November 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 11
Baby Roundtable: Breaking the Mold
Toddlers Create Body Art
Participating in this month’s Roundtable were: Christy Chambers, mother of Nigel (3); Diana del Pozo, mother of JoJo (2); Sharri Hefner, mother of Sydney (1); and Rebecca Heinrich, mother of Collin (3).
Baby Art Kit from ZOOM DISTRIBUTION
Age: 0 to 4
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts
What It Is: A kit to create a three-dimensional mold of a child’s hand or foot.
What the Moms Thought
Nigel’s (3) mom, Christy, liked that this was an artistic project that could be done as a family, but thought the time required for her son to sit still was too much to ask. Sharri, mother to Sydney (1), was won over by the description, but soon found that the product was not as simple to use as promised. The clean presentation of images on the box made JoJo’s (2) mother, Diana, excited at the possibility of capturing a moment in her daughter’s young life. Even though Rebecca, mom to Collin (3), speaks several languages, the multi-language used on the box confused her. However, she loved the idea of having a three-dimensional mold of her son’s tiny hand.
What the Kids Said
Collin (3) enjoyed the gooey, messy fun! He liked the process of gathering materials, mixing the elements and putting his hand in the mold. Overall, he thought it was a great art project. Even though Nigel (3) really liked the completed project, he did not enjoy the process of sitting still for the mold to take. The younger kids responded negatively to the process. As soon as the mold hit her skin, JoJo (2) pulled away. Knowing that her daughter does not like to be confined in any way, Sharri tried using the product while daughter Sydney (1) was sleeping. The result was a messy disaster. Sydney didn’t stay in position long enough for the mold to take and the sheets had to be cleaned.
What the Kids Learned
Collin (3) learned the process of creating a mold, and Nigel (3), whose parents are artists and like to expose him to different mediums, learned how to participate in an artistic process. Sydney’s (1) mom learned not to attempt anything similar — ever.
How to Improve It
Christy does not believe an average person would have success with this product. Both she and her husband have extensive mold-making experience, and it is not easy for someone who has never worked with this type of material before. Rebecca thought the directions were difficult to follow because of the poor translation to English, and noted that the metric conversions might be difficult for the average person. Sydney’s (1) mom, Sharri, felt this toy should be marketed to either young infants or older toddlers who can sit still for a minute or two at a time. Both Sharri and Diana, mom to JoJo (2), thought they would opt for a flat surface imprint, rather than a mold.
Would You Buy Another Toy Like This?
Rebecca would buy a product like this for an infant, but not for a toddler. Collin was unable to keep his hand still during the first step, resulting in sketchy results. If Collin were an infant, Rebecca believes she could have completed the project while he was asleep. Christy said she would not buy another product like this, and Sharri would rather pay an artist to create an impression.
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Writer's Bio: Sharri is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Most recently, Sharri wrote a one act titled "Spice" for Gene Rhee’s "The Trouble With Romance," which stars David Eigenberg ("Sex and the City"). "Georgia Heat," a script Sharri wrote with fellow NYU alum Mora Stephens, is slated for production Summer 2007 (Janet Yang, Executive Producer). Sharri received her MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Before NYU, Sharri was graduated summa cum laude from California State, Long Beach. While Sharri was completing her thesis, USAToday selected her as one of the top college students in the country. Sharri is the proud mom of Sydney, who was born in June 2006. Read more articles by this author
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