A digital tool that interactively shows how games and play stimulate brain development during early childhood was launched. The interactive UNI_ FORM ‘jacket’ was created by the H&M Foundation and UNICEF as part of a new UNI_FORM campaign to help promote early childhood development.

The UNI_FORM tool, which aims to visually translate neuroscience for parents and caregivers across the world, displays how young brains develop at yearly stages up to the age of five, and provides families with innovative age-appropriate play ideas that can help optimize brain development.

The jacket reveals different cognitive games that feed the brain as it evolves with the child’s age. The games are tailored for each age based on UNICEF’s research on early childhood development.

“Early childhood presents a window of opportunity that define a child’s future. By using UNI_FORM as a symbol, we want to raise awareness around the fact that children who are stimulated in their early years learn more effectively at school, and as adults they can have a higher earning power and be of better health than children that don’t have these early opportunities,” said Diana Amini, Global Manager at H&M Foundation.

“Children who experience love, proper nutrition and protection in a stimulating environment during early childhood become resilient, learn effectively and are able to help build strong, safe communities and economies when they reach adulthood,” said Pia Britto UNICEF Chief of Early Childhood Development. “We are proud to launch this interactive tool to help give children the enrichment they need in these critical early moments of life.”

An estimated 249 million children under five in low- and middle-income countries are at an increased risk of poor development due to extreme poverty and stunting.