Title:
Stimulating and comforting security item for children
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A child's body of fabric article wherein at least one triangular shaped attachment is securely sewn into a seam along at least one edge. In other embodiments the body of fabric article may optionally include a pocket or a developmental closing mechanism. The pocket allows a child to safely insert a finger into the attachment and is further directed to the resulting method of sensory stimulation for a child. The optional closing mechanism further serves as a method for developing fine motor skills in children, ages two and up.



Inventors:
Smith, Leslie (Reno, NV, US)
Mandell, Alison (Reno, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/731799
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
03/29/2007
Assignee:
Swanky Swaddles, LLC (Reno, NV, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HYLINSKI, ALYSSA MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP - West Coast (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A children's fabric article comprising: a body; a plurality of triangular attachment pockets wherein said triangular attachment pockets are arranged in a plurality of patterns and said attachment pockets are open on one side.

2. A children's fabric article of claim 1 wherein the body is made of a first material, and wherein the pockets are made of a second material different from the first material.

3. The children's fabric article of claim 1 further comprising: a plurality of bonding means opposite to one open side.

4. The children's fabric article of claim 1, wherein the first material is a cloth material and wherein the second material includes satin.

5. A method of providing sensory stimulation to a child, the method comprising: providing a first fabric sheet, said sheet comprising a first panel of a first material substantially parallel to a second panel of said first material, wherein the first and second panels are sewn together to form said fabric sheet; providing a triangular attachment wherein said attachment includes a panel made of a second material folded over to form a substantially triangular portion; and attaching said triangular portion to the first fabric sheet.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein the triangular portion includes an open pocket, and wherein attaching includes sewing the triangular portion to the first fabric sheet such that the open pocket is exposed.

7. A method of providing sensory stimulation to a child, the method comprising: providing a second fabric; folding the second fabric in half to form a first rectangular shape; folding the second fabric a second time thereby creating a second rectangular shape fabric having one side comprised of the fabric edges and attaching the folded second fabric into the seam on the diagonal; and trimming away the remaining square to expose a seamless edge to a first fabric sheet such that the fabric edges are attached to the first fabric sheet and the seamless pocket is exposed.

8. A blanket comprising: one or more first bodies of fabric double-folded into a triangular shape such that one side of the triangle comprises the edges of the fabric and another side comprises a seamless pocket; a second body of fabric attached to the edges of the fabric of the first bodies of fabric, wherein the seamless pocket is exposed such that a child may place their fingers in the pocket.

9. The blanket of claim 8 wherein the blanket further comprises: One or more fasteners attached to each pocket such that the pocket may be securely closed.

10. The blanket of claim 9 wherein the fasteners are selected from a group consisting of snaps, buttons, laces and zippers.

11. A doll comprising: a head having on one side a representation of a face; a first body of fabric attached to the head for comprising the body of the doll; one or more second bodies of fabric double-folded into a triangular shape such that one side of the triangle comprises the edges of the fabric and another side comprises a seamless pocket, wherein the edges of the fabric of the second body of fabric are attached to the first body of fabric.

12. A children's fabric article, comprising: a body; at least one triangular pocket, wherein said at least one triangular pocket is attached to said body and provides a pocket opening.

13. The children's fabric article of claim 12, wherein the body is made of a first material, and wherein the pockets are made of a second material different from the first material.

14. The children's fabric article of claim 12, further comprising: a plurality of bonding means opposite to one open side.

15. The children's fabric article of claim 12, wherein the first material is a cloth material and wherein the second material includes silk.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention is in the general field of entertainment, security, developmental, and comforting items for babies and children. It is well known that a child will often become attached to a personal item such as a toy, blanket or other article. Often this attachment will be a result of visual, oral, tactile or other forms of developmental stimulation. Such an item can provide such benefits in a number of ways, particularly in the absence of a parent or other attractions that may divert the child's attention. Further, an article constructed of a plurality of shapes, textures and materials may also be able to provide numerous forms of stimulation. If the article also includes additional attachments, a child will have further opportunities to be stimulated as well, providing important psychological and physiological additional benefits.

Fleece baby blankets having loops or “tags” for baby entertainment are well known in the art. While these blankets have value and are useful, they cannot provide stimulation and pleasure in the manner disclosed herein.

