Title:
Child's toy rodeo simulation device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention features a child's toy rodeo simulation device comprising means for removably engaging the torso of a user (or animal) intending to provide simulated rodeo play to a child mounted on the back of the user; and grasping means securely attached to the means for engaging, wherein the grasping means is attached at a substantially central dorsal position along the back of the user, and wherein the grasping means gives the child something to grasp and hold onto for support and stability during the simulated rodeo activities. In one exemplary embodiment, means for removably engaging comprises an adjustable torso strap that engages the torso of the user and grasping means comprises a handle having passive, non-restraining characteristics. The present invention further features a method for allowing a user to participate in more comfortable and natural simulated rodeo play with a child.



Inventors:
Chappell, Craig (Pikeville, KY, US)
Application Number:
10/357202
Publication Date:
08/28/2003
Filing Date:
02/04/2003
Assignee:
CHAPPELL CRAIG
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H33/00; A63G19/00; (IPC1-7): A63H33/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WILLIAMS, JAMILA O
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KIRTON MCCONKIE (SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US)
Claims:

What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:



1. A child's toy rodeo simulation device comprising: means for removably engaging the torso of a user intending to provide simulated rodeo play to a child mounted on the back of said user; and grasping means securely attached to said means for engaging at a substantially central dorsal position along the back of said user, said grasping means providing means for support and stability to a child during simulated rodeo play.

2. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 1, wherein said means for removably engaging comprises: an adjustable torso strap that engages said torso, said torso strap having an elongated primary segment and first and second ends extending in opposing directions from said elongated primary segment that wrap around said torso; and means for attaching said first and second ends of said torso strap together.

3. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 2, wherein said means for attaching is selected from the group consisting of a buckle, buckle means, a hook and loop fastening system, dual locking slide release, ring fasteners, snaps, and any others capable of securing said first and second ends of said torso strap together.

4. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 1, further comprising first and second shoulder straps for engaging a first and second shoulder of said user, respectively, and for providing added support for said device, said first and second shoulder straps coupled to said means for engaging.

5. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 4, wherein said first and second shoulder straps are removably coupled to said means for engaging.

6. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 1, wherein said means for engaging comprises padding for added comfort.

7. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 1, wherein said grasping means is passive and non-restraining when grasped by said child, thus allowing said child to let go of and be easily released from said grasping means.

8. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 1, wherein said grasping means is a handle having first and second ends attached to said means for engaging, said handle attached in a dorsal position along said means for engaging.

9. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 8, wherein said handle attaches at a first and second end to said means for engaging, said handle comprising a raised portion that provides quick and easy grasping and releasing by a child.

10. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 1, wherein said grasping means is a saddle horn securely attached to said means for engaging.

11. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 1, wherein said grasping means is slidably attached to said means for engaging to allow said handle to be adjustable and positioned as needed.

12. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 1, wherein said grasping means is comprised of first and second grasping means, each positioned at an equidistant from a central dorsal point along said means for engaging.

13. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 1, wherein said means for engaging comprises a saddle-type device having a primary support body, a seat, and at least one torso strap for strapping said saddle-type device to the back of said user.

14. A child's toy rodeo simulation device comprising: an adjustable torso strap having a primary elongated segment and first and second ends extending in opposing directions from said elongated segment; means for fastening first and second ends together and for attaching said torso strap to the torso of a user; a handle securely attached to said primary elongated segment of said torso strap at a central dorsal position.

15. The child's toy rodeo simulation device of claim 14, further comprising first and second shoulder straps removably attached to said torso strap, said first and second shoulder straps engaging first and second shoulders of a user, respectively.

