Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. confront
    • ex. Many young people are confronting different problems at school.
  2. a manufacturer
    • ex. Japan and Korea are major car manufacturers in Asia.
    • ex. There are many conflicts between the parents and their teenage son.
  3. take advantage of (someone)
    • ex. Some game companies take advantage of kids by showing them many ads online.
    • ex. Many children experience anxiety when they visit the dentist.


Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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As a result of the pandemic, more children are confronting mental health issues recently. Parents are looking for ways to build their children’s emotional strength. And toy companies are hoping to address this issue. Manufacturers are using a new model for their toys. It’s called MESH, or mental, emotional, and social health. MESH toys aim to teach kids the skills they need, like solving problems and conflicts, making friends, and handling their feelings.

MESH was first used by the American Camp Association 10 years ago. However, many toy companies became more interested in MESH after the pandemic. Now, toy manufacturers are encouraged to design toys with MESH in mind. The plan is to certify MESH toys by mid-2024. Nowadays, many toys that could be considered MESH already exist—like memory games, dolls, and Pokémon cards.

However, some people are worried that MESH toys might not be as effective. Others are worried that some dishonest toy companies would take advantage of parents and kids. Still, experts say more kids are experiencing depression and anxiety recently. So, it’s important to help kids manage their emotions and be friendly with others.

This material was based on an article by The Associated Press.


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Toy Designs

  • In your opinion, how important are toys for children? Discuss.
  • MESH (mental, emotional, and social health) toys teach kids skills like solving conflicts and making friends. Why do you think kids should learn these skills? Discuss.
  • Imagine you are designing a MESH toy. What would be the toy (ex. a doll, a toy car)? Discuss.

Children’s Emotions and Mental Health

  • According to the article, more kids are confronting mental health issues recently. Why do you think so? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, how can parents help children confront their emotions (ex. talk to them)? Discuss.
  • Imagine a child (ex. your cousin, your nephew/niece) is crying. What would you do to help manage his/her emotions? Discuss.