Whenever parents get together to socialize, the conversation inevitably turns to the joys and pitfalls of raising children, especially in family-happy Utah Valley.

Ruth Watt recalled during an intimate New Year's Eve gathering of family and friends last year how her toddler son never misses his mark in the bathroom because she lays a square of toilet paper in the center of the bowl.The comment triggered a funny thought in her sister-in-law's head.

"I just flippantly said we should put a bull's-eye on those puppies and sell them," said Marinann Castillo.

One thing led to another and eight months later Watt and Castillo had created an entire kit aimed at helping parents ease the frustration of toilet training their children. TotShot, which comes in a Happy Meal size box, contains targets, a cassette featuring tunes, stickers, reward coupons and a graduation T-shirt. It's designed to combine motivation with fun.

Castillo and Watt, mothers of four and five children, respectively, successfully toilet trained their own children using many of the ideas that are now part of the kit. The two have put so much research into their product that they've kind of become toilet training consultants.

"Many parents don't know what to do. This gives them structure," Castillo said.

The toilet paper comes printed with bright red targets. Each successful trip to the bathroom gets a child an arrow sticker for a large, personalized bull's-eye chart. Children can earn a coupon for each 20 stickers to exchange for a special prize, treat or activity previous agreed upon with parents. The "TotShot Tunes" cassette encourages and instructs children with songs such as "I Like to Be Dry" and "Flush and Wash."

The self-contained kit can go anywhere a child goes.

"With the increasing number of mothers working outside of the home, toilet training is often left primarily to the child's caregiver," Watt said. "With the TotShot program, the process can be more enjoyable as parent, caregiver and child work together in a positive way."

Castillo, of Pleasant Grove, said training children to use the toilet can sometimes be a power struggle. And TotShot won't work for every child.

A lot still depends on how ready the child is, she said. "It makes it easier when the time is right."

Castillo and Watt also are quick to counter the notion that targets don't work for girls. "They simply are a little more creative by sitting further back on the toilet seat while holding onto the front. This allows girls to see the floating target, and they think it's fun, too," said Watt, who lives in Provo.

The two women formed a partnership with Minnesota-based American Business Forms to produce, package and distribute TotShot. They have a Web site (www.totshot.com) to market the kit.

TotShot, which sells for $24.95, currently is available in only one retail store, Little Things Mean a Lot in American Fork. Castillo said she's working with catalog companies and home shopping channels to promote the product. Castillo and Watt are taking orders for the kit at 1-888-TOT-KITS.