16. A method for providing rodeo play for a child, said method comprising the steps of: obtaining a child's toy rodeo simulation device having grasping means attached thereto; fastening, in a removably secure manner, said child's toy rodeo simulation device to the torso of a user intending to provide simulated rodeo play for a child; positioning said grasping means in a central dorsal position along said user; causing said user to assume a position on both hands and knees; allowing a child to mount the back of said user; grasping, by said child, said grasping means; and simulating moves similar to those found in a rodeo while said child sits atop the back of said user and holds on to said grasping means.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising the step of removably coupling first and second shoulder straps to said child's toy rodeo simulation device to engage first and second shoulders of said user, respectively.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein said child's toy rodeo simulation device comprises: an adjustable torso strap that engages said torso, said torso strap having an elongated primary segment and first and second ends extending in opposing directions from said elongated primary segment that wrap around said torso; and means for attaching said first and second ends of said torso strap together.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein said child's toy rodeo simulation device further comprises first and second shoulder straps for engaging first and second shoulders of said user, respectively.

20. The method of claim 16, wherein said steps are repeated if said child is incidentally dismounted from said back of said user.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/364,337, filed Feb. 4, 2002, and entitled, “Toy Strap for Facilitating Child's Rodeo Play.”

BACKGROUND

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] This invention relates to toys for children, and particularly to a child's toy rodeo simulation device for facilitating child's rodeo play. The present invention also relates to devices for allowing children to participate in rodeos.

[0004] 2. Background of the Invention and Related Art

[0005] Children have always been climbing onto the back of an adult who is pretending to be a bull or bronco rider. When small kids play rodeo they climb up on the back of an adult and try to hang on while the adult spins and bucks. The problem with this is that there is nothing for the child to hang on to. As the adult plays the part of the bucking bull the child is left groping and clinging to anything they can get their little hands on. The child usually ends up with their arms around the neck of the adult being bounced around until they eventually fall off.

[0006] There has never been a way that would allow the child to hang onto the adult, making the pretend rodeo more comfortable for the adult, who is playing the part of the rodeo animal, and the child, who is playing the part of the rodeo rider. By giving the child something to hang onto the pretend rodeo becomes safer and more comfortable for both the child and adult.

SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0007] Until now children have been riding on the backs of adults, pretending to be rodeo riders or horse riders, with nothing to hang onto. Not having anything to hang onto makes it very difficult for small children to stay atop the adult for any period of time. In light of this, the present invention seeks to remedy the problems associated with children that play rodeo on the backs of adults or that participate in rodeo simulation activities.

[0008] Therefore, it is an object of some embodiments of the present invention to provide a strap or harness that is capable of wrapping around an adult, presenting a handle for the child to hang onto.

[0009] It is another object of some embodiments of the present invention to provide a strap that is capable of spanning the circumference of most adults making it possible for all sizes of people to enjoy the device.

[0010] It is yet another object of some embodiments of the present invention to provide a safe means for small children to hang on while on the back of an adult. The strap is equipped with a soft handle that allows the child to hang onto the adult presenting them with a safer and more real-life rendition of playing rodeo.

[0011] It is further an object of some embodiments of the present invention to provide a lightweight, comfortable, and easy to operate means of attachment for the adult to fit into the harness or strap.

[0012] It is still further object of some embodiments of the present invention to make it possible for small hands to hang onto the handle on the strap while sitting in a comfortable position.

[0013] To achieve the foregoing objects, and in accordance with the invention embodied and broadly described herein, the present invention features a child's toy rodeo simulation device comprising means for removably engaging the torso of a user (or animal) intending to provide simulated rodeo play to a child mounted on the back of the user; and grasping means securely attached to the means for engaging, wherein the grasping means is attached at a substantially central dorsal position along the back of the user, and wherein the grasping means gives the child something to grasp and hold onto for support and stability during the simulated rodeo activities.

