Motu Ta'e'iloa (Our Special Island)

A project by Millipede in collaboration with SecondMuse

A play-based app that engages young Tongan children in fun, culturally appropriate, multimodal learning experiences, to encourage healthy eating choices.
Motu Ta'e'iloa (Our Special Island) is an educational, play-based app designed for young children, aged 6-7, in Tonga. It aims to help address significant health issues in Tonga caused by poor eating choices.

The app, which was funded by the Australian Government, features distinctly Tongan design and characters, encourages positive attitudes among children to eating healthy food, and aims to increase awareness of local foods. It allows children to grow and catch their own ingredients, and then create meals using traditional recipes with guidance from Maui-Kisikisi. After making a meal, children enjoy sharing the food and drink with their new onscreen friends Kelela and Pulotu.

While Millipede created the overall app design, content was co-designed with input from a wide range of stakeholders including children, teachers, parents, health professionals, educationalists, community members, and the Tongan Government, with voice-overs and songs being recorded with Tongan children. This collaborative approach is integral to the app’s success, particularly for engaging children and teachers, who are thrilled with the ‘all-Tongan’ content. Similarly, the inclusive, child-led, multimodal design has inspired many teachers in the trial to value and integrate these approaches into off-screen activities – for example, implementing classroom cooking sessions where children make healthy recipes from the app.

The app was used in a 6-week trial in 11 Tongan primary schools. Baseline and exit surveys were conducted with participating children to collect data on their understanding of healthy food and their attitudes towards it. Initial data analysis is extremely positive. For example, before using the app only 3% of children in the trial population correctly identified the healthy foods in a set of healthy and unhealthy options; whereas post-trial, 81% correctly identified healthy foods. Furthermore, post-trial 94% listed a healthy food as a favourite, whereas pre-trial almost 40% children listed unhealthy options as favourites.

About the Organization /Team

Millipede is a Melbourne-based game development company that specialises in educational, play-based apps for children. We believe children learn through play. The highly experienced multidisciplinary Millipede team includes developers, producers, learning designers, game designers, animators and visual designers.
Project CategoryCreative
Realated SDGs
3 Good Health & Well-Being