Children are naturally curious and sensitive to items they touch or otherwise come into contact. Many items have been attached to blankets and the like to satisfy the natural sensory needs of children. One such example is a ribbon loop attachment, into which a child can fully insert a finger. Small children may insert a finger into the loops and then twist the loops in such a manner that entanglement and possible loss of circulation can occur. The present disclosure addresses this and other concerns.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention are directed to an article of manufacture, and methods of making the same, that is made of fabric and incorporates safe and secure triangular attachments made of a second fabric which is pleasing to one's hand, folded over and securely attached (e.g. sewn) into the seam of two pieces of fabric. The attachments may be constructed with an open side creating a pocket. When constructed with such a pocket, the design provides children with visual, oral, tactile and developmental stimulation, while being enclosed to prevent a child from getting fingers caught or twisted inside the attachment. The triangular attachments may be sewn into the seam of a blanket, or any appropriate layered body of fabric in which there is a seam.

According to certain aspects, attachments are made by folding a piece of fabric onto itself, and then folding it over again. This double-folded piece of fabric is then securely sewn into the seam of two bodies of fabric, creating a triangular shaped attachment that has one open side or enclosed “pocket” that is pleasing to the tactile, ocular and oral senses of a child. Also, because a child cannot fully “insert” a finger through such a constructed pocket, possible entanglement of a finger is avoided.

The insertion of a finger into the open pocket allows for intrinsic rubbing of the fabric between the fingers, creating pleasure and tactile stimulation for the child. Further, the attachment creates a variation of textural sensations because it is constructed of a different material from the main body of fabric. The resulting variation of material is both visually and orally stimulating to a child. In one embodiment, the triangular attachment is made of satin. In this embodiment, the attachment is not only interesting to feel and view but it also provides oral satiation for the child, an inherent need of developing babies. There are a plurality of input modes of such sensory integration that may stimulate a child's development and interaction experience. Sensory input integration is herein defined as any such input stimulus wherein a child responds to a first action with a reaction.

In yet another embodiment of the invention, a method of providing sensory stimulation to a child is disclosed. The method comprises providing a first material body of fabric sheet. The sheet comprises a first panel of said first material substantially parallel to a second panel of said first material. The first and second panels are sewn together to form the body of fabric sheet. In addition, the body of fabric sheet is securely sewn together with one or more triangular attachments constructed of a second material. Further, the triangular attachment is constructed from a single sheet of a second material fabric wherein the triangular attachment is open on one side to provide a way for a child to obtain visual, oral, tactile and development stimulation. The triangular attachment is assembled by folding over a single sheet of a second fabric material in a series of a first fold step and a second fold step to create one open side of the triangular attachment. The difference in fabric material textures, coupled with the one open side construction provides oral, ocular, tactile, and developmental experience and provides a means for a child to enhance and develop fine motor skills.

It is not feasible to list every possible material, configuration, or shape of the here disclosed subject matter or shape of the body of fabric to which the present invention may be directed. Therefore, the term “body of fabric” is used to refer to every article, shape, material, or combination which may be included in the illustrations and descriptions that follow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates one means for creating the triangular pocket elements according to one embodiment.

FIG. 2 illustrates an embodiment including substantially triangular attachment elements in the corners of a body of fabric sheet.

FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment including snaps and buttons.

FIG. 4 illustrates yet another embodiment including triangular pocket elements on a star shaped blanket.

FIG. 5 illustrates another embodiment of the current invention wherein a plurality of triangular pocket elements are attached to a circular blanket.

FIG. 6 illustrates another embodiment as part of a doll.

FIG. 7 illustrates a flow chart detailing a method for providing sensory stimulation to a child according to one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Specific examples of components and arrangements are described below to simplify the present disclosure. These are, of course, merely examples and are not intended to be limiting. In addition, the present disclosure may repeat reference numerals and/or letters in the various examples. This repetition is for the purpose of simplicity and clarity and does not in itself dictate a relationship between the various embodiments and/or configurations discussed.

FIG. 1 illustrates a triangular pocket element 114 and one means for creating the triangular pocket element 114 according to one embodiment. A square or oblong piece of fabric sheet 110 is folded diagonally to create a first triangular shaped piece of fabric 112. The first triangular-shaped piece of fabric 112 is then folded a second time along a line to bisect the first triangular-shaped fabric 112 such that the fold is along the medium from one of the vertices of the right angle to the midpoint of the opposite side thus creating a second triangular-shaped of the fabric 114. The second triangular-shaped fabric 114 is the pocket element having an open seamless pocket side 116 and a second fabric end side 118 to be sewn into other fabric. The absence of a sewn seam along the pocket side 116 of the pocket element provides for a smoother surface for the infant thus facilitating the tactile sensation and eliminating the less flexible sewn hem or selvage that results when multiple fabrics are sewn together.

Alternatively, a square piece of fabric sheet 110 is folded in half then folded into itself to obtain a second square fabric sheet. The second square fabric sheet is then sewn into the seam on the diagonal and the remaining square is cut off.

