Meet the ArtsBot Creators
MARCY STEIN | Mother of The ArtsBot
I am an adventurous mother who has traveled to all corners of the earth. On a trip back to New York from the Dominican Republic, I sat next to, in front of, and behind every bored, exhausted and agitated child on the plane. As a mother of two older children, I remember the days of traveling with young kids. Too often, parents see no other option but to put their kids in front of digital screens, to soothe, silence and distract. The ArtsBot is the creative, entertaining solution for families on the go—a rage against the screen.
I kept thinking about an alternative to the digital screen. A replacement that would cure boredom, spark inspiration, provide parental peace and be simple. There was a moment, lying in Shavasana in a yoga class, that The ArtsBot was born: fun, easy, travel craft kits for kids that can go anywhere. I started thinking about different kits, different materials, and how to make the kits approachable, compact and tidy. Parents hate messes. Kids become zombies from screens, and now there are better options available. Travel can be boring for Kids no matter what mode of travel.
It started in my bedroom. It took 18 months, a full-time job, and managing two teenagers to launch the ArtsBot. I dreamed about it, woke up at the crack of dawn and did all kinds of crazy things to turn this idea into a movement. I found wood, clay, string, and beads. Materials were chosen to be kind to your kids, and kind to our environment. While nothing is perfect, the best effort has been made to find materials that are natural and earth –friendly. The packaging had to fit perfectly on a tray table, be recyclable, and the contents, TSA compliant. The kits had to be compact, tidy, simple, safe and travel easily. The markers were chosen for every kid on the planet. They do not contain latex, dairy & casein, egg, gluten, peanut & tree nut or soy.
When I am not working, I can be found at the gym, dealing with some teenage drama, or planning my next trip. I am passionate about delivering school supplies and backpacks to children in Third World Countries. From time-to-time, I’ll share those stories with you and let you know how to help on The ArtsBot Blog.
The ArtsBot is my hope and gift to save young children and their parents from the stress of family travel. Hopefully, it will make it easier for families to embrace travel, to discover the world and have new and exciting experiences.
NATALIE WEDEKING | Artist
I am an illustrator and designer specializing in package, product and identity design. I’m also the mom of two girls and I love working on projects they can relate to. I recently asked my eldest what she thought my job was she said “You just draw pictures all day.” I guess she’s right.
The Artsbot characters were inspired by my daughter’s PreK class picture, a group of individual little personalities: proud, shy, happy, nervous, maybe a bit awkward. Just like kids.
DANA WILLINGER | Educational Consultant
I am on a mission of adventure to enhance traditional learning with engaging experiences and aha moments! With my two decades in a classroom, I witness the magic of students’ creativity and critical thinking. The best lessons take place outside the classroom which involve community service and celebrating this amazing planet. My students and I complete projects that involve preserving the Long Island Sound, planting vegetable gardens, and building a neighborhood playground.
In my free time I volunteer to organize and distribute school supplies to school children in Jamaica. I enjoy hiking with my daughter and dog, and love climbing mountains. With a bachelors degree in Psychology, a Masters in Education, certification in elementary education and certification in teaching yoga for kids, I continue to search and spread the joy of learning by inspiring nature, kindness and unlimited fun.