Cassidy Crowley knew right away what problem she would solve. Her second-grade teacher had given out the assignment: find a problem, invent a solution and then enter the invention into the Honolulu District Science and Engineering Fair. Cassidy had seen her mother upset when her baby sister, Emily, put the back of a hard plastic spoon into her mouth. What if Emily chewed on it and cut her gums or choked on the sharp edges? What if she put the long thin handle down her throat? Cassidy knew that there had to be a better baby spoon. She would design it and keep both Mom and Sis happy and calm. The result was the Baby Toon. She entered the prototype into the fair, and it impressed the teachers and judges. They believed it could be a real product that would sell well and urged her to keep working on it.
The Baby Toon is made out of 100% ultra-soft FDA-grade silicone (BPA- and Phthalate-free). It is so soft, flexible and gentle on the gums that it can double as baby’s teething toy. The ergonomic handle is easy for babies and parents to hold and lets big sister or brother help feed the baby. The short neck limits how far it will go into a baby’s mouth. Cassidy’s pink and blue Toons in the shape of an elephant are more attractive to a baby than an ordinary ol’ spoon and more fun. More important, they are safer.
The Toon helps baby learn how to feed him- or herself and facilitates the transition from baby spoon to regular spoon. The shallow bowl limits how much food a baby can scoop up at one time and essentially eliminates the risk of choking. Cassidy sure covered all the bases!
Cassidy’s Mom and Dad helped her bring her clever idea into reality; the three of them learning about entrepreneurship, invention and manufacturing together. They were determined to have the Toon manufactured in the US, so went on a 5,000-mile “field trip” to Albany, NY, to find a manufacturer with high-quality silicone injection molding and one that was dedicated to meeting or exceeding the required standards for infant products.
Cassidy will continue using her creativity and ingenuity to solve problems through innovation that make life easier for others. For now, she is helping others by donating $1,000 of her profits to the hospital where she was born, the Kapi’olani Hospital for Women and Children.