Magic Bag Radio

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                                                      Magic Bag Radio
                                                      A child in a bright yellow shirt look at a book while her mother watches. Both are wearing blue masks.

                                                      This section of the toolkit explains how the Nepal team developed a radio program to accompany the roll-out of their magic bags.  In addition to providing resources, this section includes recommendations for creating and distributing a radio program to support the roll-out and use of the magic bags.

                                                      Development, Design & Implementation

                                                      Under previous Save the Children sponsorship funding, the Nepal Country Office had developed two radio programs relevant for the 3-5 age range, both of which focused on fostering playful home environments while building early literacy and math skills, as well as encourage joyful interactions between children and caregivers and support caregiver self-confidence.  These two radio programs were translated into the local language, Maithili, for the districts where the magic bags were being distributed and were delivered on both Nepali and Maithili radio programs through local radio stations.  This helped to raise awareness and encourage caregivers to create playful learning environment at home and to integrate playful parenting and socio emotional learning into everyday activities.

                                                      The team in Nepal also developed an additional radio program specific to the magic bags.  Entitled My Friend the Magic Bag, the 8-part radio series provided specific instructions on the use of the learning materials included in the magic bags.  Each radio session focused on a particular material included in the bag and highlighted games that could be played with the materials.  The radio sessions were aired through local radio stations as well as on a loudspeaker on wheels in target communities where the bags were distributed and where access to radio was lower.

                                                      Recommendations & Sustainability

                                                      1. Radio is an effective mechanism for reaching families to explain how to play with the magic bags.
                                                        1. DO: Add in a radio component when distributing the magic bag. This can help caregivers learn more about how to play with their children using the materials in the bags, as well as household and other materials.  Radio allows the opportunity to delve deeper into early childhood development concepts and gives parents a deeper understanding of how they can create a playful learning environment. The use of radio also increases the accessibility of the magic bags, by complementing the written magic bag manual with audio messages.
                                                      2. Not everyone has access to radio and not all radio programs are accessible.
                                                        1. DO: Map your target communities to see if they have access to radio, which radio stations they listen to, and at what times.
                                                        2. DO: Broadcast in local languages and on local radio stations, where appropriate.
                                                        3. DO: Distribution of the audio files to mobile devices can also increase accessibility for caregivers with difficulty hearing, as they could use speech-to-text applications to convert the messages to a written format that they can access
                                                      3. A playful radio program is more impactful for both caregivers and children.
                                                        1. DO: Include fun and playful listening material that is engaging for both young children and their caregivers.
                                                        2. DON’T: Make your radio program too instructional. This is a lesson learned from the Nepal project, as feedback from the staff and caregivers showed that more playful sessions would have been more impactful.
                                                      4. Take advantage of existing programs and resources and cover a range of support for caregivers and children.
                                                        1. DO: If there is an existing playful radio program in the area, consider working together to include specific magic bag activities. Radio programming for magic bags should cover the materials, but should also help support caregivers to create learning opportunities and encourage joyful interactions at home during their daily activities.  Any material that is safe, clean and durable can become a toy, when caregivers are confident in supporting their child’s development.
                                                        2. DON’T: Indicate that the only play materials are the ones provided in the magic bag. A radio program should help caregivers use the items in the magic bags together with their children, but should also focus on using household items for play and creating their own materials.

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