I had the pleasure of interviewing the creator of Silly Creatures, Ms. Flor Lozano-Byrne.
Silly Creatures are a family of creatures that have real bodily functions such as eating and help children develop fine motor skills. Here is what Ms. Lozano-Byrne had to say:
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience with children with feeding issues.
My son had feeding difficulties and needed feeding therapy as a toddler to start with solid food. At that time I wished there was a toy that helped illustrate how the process works and I couldn't find any available.
What gave you the idea to start “Silly Creatures”?
Feeding therapy was of great help, but one of the main issues was motivation. There has to be something fun to help the therapist, and a fun toy that demonstrates the process appears to be the perfect thing.
What resources did you find helpful during the course of your child’s feeding problem?
Some of our feeding therapists were great and the therapy helped him a lot. But the hard part was to find what he would eat and what he wasn't allergic to. Organic foods pureed worked best. Once I found WHAT he would eat, everything was a breeze. But in order to find out what he would eat, I could have fed a whole village with the wasted food. In the end, I think what helped him most to start eating and enjoying food was digestive enzymes.
What is the best piece of advice you were given during the course of your child’s feeding issue?
I wish I would have had any good advice!
What is the worst piece of advice or most insensitive comment you heard during the course of your child’s feeding issue?
People made food recommendations without checking for allergies first.
What tips would you give parents dealing with these issues?
Try organic foods and digestive enzymes. Try as many healthy and good foods as you can but check for possible allergies. Find people in need to give away unused food.
If you had to do it over again, would you do anything differently?
I would try more foods and not worry too much about having to throw away the whole box if he didn't like it. Start with the highest dose of the most potent enzyme as soon as possible. And now that they exist, find the right toys for motivation.
Review of Silly Creatures:
I had the pleasure of receiving a silly creature to review and use with my patients. The creature I got was KBEUS, the dad of the family, who eats polished stones. KBEUS is a rectangle shaped creature with a heart and digestive system. You feed him the stones and push them gently through his system until they come out the other side. KBEUS is a great toy to teach children about the digestive process. The only con I found for this product was that the food is small stones so is inappropriate for toddlers who mouth toys and is at risk for choking. He is recommended for children over 4. For children under 4, the K-BEU Mom pillow is more appropriate and recommended for ages 12 months and up. The difference is that K-BEU Mom Pillow eats stuffed balls that are safe enough for all ages.
Despite this, many therapists use K-BEU Dad for children younger than 4 not only for the feeding therapy value, but also to practice fine motor skills. Which one to get is a judgement call for the therapist and parents, since many of the widely used fine motor skills activities include small objects and represent choking hazards.
Either way, if a child is closely supervised in a therapeutic setting this toy could be a valuable tool in the therapy toolbox.
These toys are very educational and fun, and is a great toy for kids to learn about digestion.
Click here to purchase Silly Creatures.