Kids Up Front Board Game

The Cause

Kids Up Front is developing a board game with the goal of bringing children and their caregivers, families, peers, and important people together to enjoy a fun, entertaining game night and create lasting memories. The board game is designed to be played with 2-8 players and is more fun when more people are involved. By getting your important people together to play a game that requires thinking, skill, and being together, you are creating lasting memories. More benefits of engaging in board game play include:
Alleviating stress and anxiety
Improving general health and wellbeing
Facilitating bonds among children and their important people
Fostering healthy child development

Many have commonly known Kids Up Front as the hub for ticket donations, providing deserving children and families with access to events, festivals, sports games, galleries and more. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed us to expand our programs so that we can continue to meet the needs of the moment while still staying true to our purpose and mandate. Now, Kids Up Front encompasses a broader range of program experiences, including enriching experiences that can be done in isolation, with safe distancing, and around the home. We developed experience packs during this time to continue our commitment to our mission while many events in our community were put on hold. This allowed us to broaden our experiences to serve kids at home, in rural communities, and kids with barriers to attend in-person events. There are different ways we can bring fun and opportunity to our communities. We have experience distributing these experience packs and we want to continue to use that experience. We understand how important they are to our community to continue to break down barriers and provide kids with these opportunities, which is where the board game comes in.

The average board game costs around $30, which is unattainable for some families and kids to purchase, meaning there are households or demographics that have access to no board games. By producing our own game for a cheaper cost of around $15 a board game, we can easily send this to kids. We had a design student that we obtained funding for through the Canada Summer Jobs grant who began working on the board game in Summer 2022. A large majority of the base of the game is now done, including the design for the game tiles, characters, cards, and testing time.

Who Will it Benefit?

Kids Up Front partners with over 200 agencies in our community, including BGCBigs, Ronald McDonald House, Stollery Children's Hospital, Young Life, Little Warriors, and many more to provide our experiences to a large variety and demographic of kids. This ensures we are really promoting inclusion and breaking down barriers in the community for all youth. Our agencies serve different youth and address different issues that kids face. This means, we serve kids and youth in our community who are often from vulnerable populations that face:
Housing or food insecurities
Unhealthy or high-risk environments
Mental or physical health concerns
Violence and/or abuse
Living in remote and/or rural areas
Limited access to information or services

Our experiences typically benefit:
Indigenous communities
Black communities
Communities for People of Colour
Immigrants or Refugees
Women and Girls
Single Parent Households
Low Income Households
People with disabilities

We want to distribute these games to some of the rural populations we serve immediately. We understand the experience gap within the community is around 800,000 and we want to try to close that gap as quickly as possible. Many kids don’t have the ability to attend an in-person experience, nor can they do it frequently. We want to eliminate these barriers and bring the fun directly to them, wherever that is. Therefore, we are requesting funding to provide 250 of these board games immediately to our agency partners in rural areas first, as we understand their barriers to attending in-person experiences. These agency partners that will be impacted first will include:

· Oakhill Boys Ranch – Bon Accord, AB
· Kikino School – Kikino Metis Settlement, AB
· Heart Lake First Nations – Lac La Biche, AB
· Heartland Youth Centre – Stettler, AB
· Renascence Homes – Gibbons, AB
· Child and Family Services: Akamik Child and Family Services Society & North Peace Tribal Council