Sue Andrews and Bellybusters

Sandwell storyteller Sue Andrews has invented a new board game for use in schools to encourage children to eat more healthily. “Bellybusters” involves players in moving characters around the board, collecting healthy foodstuffs like fruit and vegetables and avoiding junk food. It also includes question cards and tasks for the children that involve exercising.

“The great thing about it is that the children learn about what to eat, how to exercise and to clean their teeth but they don’t realise it – to them it’s just fun”, says Sue.

The Advanced Engineering Cluster has helped Sue with the design of “little people” – four inch tall thermoplastic characters that players move around the board. The team provided a fresh look at the designs, modified them to make them easier and cheaper to manufacture and produced prototypes. “I wouldn’t have got away from the start without the Cluster’s help”, says Sue. “Now I’m ready to go into production”.

As well as being available in a board game format, a five-metre prototype mat has been designed, on which the children themselves play the characters and use big, soft dice.