Morphoses x Giochi Preziosi
June 10, 2024

Exploring Soft Skills Development with the Action Boardgame "Πούντο Πούντο"

In the realm of educational toys, "Πούντο Πούντο" emerges as a fascinating catalyst for nurturing soft skills in children. This physical game offers a unique blend of touch, quick action, and excitement, all while silently cultivating crucial soft skills.

The Science of "Πούντο Πούντο"

"Πούντο Πούντο" is fundamentally about engaging children in a captivating challenge. It revolves around a vibrant, inflatable balloon adorned with many illustrations. The task is clear and straightforward: players must swiftly spot specific illustrations from their cards as the balloon whirls in motion. While this may appear simple, there's a scientific dimension that makes it a fascinating choice for nurturing essential skills in our young ones.

Quick Thinking and Action

One of the standout features of "Πούντο Πούντο" is the demand for rapid thinking and immediate action. The rounds are played swiftly, requiring quick decision-making. But what makes this game truly intriguing is the delicate balance it strikes between quick thinking and maintaining a clear mental image.

As players react swiftly to the spinning balloon, they must also retain a vivid mental image of the items they are searching for. It's a harmonious blend that necessitates thinking quickly while maintaining control. This combination has been linked to cognitive development at a neurological level, drawing from the research on "thinking fast and slow" (Evans, 2011).

This aspect of the game not only cultivates children's ability to think on their feet but also enhances their cognitive agility, a valuable skill applicable in various real-life situations.

Enhanced Observation Skills & Problem-Solving Under Pressure

The ability to exercise control over one’s thought process, even in the midst of excitement, lays an important foundation for problem-solving. Amidst the whirlwind of spinning illustrations, players must exhibit inhibitory control by blocking out irrelevant images and focusing intently on spotting the correct ones. This exercise helps them refine their observation skills, akin to seeking patterns in complex scenarios—a skill that extends beyond the game and holds relevance in analytical thinking and academic tasks.

When a card reveals an image, players face a mini-puzzle: how to locate it among the spinning chaos? This challenge mirrors real-life problem-solving scenarios. The essence lies not only in rapid image recognition but also in inhibiting the influence of irrelevant information while maintaining a clear mental representation of the sought-after images. This dual demand on their cognitive abilities constitutes a valuable cognitive exercise.

Furthermore, the pressure to find solutions quickly fosters not just creative thinking but also emotional inhibitory control. Players must manage their emotional responses and remain composed under pressure. This emotional self-regulation is a vital skill that extends well beyond the game, benefiting them in various aspects of their lives.

In summary, "Πούντο Πούντο" provides an engaging toy option where children can enhance their observation skills, practice inhibitory control over irrelevant information and emotions, and develop problem-solving abilities—all while working under pressure. These skills in combination have been found, in an extensive metanalysis (comparing 75 research studies) (Allan, Hume, Allan, Farrington, & Lonigan, 2014), to significantly contribute to children's cognitive development and also prepare them to excel in academic tasks and navigate real-life challenges with confidence.

In conclusion

"Πούντο Πούντο" is a captivating example of how play can serve as a powerful tool for soft skills development. It offers an engaging, physical experience that simultaneously stimulates quick thinking, sharp observation, and creative problem-solving.

As educators and parents, we should recognize the scientific value within playful activities like "Πούντο Πούντο." They not only entertain but also provide a unique space for children to experiment, learn, and grow. It's an exciting intersection of entertainment and education that paves the way for future success.

In conclusion, the "Πούντο Πούντο" toy demonstrates how the fusion of touch, action, and excitement can be harnessed to develop essential soft skills in young minds. It's a testament to the power of interactive play in shaping the scientists, problem-solvers, and confident decision-makers of tomorrow.

This article was created by Morphoses, the leading edtech platform focused on soft skills development. Don't wait another second – secure a spot for your learner & enroll in one of our Curricula today! Explore our Curricula here.


Evans, J. St. B. T. (2011). Dual-process theories of reasoning: Contemporary Issues and Developmental Applications. Developmental Review, 31(2–3), 86–102. doi:10.1016/j.dr.2011.07.007 Allan, N. P., Hume, L. E., Allan, D. M., Farrington, A. L., & Lonigan, C. J. (2014). Relations between inhibitory control and the development of academic skills in preschool and Kindergarten: A meta-analysis. Developmental Psychology, 50(10), 2368–2379. doi:10.1037/a0037493