[0014] In one exemplary embodiment, means for removably engaging comprises an adjustable torso strap that engages the torso of the user. The torso strap has an elongated primary segment and first and second ends extending in opposing directions from the elongated primary segment and that wrap around the torso of the user when in use. Means for removably engaging also comprises means for attaching said first and second ends of said torso strap together. Means for attaching can be any known device, system, or assembly known in the art, and is preferably selected from a buckle or buckle means, a hook and loop fastening system, ring fasteners or a ring fastening system, snaps, and any others capable of securing the first and second ends of the torso strap together around a user.

[0015] In one exemplary embodiment, grasping means comprises a handle having first and second ends attached to means for engaging. Positioning of grasping means is important, and should be as close to a dorsal center as possible. However, grasping means may be designed to be slidably adjustable along means for engaging to accommodate any position.

[0016] In addition, grasping means is preferably passive and non-restraining, thus allowing a child to easily grasp and let go of and be easily released from the grasping means. Of course, a less passive or actively restraining grasping means is also contemplated herein. In addition, grasping means may be designed to be modifiable or adjustable to increase or decrease the restraining function of the grasping means as desired.

[0017] In another exemplary embodiment, grasping means comprises a saddle horn that is securely attached to means for engaging. The saddle horn should also be positioned as close to dorsal center as possible.

[0018] In yet another exemplary embodiment, grasping means comprises first and second grasping means (e.g. a first and second handle), each positioned at an equidistant from a central dorsal point along the means for engaging and designed to allow a child to grasp them with each hand, respectively.

[0019] The child's toy rodeo simulation device may further comprise first and second shoulder straps for engaging first and second shoulders of a user, respectively, and for providing added support capabilities to the device. The first and second shoulder straps are removably coupled to the means for engaging using similar attachment means as described above.

[0020] The child's toy rodeo simulation device may comprise various pads, designs, logos, etc. to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of the device. Moreover, first and second shoulder straps may also comprise various padding, designs, etc.

[0021] The child's toy rodeo simulation device means for engaging may be embodied in a rigid structure, such as a structure in the form of a saddle-type device having a primary support body, a seat, and at least one torso strap for strapping the saddle-type device to the back of a user. In this embodiment, a more traditional saddle-type arrangement is utilized and is designed to conform to the back of a human user.

[0022] The present invention further features a method for providing simulated rodeo play for a child. The method comprises the steps of obtaining a child's toy rodeo simulation device having grasping means attached thereto; fastening, in a removably secure manner, the child's toy rodeo simulation device to the torso of a user intending to provide simulated rodeo play for a child; positioning the grasping means in a central dorsal position along the user; causing the user to assume a position on both hands and knees; allowing a child to mount the back of the user; grasping, by the child, the grasping means; and simulating moves similar to those found in a rodeo while the child sits atop the back of the user and holds on to the grasping means.

[0023] This method further comprises the step of removably coupling first and second shoulder straps to the child's toy rodeo simulation device to engage first and second shoulders of the user, respectively, for the purpose of providing additional support characteristics to the device.

[0024] The present invention simulation device may also be used to allow children to participate in various actual rodeo events. For example, the simulation device may be strapped to a sheep or other animal which may be ridden by a child.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] In order that the manner in which the above-recited and other advantages and features of the invention are obtained, a more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

[0026] FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of the child's toy rodeo simulation device in use as removably secured to an adult according to one exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

[0027] FIG. 2-A illustrates a top view of one exemplary embodiment of the child's toy rodeo simulation device;

[0028] FIG. 2-B illustrates a side view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 2-A;

[0029] FIG. 2-C illustrates a perspective view of the method used to secure the child's toy rodeo simulation device shown in FIGS. 2-A and 2-B;

[0030] FIG. 3-A illustrates a top view of another exemplary embodiment of the child's toy rodeo simulation device;

[0031] FIG. 3-B illustrates a side view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 3-A;

[0032] FIG. 4-A illustrates a front view of an exemplary embodiment of the child's toy rodeo simulation device having a single torso support;

[0033] FIG. 4-B illustrates a rear view of the child's toy rodeo simulation device shown in FIG. 4-A;

