Learning from children at Salone Del Libro Turin

We would like to tell you what we learned from the children, right, from them, at the Salone Internazionale Del Libro in Turin 2017, as Elisa’s and Roberta’s guests, co-founders of Mamamò.it and coordinators of the Digital Library in the Bookstock Village section of the festival.

This is the second time for our small team at the fair, and as usual, we had a lot of fun talking to parents and especially to the kids who took off our tablets to play Mash&Co!

It was an intense hour with a kindergarten class from Turin, who helped Mash and Periwinkle to save the forest from the drought. The aim of the workshop was to teach the little ones notions of civic education and eco-consciousness in a fun way through narration.

Today I would like to talk about what we learned from our little friends during our one-hour precious workshop.


What to learn from children?

1. To understand what children like in the digital era.
You know, Mash&Co is an app that contains cartoons and mini-games centered on the adventures of the Mash the mushroom and Periwinkle the snail. The stories of each episode intertwine with the main storyline, giving children the opportunity not only to be immersed in different kind of adventures in the name of sharing, of the value of diversity but also of knowing the different dynamics that technology offers us, which we’ve included in the app as well.

You will find games that solve puzzles by simply tapping on the screen or games that drive characters to a goal by moving the device. This latest dynamic is what kids have loved the most because it allows them to play with a tablet while they move in space.

2. Children need technology
By playing with kids we have carefully observed that they are really comfortable with the new technologies. They know where to touch the screen to perform a certain task that is given to them through the app.

However, in the presence of small devices such as smartphones and tablets, and big ones like smart TVs, 3-5 year-olds do not understand well if they can touch or just enjoy a content without interacting with the screen. Have you ever seen your kids or nephews touching the TV screen? Yup, that’s it!
For this reason, in Mash&Co app we have alternated cartoons and mini-games to get used to the idea that technologies are now part of their everyday life but we need to make them understand the its right use, understanding when you can touch or just look at content from the screen, for example

3. It’s important to have the right guide. Stop babysitter apps!
We’ve all fallen, giving our kids our smartphone or tablet to make them feel good while standing in the supermarket or restaurant. Driving children to the proper use of technology is the keyword in the 21st century. There is some sort of general mistrust on app games and technology for children because we think it is harmful to our children.

A video game thus becomes a scapegoat for certain violent behaviors by youngsters. As in all aspects of life, as adults we are responsible for the youngest ones’ well-being, starting from our families to the schools. As we have the urge to grow them physically and psychologically, in the same way, we must make them understand the correct use of technology.


We must realize that technology will increasingly become part of the growth and training of the younger generations and denying them the knowledge of these new forms of communication and entertainment would be like going backward, making them inadequate in today’s times, in which we communicate and work more and more quickly thanks to the technologies.
Therefore, getting used to them as a child with the right care and guidance will make them enter faster in this context in continuous change.

Who said we can only learn from adults? There is so much to learn from kids. We need to talk their language, trying to figure out what they really want to communicate. It takes patience, it is true, but our voice will be the inner voice they will listen during their important decisions and when good sense should prevail one day

What do you think about technology moms, dad? Let us know! 😉


Katrin Ann Orbeta
Co-Author of Mash&Co