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Why 'Shpoony' Stands Out: A Behavioral Analyst's Perspective on the Early Learner Children’s Spoon.

Updated: Jan 2

As a behavioral analyst and mother to three delightful but very different little ones – Iver, Hastings, and Rorik – I'm always on the lookout for products that not only simplify parenting but also contribute positively to my children's developmental journey. In my search, I've come across various children's utensils, from the Goospoon to the Tiny Spoon, both claim to help the process of teaching your child to use a utensil but don't seem to deliver much in the way of behavior, which is why when Tiny Stories approached my to help them develop a spoon that actually could teach, I was all in. That's where 'Shpoony" (officially named by my 3 1/2 year old Hasting) was born. From day one, we worked to make Shpoony a different kind of baby spoon, one that could do a lot of the work for you.

Design Meets Development

Shpoony isn't just a spoon; it's a developmental tool made in cahoots with myself and people in my field. While we more often work with kids who have developmental issues, this spoon leveraged all the tricks of our trade in a way that makes it (IMO) perfect for self-teaching and therefor confidence and positive growth. The spoons are made with 100% non-toxic premium platinum silicone, it's the safest option I've found for my kids of everything else on the market. My husband and I did a bite test and I kid you not we chewed off the end of an EZPZ spoon like it was supposed to be edible :-/ But what truly sets Tiny Stories and Shpoony apart is its thoughtful, innovative design tailored to facilitate childhood development.

Fostering Essential Skills with Shaping

From the perspective of a behavioral analyst, I appreciate how Shpoony's dual-sided functionality leverages something called microshaping. Micro shaping is when small changes are reinforced to get to the behavior we want, in this case Independent eating.

Shpoony’s dual sides were designed with these small changes in behavior in mind. The double sided scoop makes it more likely that no matter how your kiddo initially scoops, they’re getting more positive reinforcements the closer and closer they come to the correct scooping motion. That’s how shaping works, your child subconsciously learns that the better scooping motions lead to bigger bites, and therefor will naturally repeat the behavior.

Encouraging Autonomy and Confidence

Something I hear from every parent is that they want to foster a sense of autonomy and self-confidence in their children. No easy task, but "Shpoony" does this beautifully. It's designed to make self-feeding a natural, intuitive process, encouraging little ones to explore and enjoy their meals independently. Sorry if I am starting to sound like a broken record here.

Sensory Development and Practicality

I first thought the bumps on Shpoony would get in the way of the scooping, but it wasn't the case. The bumps are very small and activate sensory awareness, a key factor in cognitive development. These bumps also help grip food effectively, making the spoon a perfect gripper for various new food textures, from mashed potatoes to carrot soup. The non-slip grip and custom round handle are perfect for little hands. The dip in at the neck of the spoon seemed to have helped my middle child better understand which end was which, which was helpful.

Gentle and Hygienic

When I first saw the design it looked like a hard plastic. It wasnt until we got the first samples that I was relived to feel the soft back wall and smooth edges. Kinda perfect for developing teeth and gums, a feature we all know we need from time to time. If my kiddo is crying and I've gone through all the usuals means of calming, it usually means their teeth hurt. I toss an ice chew mixed in with Shpoony to follow and it always seems to do the trick. Its resistance to mold and mildew also ensures hygiene, a relief for my OCD cleanliness issues my husband adores so much.

Innovative Bowl Design

The more we dove into ways we could develop a spoon specifically for a child, the more I realized we might have something here. For example, in our R&D stage, we found out that mouth/lip development are different on babies. This fact drove us to create shallower bowls which would be easier for less developed mouths to pull the food from. For context, imagine using a ladle as a spoon. The bowl would be too deep to properly pull the food off. The shallow bowl of Tiny Stories Shpoony is perfectly designed for children struggling with undeveloped lip closure and lip control. This extremely thoughtful design (I didnt think of it but wish i did :-/) aspect means children can transition from dipping to scooping motions naturally, enhancing their feeding skills without the usual frustration.

Teaching without Teaching

The brilliance of Shpoony lies in its ability to teach without seeming to do so. The spoon naturally guides children to develop proper feeding motions. As they dip and scoop, they are rewarded with the right amount of food, subtly encouraging a behavioral change. This seamless learning process is something I, as a behavioral analyst, find fascinating.

Let's Wrap This Up

In conclusion, as a professional in child behavior and a mother, I can confidently say that Shpoony is more than just a utensil. It’s a thoughtfully designed, developmental tool that swe designed from scratch to be better and different than anything else on the market. While other spoons like the Goospoon and Tiny Spoon have their merits, Shpoony's comprehensive approach to addressing the multifaceted needs of growing children makes it my top choice for parents of first time eaters.

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