FIG. 2 illustrates a blanket 210 according to one embodiment. As shown, a blanket 210 includes a body of fabric having four pocket elements 212, 216, 218 and 220 attached one at each corner. Each pocket element is attached such that the pocket or opening is accessible to a child by aligning the pocket opening along the edge of the blanket 210. Thus, the triangular pocket elements 212, 216, 218 and 220 are easily accessible to the child and are located where the child is most likely to grasp the blanket.

FIG. 3 illustrates a blanket 310 including snaps and buttons according to one embodiment. As shown, blanket 310 includes a fabric material having one or more pocket elements 312, 316 attached at the corners. Each pocket element 312, 316 is attached such that the pocket or opening is accessible to a child by aligning the pocket opening along the edge of the blanket 310. In this embodiment, snaps 314 and buttons 318 are employed to allow for closing the pockets 312 and 318 respectively. This provides for enhanced stimulation of a child and as the child grows, provides a familiarization with common elements of clothing. One having skill in the art will appreciate that this embodiment can be realized using other enclosure means besides snaps or buttons. For example, zippers, laces, or stitching may be employed.

FIG. 4 illustrates a star shaped blanket 410 having triangular pocket elements according to another embodiment. The triangular elements 412, 414, 416, 418 and 420 are attached to the blanket 410, in one aspect, by sewing the fabric end side to the position on the blanket such that they comprise the points of the star. Thus, the triangular pocket elements 412, 414, 416, 418 and 420 are easily accessible to the child and are located where the child is most likely to grasp the blanket.

FIG. 5 illustrates a circular blanket 510 having a plurality of triangular pocket elements according to another embodiment. As shown, a plurality of triangular pocket elements 512 are sewn along the edge of the blanket 510 such that the fabric end side is sewn to the blanket 510 leaving the pocket 514 available for the child to explore. In this embodiment, should the child grasp any position along the edge of the blanket, they will encounter one of the triangle pocket elements 512.

FIG. 6 illustrates a doll constructed out of fabric 610 and having a doll's head 612 according to one embodiment. One or more triangular pocket elements 614 are attached such that the fabric end is sewn to the doll fabric 610 and the pocket opening 616 is available to the child.

One having skill in the art would recognize that a wide variety of fabrics may be used and that different shapes and sizes of elements (e.g. corners, fabric, etc.) may be used.

FIG. 7 illustrates a flow chart detailing a method for creating an object that provides sensory stimulation to a child. To realize a triangular pocket element, one must first provide a square piece of a first fabric 710. The fabric is then folded diagonally to create a first triangular shape 712 and then the fabric is again added to bisect first triangle creating a second triangular shape having a fabric end side and a pocket side 714. Finally, the fabric edges of the second triangular shape are securely sewn into a seam of a second fabric and lining 716. The second fabric may include a blanket, doll or other fabric item for use with a child.

In yet another embodiment of the invention, a method of providing sensory stimulation to a child is disclosed. The method comprises providing a first material body of fabric sheet. The sheet comprises a first panel of a first material substantially parallel to a second panel of said first material or a second material. The first and second panels are sewn together to form the body of fabric sheet. In addition, the body of fabric sheet is securely sewn together with one or more triangular attachments constructed of a different, second material. Further, the triangular attachment is constructed from a single sheet of a second material fabric wherein the triangular attachment is open on one side to provide a way for a child to obtain visual, oral, tactile and development stimulation. The triangular attachment is assembled by folding over a single sheet of a second fabric material in a series of a first fold step and a second fold step to create one open side of the triangular attachment. The difference in fabric material textures, coupled with the one open side construction provides oral, ocular, tactile, and developmental experience.

In yet further embodiments of the invention, a method of providing visual sensory stimulation to a child wherein a body of fabric sheet is shaped in a familiar pattern to the child. The method comprises providing visual sensory stimulation to a child wherein a body of fabric sheet is shaped in the image of a popular children shape, said shape selected from the group consisting of a star, sun, and doll; providing one or more substantially triangular attachments securely sewn and coupled thereto; and stimulating a child's sensory input integration.

According to FIG. 2, the triangular attachment pocket provides a way to visually stimulate a child because the attachment is constructed of a second material, which in some embodiments may be shiny. For example, in one embodiment, the triangular attachment pocket may be constructed of a satin fabric. In such an embodiment, the triangular attachment pocket second material will be attractive to a child because it is shiny and may reflect light differently than a dissimilar first material. Further, the second material may also provide a child with oral stimulation due to the differences in textures between said first and second materials. Other useful materials might include satin, fleece, corduroy, polyester, etc.

Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in one or more specific examples, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the scope of the invention, as set forth in the following claims.