If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you probably saw some pictures of Mimi B. playing with a new and original toy: My Family Builders. Indeed we were glad to try this toy and participate to the promotion video shooting. This educational and entertaining toy is not on the market yet, but it is a wonderful project which needs the help of everybody this month.
What is the concept. Why is it totally new? How can everyone be part of the success of My Family Builders?
We met Ez Karpf, the toy inventor and he answered all our questions!
How did the idea to create My Family Builders come to you?
Over a year ago, I was looking for presents for my friends children. I just assumed I would be able to find a doll set that would resemble their multiracial family. I tried store after store, but couldn’t find a single one that even came close. Not only that, I also realized that there weren’t toys that represented families with two dads or two moms, single-parent families, or blended families.
I discussed this dilemma with some friends, and together, we were inspired to do something about it. After long deliberations on design, child psychology and education, I came up with the idea of a wooden educational toy that would encourage young children to embrace family diversity through play.
Tom, a friend, thought it was a great idea and made MyFamilyBuilders happen.
What did you observe concerning the current offer in the market of toys?
When you visit a toy store, there are shelves filled with rows and rows of family depictions that all look the same: one dad, one mom, a boy and a girl from the same race? Unfortunately, these toys impose limitations on a child’s perception of family.
MyFamilyBuilders toy-set removes these limitations and opens their eyes to a world of possibilities.
Why did you choose to create specifically a toy among all the other educationnal kind of tools to approach diversity with children?
Play is the most powerful way for children to grow, learn, and experience the world around them. The toys we give them embody our values, which we pass on to the next generation.
MyFamilyBuilders empowers children to freely imagine and combine endless possibilities by letting them build all sorts of characters and families; this encourages them to create a world without prejudice based on love, tolerance and respect.
Concretely, what does My Family Builders look like?
The toy-set comes with 48 magnetic wooden pieces that easily snap together to create a family. There are more than 2000 possible combinations and five card games that will create “teachable-moments” for parents to help their children understand and accept differences as something to be celebrated.
Everything go in a handy packaging to keep all of the pieces securely in one place for storage.
The target age range is 3 to 7 years old, but younger and older children can enjoy them too.
The quality of products was essential : non-toxic paint, eco-friendly cypress wood… All materials and processes used in the manufacturing of MyFamilyBuilders toy-sets exceed all applicable federal safety standards. In addition, post-production toy-sets are submitted to a CPSIA-accredited lab for certification to safety standards ASTM-F963 and EN-71.
What are the first feedbacks about this toy?
Kids and parents who have the opportunity to try it were all very enthusiastic about My Family Builders.
We also showed the toy-set to education specilists and association with a social coalition goal and they all agree to declare that My Family Builders fills a lack and was a high quality educationnal tool to approach family diversity.
Unfortunately My Family Builders is not currently distributed in the classic kids stores. Distribution will be possible only if we get the funds for a first order to our manufacturer. That’s why we launched a Kickstarter campaign in August 25.
it is an online platform to give the opportunity to inventors to find the financial ressources to make a project become real. This crowdfunding is nowadays a usual way to support an idea and make it real. We hope to gather $25000 to place the first order.
So this is the last step to make My Family Builders real? How can I help?
Everyone can help to make My Family Builders succeed.
First you can spread the word liking our Facebook Fan Page, following us on Twitter or on Youtube and sharing our videos and articles. We need to be known to allow My Family Builders to be a success and be able to sell this innovating toy which includes every kind of families : traditionnal, multiracial, single-parent, LGBT or blended.
You can also be one of our financial support thanks to the Kickstarter campaign. There are different kind of donations to give the opportunity of this beautiful project to become true. From $2 to $650, you can choose how much money you are able to give to help the success of My Family Builders and you will have a reward in exchange (magnets, toy-set of MyFamilyBuilders, donations of a toy-set to your favorite school…).
We need you and thank you in advance for your help!
I want to thank Ez, as well as the whole team working on My Family Builders, to have the idea of My Family Builders but also the will and energy to bring it to the final step. We were very lucky to try this toy and completely love it and the many ways we can use it.
Mimi often asks me if she can play again with this toy because she was thrilled to be able to build so many families and I found this tool very helpful to speak with her about a subject that can seems tricky with young children : diversity. Actually it was easy to play and speak about families with two daddies or two mummies, about mummies that prefer to dress like daddies, about kids who only have a mom and no dad or the contrary, about members of the same family with different skin colors…
I had the feeling she was very open-minded about it and it would have been probably more difficult to have this kind of conversation with her later if she never meets any of these situations in real life. Thanks to this toy, it becomes natural. We tried two play cards of the set : with the first one, Mimi had to build the family drawn in the card and with the second one she can create the missing characters of the families the way she wanted them to be. Some other play cards offer more complicated games for older kids and some other can be played with several children (not only in a kid-parent face to face moment). Mimi asked me any questions she had and compared with her own family. And in the end, she was able to understand that every families are different and it doesn’t mean that one is better than another but on the contrary that each of them is possible in our modern world.