[0034] FIG. 5-A illustrates a front view of an exemplary embodiment of the child's toy rodeo simulation device having a torso support and shoulder straps;

[0035] FIG. 5-B illustrates a rear view of the child's toy rodeo simulation device shown in FIG. 5-A;

[0036] FIG. 6-A illustrates one exemplary embodiment of the child's toy rodeo simulation device as removably secured to an adult;

[0037] FIG. 6-B illustrates another exemplary embodiment of the child's toy rodeo simulation device as removably secured to an adult; and

[0038] FIG. 7 illustrates another exemplary embodiment, in which the child's toy rodeo simulation device comprises a saddle-type assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0039] It will be readily understood that the components of the present invention, as generally described and illustrated in the figures herein, could be arranged and designed in a wide variety of different configurations. Thus, the following more detailed description of the embodiments of the system and method of the present invention, and represented in FIGS. 1 through 7, is not intended to limit the scope of the invention, as claimed, but is merely representative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention.

[0040] The presently preferred embodiments of the invention will be best understood by reference to the drawings wherein like parts are designated by like numerals throughout.

[0041] The present invention describes a method and device, namely a toy, for allowing children to simulate rodeo play. The present invention further describes a method and device for allowing children to participate in rodeos.

[0042] With reference to FIG. 1, shown is child's toy rodeo simulation device 10 (hereinafter referred to as device 10) in use and strapped to a user 6. Also shown is child 4 sitting atop the back of user 6 and holding onto device 10 during the rodeo simulation activities. As can be seen, the present invention device 10 provides child 4 with a useful tool for hanging onto and staying atop user 6 as user 6 simulates various bucking, turning, rearing, and other maneuvers. Device 10 also allows a child 4 to more closely simulate and resemble the actual technique employed by rodeo participants. Device 10 increases child 4's chance of staying on top of user 6 during the simulation, and allows child 4 to feel more secure and stable as he or she otherwise would. Still further, device 10 allows both child 4 and user 6 to be more comfortable and in natural positions as the child is given something other than the user to hold onto. FIG. 1 illustrates device 10 generally, as well as the method for simulating rodeo play with a child.

[0043] Essentially, the present invention child's toy rodeo simulation device features or comprises means for removably engaging the torso of a user intending to provide simulated rodeo play to a child mounted on the back of the user; and grasping means securely attached to the means for engaging, wherein the grasping means is attached at a substantially central dorsal position along the back of the user, such that the grasping means advantageously provides the means for support and stability to a child during simulated rodeo play. Means for engaging and grasping means each may comprise various embodiments, some of which will be discussed in greater detail below. It should be emphasized that the following embodiments are merely exemplary and are not to be considered limiting in any way. Indeed, one ordinarily skilled in the art will recognize other devices, arrangements, assemblies, and systems, that may be utilized, and that perform the intended functions as described and claimed herein.

[0044] FIGS. 2-A-2-C illustrate a more detailed view of one exemplary embodiment of device 10. As shown, FIGS. 2-A and 2-B illustrate one exemplary means for engaging a torso of a user intending to provide simulated rodeo play to a child sitting atop the back of the user. Specifically, FIGS. 2-A and 2-B illustrate means for engaging as comprising a flexible torso strap 14 having an elongated primary segment 16 and first and second ends 18 and 22, respectively, at opposing positions of primary segment 16. Torso strap 14 may be any length, shape, or design, but is designed to wrap around the torso of a user and to be securely fastened or coupled to the user around his or her torso, preferably just below the arms as shown in FIG. 1. Torso strap 14 is designed to be adjustable to accommodate various sized and shaped users. The user will be able to easily dawn the harness and tighten it up with very little effort, thus making it possible to achieve a snug and comfortable fit. To make this possible torso strap 14 will be fastened and tightened on the torso (i.e., chest area) of the user. As one would expect, removing torso strap and device 10 will be just a simple and quick.

