Title:
Combination child furniture system and storage container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A unit which functions both as a child's play seat and rest area and also a toy storage system is shaped as a generally rectangular box having a lid portion and a container portion. The container portion includes a built-in seat where the child can sit and rest. When the lid is removed from the container, the child may sit and rest, play, read or watch television. Optional accessories may include a snack tray and a juice cup holder. When the child is finished using the unit as a seat, toys may be placed in the container and the lid then replaced in order to provide a large container for neatly stowing away toys. Thus, a single unit functions as both a storage container for many toys and also as a furniture piece or toy itself.



Inventors:
Halt, Rosemarie O. (Media, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/257567
Publication Date:
04/26/2007
Filing Date:
10/25/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H3/52
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, KIEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Volpe Koenig (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A unit for seating a child comprising: a container defining a recess, and having a lid; a chair configured within said container; whereby the chair and container are configured such that a child may comfortably sit on the chair within the container.

2. The unit of claim 1 further including a cup holder.

3. The unit of claim 1 further including a snack tray.

4. The unit of claim 1 further including a flip-down door configured to permit access to, and egress from the unit.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention is related to furniture systems for children, toys for children, and storage systems for children's toys. More particularly, the present invention is a child's play seat which facilitates a safe environment for the child to sit, which can also be used a storage container for a child's toys.

BACKGROUND

Parents of young children tremendously enjoy spending time with their children. Whether it is to play with their children, to teach their children and help them to learn, or simply to watch their children, parents simply love to spend time with their children. Along with the joys of a child's company and companionship come the responsibilities of parenting. These responsibilities include fostering a learning environment while also keeping the children safe.

There are several common dangers which present themselves to almost all young children. The first danger relates to the furniture that is used by children. Although typically made in a child's size, most children's furniture is awkward, uncomfortable and prone to toppling over. This presents a significant risk to a young child or toddler.

A second danger that is often presented to children is that of the tripping hazards due to toys being scattered all over a play area. As parents well know, a child intent on finding a specific toy can gleefully remove ten, fifteen or twenty toys from their storage areas in order to search for “that perfect toy”. Toys scattered all over a play area present a clear and present danger to children who can stumble over and become injured on a sharp or hard toy. Parents typically go to any lengths in order to keep their children safe from any harm.

The scattering of toys throughout a play area not only presents a danger to children, it presents the same danger to adults or the elderly, which can trip over a toy and become injured. Additionally, the constant whirlwind of toys which liter the house can become a mental burden for many parents who are tired of looking at, tripping over and picking up dozens of toys at every hour of the day.

Various current solutions exist for storing toys, but these tend to be storage solutions for other types of materials which are adapted to children's toys. This is an imperfect solution. What is needed is a system and method for both providing a safe environment for children to play and learn and a system for storing children's toys.

SUMMARY

The present invention is a combination unit which functions both as a child's play seat/rest area and also as a toy storage system. The unit is shaped as a generally rectangular box having a lid portion and a container portion. The container portion includes a built-in seat where the child can sit and rest. When the lid is removed from the container, the child may sit and rest, play, read or watch television. Optional accessories may include a snack tray and a juice cup holder. When the child is finished using the unit as a seat, toys may be placed in the container and the lid then replaced in order to provide a large container for neatly stowing away toys. Thus, a single unit functions as both a storage container for many toys and also as a furniture piece or toy itself.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING(S)

FIG. 1 is the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is the preferred embodiment of the present invention with several optional accessories.

FIG. 3 is the preferred embodiment of the present invention in use by a child.

FIG. 4 is an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention will be described with reference to the drawing figures where like numerals represent like elements throughout.

For convenience, the invention will be described as a “box seat”. The terminology “box seat” usually refers to high priced premium seating at most major sporting events, arenas and theaters. However, the terminology “box seat” as used to describe the present invention is not intended to be limiting, but refer to the unique combination of a storage container, a children's toy and a children's furniture piece combined into a single unit which is convenient for parents to use and pleasurable for children to use.

Referring to FIG. 1, the box seat 10 in accordance with the present invention includes a container portion 11 and a lid portion 12. The lid portion 12 is configured as a lid which is typical of many present day containers having a rim portion 13 which surrounds a cover 15. Although it is preferable that the lid 12 is flexible, and preferably constructed from one of the many available types of polymers, the lid may be either relatively rigid or extremely flexible depending upon the buyer's preferences. Additionally, the lid may be any color, may be multi-colored or may be made of opaque or even clear material.

The container portion 11 is preferably constructed out of the same material as the lid portion 12, although this is not required. The container portion 11 defines a large recess 8 into which a chair 18 is placed. It should be noted that if the container portion 11 is molded from type of polymer material, the chair 18 may be molded during the same process. Therefore, the chair 18 may be configured directly as part of the container portion 11, and need not be configured as a separate unit and thereafter attached to the container portion 11.

The chair 18 includes a seat 20 and a back 22 which are configured to permit comfortable resting of a child sitting thereupon.

Since there is always the danger of a child climbing into the container portion 11 and drawing the lid portion 12 overtop, it is necessary for safety reasons to include a plurality of breathing holes 16. Although not technically necessary for the operation of the box seat 10, the breathing holes 16 are an excellent precaution against the unwanted demise of a young child.

The container portion 11 also includes a rim 14 which is configured to snuggly receive the rim 13 of the lid portion 12. Thus, the lid portion 12 snaps snuggly onto the container portion 11.

Referring to FIG. 2, the box seat 50 may also include either a juice cup holder 30 or a snack tray 32. Since most children are loath to find themselves without either a juice cup or a snack close at hand, the juice cup holder 30 and the snack tray 32 will be much welcomed, although optional, accessories to the box seat 10.

Referring to FIG. 3, operation of the box seat in accordance with the present invention will be described. As shown, operation is extremely simple in that the lid portion 12 is removed from the container portion 11 and the child climbs into the container portion 11. The child adjusts his or her body until they reach a position of comfortable equilibrium. As well known by most parents, this position of comfortable equilibrium is fleeting, and thus must be adjusted periodically, or even constantly in accordance with the needs and/or desires of the child.

Thereafter, the child may have a drink from the juice cup, may read, may play with other toys may even just relax and watch television or listen to the radio while enjoying the haven of a comfortable safe and secure environment.

In another embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the box seat 10 includes an optional flip-down door for more convenient entry or access by a small child. The door may also be left down while a child is seated in the box seat. This will permit better air circulation throughout the box seat and may also facilitate better viewing of a television if that is the activity in which the child is participating.