Date: February 2009
LaunchHER says: The mission behind Kimochis is so much more than a business plan. It is a plan to help children process their emotions. Something the founder couldn’t resist to do after witnessing tragedy. Sometimes that is what it takes to launch your dream.
The HER behind it: Nina Rappaport Rowan
In HER words:
There are very specific moments in one’s life when an event can change the way you look at the world. For me, one that really stuck was the horrible Columbine High School incident. To this day I am haunted by the idea that something like this could have happened. It made me dig deep and question. Why did this happen? How have our children become so disconnected and so self-destructive?
From those questions, I came up with a pretty basic idea. What if we could give kids, teachers, and parents fun and engaging tools to be better communicators? There are so many social challenges in this world. Life is hard. And being able to express yourself and your emotions is even tougher. What if we taught our children at a young enough age (when they are truly the smartest they will ever be!) to identify and express their feelings? I thought we could be on to something BIG. When kids are able to express their feelings, they build confidence, self-esteem and character. What more can any parent want for their child?
A new line of toys grew from this concept: Kimochis™…Toys With Feelings Inside. They were designed and developed to promote social and emotional education and wellness in children. Kimochi means “feeling” in Japanese. Each plush Kimochi character comes with 3 feelings and a how-to Feel Guide written with communication expert Ellen Pritchard Dodge, M.Ed CCC-SLP. The Feel Guide includes fun and easy activities and tips to help parents and children manage emotions in positive ways.
We have received a tremendous response from doctors, teachers, therapists, Child Life specialists, parents and children. We have donated thousands of Kimochis™ to children in distress. And we are currently working on the Teacher’s Edition of the Feel Guide that is designed to help preK through 5th grade teachers bring social and emotional learning to the classroom.
With Kimochis™, it is our goal to help children grow up to be healthy, strong, and emotionally well and to make the world a kinder, better, safer place.
For LaunchHER readers:: KimochiLHer2010 for 20% off purchases Feb 10 through
March 30, 2010