[0045] Means for engaging further comprises means for attaching 50 for securing first and second ends 18 and 22 together and/or torso strap 14 around a user. Means for attaching may be any attachment device, system, assembly, etc., and is preferably in the form of a buckle or buckle system, a ring-fastener or ring-fastening system, a hook and loop fastening system, or any other as recognized by one skilled in the art. FIGS. 2-A-2-C illustrate a ring fastening system comprising a ring fastener 54 coupled to first end 18, wherein second end 22 is releasably looped therethrough as is customary for such a fastening system, and as shown in FIG. 2-C, to securely strap torso strap 14 to a user as shown in several of the Figures. The ring fastening system provides adjustability to torso strap 14 depending upon how much of primary segment 16 is pulled or looped through ring fastener 54.

[0046] FIGS. 3-A and 3-B illustrate another exemplary embodiment, wherein means for attaching 50 comprises a buckle system 58. Buckle system 58 comprises a receiver 60 and an insert 64 that fits into receiver 60 and is releasably secured therein. Buckle system 58 further comprises an adjustment assembly designed to allow one or both of receiver 60 and insert 64 to be adjusted and secured at a desired position along primary segment 16. As stated above, any other type of attachment means is contemplated for use herein.

[0047] Torso strap 14 further comprises grasping means 30. In the exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2-A-3-B, grasping means 30 is in the form of handle 32 having first and second ends 34 and 38 attached to torso strap 14 at a central dorsal position. As defined and used herein, a central dorsal position shall mean the position on the back of the user in reference to a central axis running parallel to the torso and spinal cord of the user. In other words, grasping means is preferably positioned so that it is centrally located in the middle of the back of the user along a longitudinal axis.

[0048] First and second ends 34 and 38 of handle 32 are attached to torso strap 14 at points having a connected length shorter than the length of handle 32, such that handle 32 comprises a significant amount of slack therein to provide a rise in handle 32, or cause handle 32 to be elevated in part, from primary segment 16, and to allow a child to easily grasp and release handle 32. As such, handle 32, and grasping means 30, preferably comprises a passive, non-restraining assembly or attachment that does not securely strap a child's hand to device 10. In this way, a child can grasp handle 32 and let go as desired without experiencing any resistance by device 10 to further restrain the child once a decision to let go has been made. Of course handle 32 may be designed to possess various degrees of restraint as so desired. In addition, handle 32 may be made adjustable to allow the user to adjust the degree of restraint present within handle 32.

[0049] Handle 32 preferably is made of a soft, yet durable, material that is comfortable and easily conforms to the small hand of a child. Preferable materials comprise polypropylene webbing, rubber, cloth, and other soft materials. However, other materials are contemplated, such as nylon. Handle 32 is also preferably small enough in circumference to allow the child to get a good hold or grip on handle 32, yet wide enough to allow the child to use both hands to hold on with, if so desired.

[0050] In another exemplary embodiment, grasping means comprises a saddle horn secured to torso strap 14 at a dorsal center position. Use of a saddle horn will provide an even more realistic simulation experience, as that is common to saddles.

[0051] Grasping means 30 may also comprise two grasping means, each positioned at an equidistance from the dorsal center point. As mentioned, each of these grasping means may comprise a handle, a saddle horn, or any other type of grasping means. In this embodiment, the child would grasp and hold onto each grasping means with each hand, respectively.

[0052] FIGS. 4-A and 4-B illustrate the embodiments of device 10 shown in FIGS. 2A-3-B as removably strapped or attached to a user 6. Specifically, FIG. 4-A illustrates a front view of user 6 having device 10 strapped thereto, and the relative positioning of device 10 on user 6. As shown, device 10 is securely strapped to user 6 using means for attaching 50 so that device 10 is positioned just under the arms of user 6. In this position, device 10 is ensured a more stationary position once a child mounted on the back of the user begins to pull and tug on device 10 as a result of user 6 simulating various rodeo movements, which are often abrupt and hasty. Moreover, this position allows the child to sit in a more natural, mounted position atop the back of user 6 and to grasp and hold onto grasping means 30, similar to that of an individual on a horse, bull, or other animal.

