June 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 6
Panel Finds Monkey a Potty Training Expert
More than Monkey See, Monkey Do-doo with Talking Ape
Potty Monkey by POTTYMD
Age: 2 and Up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
What It Is: This potty training system includes a plush toy monkey, a flushing toy toilet, a children’s book, a book for parents and a built-in timer with several timing selections. When the timer goes off, the Potty Monkey says, "I need to go potty! Let's go potty!" encouraging a child to place the monkey on the toy toilet. Once on the toilet, Potty Monkey talks and sings.
What the Moms Thought: The moms loved Potty Monkey and the fact that the toy actually seems to help children learn basic potty skills. Pauley was “extremely impressed with the accessibility it has for children” and found Potty Monkey “very non-threatening and good for the strong-willed child that resists mom’s requests to use the potty.” Del Pozo liked the fact that the toy is educational and encourages interaction between parent and child.
Tong and Bendorf appreciated the included books. “The book presents several methods of potty training, instead of just pushing one way,” Bendorf commented. She also liked that the toy was high quality, and that “the monkey's voice is really clear and easy to understand — a nice contrast from many other kids’ toys.” Ledford agreed that the books were helpful but also liked the system’s portability, “because potty training continues when you leave the house.”
What the Kids Said: While the parents loved the system, the kids loved the fun of the Potty Monkey. Lucy (3) “immediately wanted to read the book” and took the “monkey potty all morning.” Griff (2), Ashlyn (2), and Erik (2) loved flushing the toy toilet. Josephine (2) “clapped a lot” and was very excited by the toy.
Griff (2) has shown more interest in potty training since the Potty Monkey arrived, and exclaimed, “Mommy, my monkey potties like me!” He sleeps with Potty Monkey, likes that the monkey can talk, enjoys reading the story and "especially likes the mirror at the end of the book.”
How to Improve It: There were few suggestions since most participants were so pleased with Potty Monkey, but some recommended a better reward system. Pauley pointed out that “the monkey is wearing a gold medal in the last page of the book,” so including a medal instead of a certificate might be helpful.
“Rather than a certificate (which was not included in our set but was listed on the box), include blank calendar pages and small stickers,” Ledford recommended. “For many children, toilet training is an ongoing process. Small stickers would encourage the child to set and reach small goals.” Del Pozo suggested a “sleep mode” to prevent the monkey from making sounds in the night.
Would You Want Another Toy Like This? Many participants said they would have purchased the toy or something like it. Del Pozo plans to tell her nieces about the toy, and Ledford pointed out that “The Potty Monkey is helping Griff learn to use the potty. As a parent, I appreciate that help!” She suggests that “parents have this set long before usual toilet training age, so they have time to read through the manual and to watch for signs of toilet-readiness.”
Roundtable participants were Anna Bendorf with Ashlyn (2); Diana del Pozo with Josephine (2); Susan Ledford with Griff (2); Penelope Pauley with Lucy (3); and Mildred Tong with Erik (2) and Henry (4 months).
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Writer's Bio: A. Antonow is a freelance writer who lives in Canada. She has written for businesses and individual clients alike, developing copy, content, advertising and ghostwritten material. Read more articles by this author
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