What are these funny looking creatures, and why is my child being encouraged to collect them?
Lavalings are Mightier’s way of communicating awareness, practice and emotional control to parents while providing encouragement and rewards to kids.
Lavalings make their way onto the screen when your child’s heart rate rises and they enter their Red Zone. They are the visual cue to say, “Hey, your heart rate is up!”
There’s nothing wrong with a child’s heart rate going up during play. It is going to happen, and in fact we want it to happen. This is how children learn what causes changes in their heart rate and how they can control that.
You may hear your child talking about their daily target or goal, or collecting a new lavaling. One of the central gaming goals of Mightier is to collect their daily Lavalings. Children will see that Dr. Dragon is in search of lavalings and players help her collect lavalings by getting them to their cool state by practicing calming strategies.
In order to collect a lavaling, your child must take a few very important and intentional steps that tie directly to their learning:
1. They must press the gizmo (heart rate gauge) and pause the game.
This is HUGE. This means that not only is your child recognizing that their heart rate is up, they are choosing to do something about it and they are stopping their game play in order to do something about it. Imagine what that would mean in real life!
2. They must actively and intentionally do something to bring their heart rate down.
For most kids, this might look like Deep Breathing, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Crossing the Midline or Visualization as these are the cool down strategies taught in Mightier. Anything your child does to bring their heart rate down though is fantastic!
3. When your child successfully returns to their Blue Zone, they are rewarded by collecting a lavaling!
In essence they have cooled that lavaling down from it’s lava state, and helped it find its chill state. This is exciting in terms of earning a reward for their hard work, but for your child this also reinforces the fact that, “Hey, you’re really good at this. You are really good at bringing your heart rate down.” Building that pride and confidence for children in their ability to regulate their heart rate on their own terms is incredibly important for their later ability to translate this skill into real life situations.
Note: Each Lavaling has Heat Points (HP).
Players will use Chill Points to cool the Lavalings’ Heat Points. Each day, Dr. Dragon will find a new Lavaling for the player to catch. In basic terms, Chill Points are like the strength your child has built up through gaming and skill practice to cool the lavaling down, lower the lavalings “heat” until it is fully cooled.