[0053] FIGS. 5-A and 5-B illustrate another exemplary embodiment of device 10. Particularly, shown is device 10 comprising first and second shoulder straps 70 and 74 attached to torso strap 14 (or other means for engaging designs). First and second shoulder straps 70 and 74 are adjustable and function to engage first and second shoulder areas or shoulders of user 6 as shown. First and second shoulder straps 70 and 74 also function to provide additional support and stability to device 10 when in use. Specifically, first and second shoulder straps 70 and 74 provide both longitudinal and lateral support to device 10 so that it stays in its intended position just beneath the arms of user 6 when in use. For instance, as user 6 is simulating various rodeo moves with a child atop his or her back, the child will gain balance and support through grasping and holding onto grasping means 30. As a result of the abrupt movement of user 6, such as bucking or rearing up, a significant tension force will be induced on or within grasping means 30 as the child pulls and tugs grasping means 30 to try and maintain his or her balance and stay atop the back of user 6. This tension force will naturally also induce a similar force within torso strap 14, thus causing torso strap 14 to shift and/or rotate about the torso or body of user 6 and also to slide down the body of user 6, depending upon the direction of force being applied. To substantially reduce or eliminate these undesirable tendencies, device 10 may comprise first and second shoulder straps 70 and 74.

[0054] First and second shoulder straps 70 and 74 are preferably releasably attached or coupled to torso strap 14 using any one of means for attachment as described above. In addition, shoulder straps 70 and 74 are adjustable to allow for various positioning along torso strap 14 to maintain the central dorsal positioning of grasping means 30. First and second shoulder straps are also adjustable in size.

[0055] FIGS. 6-A and 6-B illustrate the positioning of user 6 in preparation to receive a child atop his or her back for the purpose of simulating a rodeo and participating in simulated rodeo play with the child. FIG. 6-A illustrates the relative positioning of device 10, and particularly torso strap 14 and grasping means 30. FIG. 6-B provides a similar illustration, only device 10 is equipped with first and second shoulder straps 70 and 74 releasably attached to torso strap 14 at the position shown.

[0056] In another exemplary embodiment, shown in FIG. 7, means for engaging may comprise a saddle-type device having a primary support body 80, a seat 84, and at least one torso strap 88 for strapping the saddle-type device to the back of a user. Other accessories, such as stirrups, etc. may also be attached to the saddle-type design.

[0057] While the present invention has focused on simulated rodeo play between a child and an adult, the present invention also contemplates that the device may be used for actual rodeo events, in which the device is strapped to an animal, such as a sheep, that is commonly employed to allow children to participate in rodeo events. As such, the above description is not intended to be limited to use between an adult and a child for simulated rodeo play, but may also be used in actual rodeo events involving children.

[0058] To utilize device 10, it is strapped on a user and secured tightly to his or her torso with grasping means positioned in a dorsal center position. Once in place, the user assumes the position similar to that shown in FIGS. 1, 6-A and 6-B, preferably on his or her hands and knees. From this position, a child may be allowed to mount or sit atop the back of the user with his or her legs straddling the user and his or her hands holding onto the grasping means in preparation for the simulated rodeo moves to be performed by the user. As the user moves back and forth and up and down, in an attempt to simulate various moves as one would experience in an actual rodeo from a horse or bull, such as bucking and rearing, the child holds tightly to grasping means in an attempt not to get bucked off. However, if the child is incidentally dismounted from the user, he or she may easily release grasping means without any resistance. This process may be repeated as often as desired.

[0059] The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. In addition, the described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. As such, the scope of the invention is indicated by the appended claims, rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.