emotions and thoughts associated with challenges that come to be resolved through the support of friends.
Each of the stories has an interactive game element that engages children in using breathing relaxation techniques and shared playful activities with their parents and/or carers.
The Big Tree App can be downloaded from iTunes for $4.49 with all funds raised supporting our work to support children affected by abuse and family violence.