A Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) awareness game to help children, their parents and teachers prevent the spread of the virus has been developed by the Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM).
Produced by the municipality’s Communications Unit, in collaboration with its Disaster and Municipal Health Services, the game is based on the well-known ‘Snakes and Ladders’ boardgame.
It aims to address the basic methods of preventing infection and the spread of the virus.
The game includes rules on behaviours common to all children. For example, to advance three spaces, they must be wearing their mask correctly. There are penalties too. For example, ‘Oops, you shared your cooldrink bottle – skip a turn’.
All of the actions are well within a child’s control, making the behaviour goals achievable.
The municipality is hoping children will identify and correct unsafe or non-complaint behaviour themselves.
For instance, one child may say to another, ‘Your mask isn’t on properly’ or ‘Please don’t sit so close to me’.
“Through the distribution of this first-of-its-kind COVID-19 awareness game, the CWDM is teaching even the youngest of our citizens that they too have a huge role in preventing the spread of the virus," says CWDM Executive Mayor Dr Elna von Schlicht.
Edgar Johannes, the Curriculum Advisor for the Western Cape Education Department in the Cape Winelands, says the department is excited about the initiative.
“Not only will it help protect our teachers and learners, there are also other benefits.
"The game encourages literacy, counting and team playing and promotes a wholesome household activity, as learners can take them home so that their siblings, parents and friends can play too.”
The laminated gameboard, placeholders and dice can all be sanitised and are packaged into a resealable bag that can be clearly marked with the child’s name.
The CWDM has handed over 10 000 game sets to the Western Cape Education Department, for distribution to Grade 2 learners at the most vulnerable schools in the district. While the main boardgame is in English, the package contains a printed copy of the game and the rules in Afrikaans and isiXhosa.
The game is also available for free download on the CWDM website www.capewinelands.gov.za