Title:
Child interaction device and method therefor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A child interaction device that is placed over the back of a chair or other article of furniture having at least one article of entertainment attached to its face. The device is positioned so that the article of entertainment is displayed on the front of the seat back so that a person sitting in the chair will face forward while the child held by that person will face rearward and therefore face toward the child interaction device, enabling the child to interact with the at least one article of entertainment.



Inventors:
Wilkins, Lisa (Henderson, NV, US)
Application Number:
12/328557
Publication Date:
06/10/2010
Filing Date:
12/04/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/217.1
International Classes:
A63H33/00; A47C31/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BALDORI, JOSEPH B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEISS & MOY, P.C. (PHOENIX, AZ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A child interaction device comprising: a furniture cover dimensioned to cover at least a portion of an article of furniture; and at least one article of entertainment coupled to said furniture cover and dimensioned to provide entertainment.

2. The child interaction device of claim 1 wherein said at least one article of entertainment being at least one of a picture, a drawing, a story page, a toy, a tactile object, and a display device.

3. The child interaction device of claim 1 wherein said furniture cover having wireless communication capabilities.

4. The child interaction device of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of sheets coupled to said furniture cover, wherein said at least one article of entertainment coupled to each said plurality of sheets.

5. The child interaction device of claim 1 wherein said at least one article of entertainment being removable and interchangeable with another said at least one article of entertainment.

6. The child interaction device of claim 1 wherein said article of furniture being at least one of a wall, a crib, a playpen, a sofa, a lounger, a recliner, a couch, a beanbag chair, a bench, a bergere, a chair, a fauteuil, a footstool, a love seat, an ottoman, a settee, a stool, a tuffet, a watchman's chair, a coffee table, a desk, an end table, a folding table, a gateleg table, a table, an armoire, a bookcase, a cabinet, a chest, a credenza, a curio, a dresser, a filing cabinet, a hall tree, a hatstand, a knoll sofa, a sideboard, a wardrobe, a bed, a hutch, a lamp, and a folding screen.

7. The child interaction device of claim 1 further comprising a securing mechanism coupled to said furniture cover and dimensioned to secure said furniture cover to at least a portion of an article of furniture.

8. The child interaction device of claim 7 wherein said furniture cover comprising a closed end and an open end, wherein said open end defines a channel dimensioned to allow one of a string and an elastic band to pass through said channel in order to secure said furniture cover about at least a portion of said article of furniture.

9. A child interaction device comprising: a furniture cover having an exterior surface and an interior surface and a closed end and an open end, said open end dimensioned to be placed over at least a portion of an article of furniture with at least a portion of said interior surface proximate at least a portion of said article of furniture, said open end defines a channel dimensioned to allow one of a string and an elastic band to pass through said channel in order to secure said furniture cover about at least a portion of said article of furniture; and at least one article of entertainment from a group of a picture, a drawing, a story page, a tactile object and a display device coupled to said exterior surface of said furniture cover and dimensioned to provide entertainment.

10. A method of entertaining a child comprising: providing an article of furniture; providing a furniture cover; covering at least a portion of an article of furniture with said furniture cover; providing at least one article of entertainment coupled to said furniture cover; and positioning a child in front of said furniture cover facing said at least one article of entertainment.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein said article furniture being at least one of a wall, a crib, a playpen, a sofa, a lounger, a recliner, a couch, a beanbag chair, a bench, a bergere, a chair, a fauteuil, a footstool, a love seat, an ottoman, a settee, a stool, a tuffet, a watchman's chair, a coffee table, a desk, an end table, a folding table, a gateleg table, a table, an armoire, a bookcase, a cabinet, a chest, a credenza, a curio, a dresser, a filing cabinet, a hall tree, a hatstand, a knoll sofa, a sideboard, a wardrobe, a bed, a hutch, a lamp, and a folding screen.

12. The method of claim 10 wherein said at least one article of entertainment being at least one of a picture, a drawing, a story page, a toy, a tactile object, and a display device.

13. The method of claim 10 wherein said at least one article of entertainment having wireless communication capabilities.

14. The method of claim 10 further comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of sheets coupled to said furniture cover wherein said at least one article of entertainment being coupled to each of said plurality of sheets; and flipping at least one of said plurality of sheets to at least one of reveal and cover at least one article of entertainment

15. The method of claim 10 wherein said at least one article of entertainment being removable and interchangeable with another said at least one article of entertainment.

16. The method of claim 10 further comprising the steps of: providing a securing mechanism coupled to said furniture cover; and securing said furniture cover to at least a portion of an article of furniture with said securing mechanism.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein said furniture cover comprising a closed end and an open end, wherein said open end defines a channel dimensioned to allow one of a string and an elastic band to pass through said channel in order to secure said furniture cover about at least a portion of said article of furniture.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to entertainment and methods therefor and, more particularly, to a child interaction device that is connected to a chair or other piece of furniture and that is used by the child while being held by a person sitting on a chair or other piece of furniture.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various child interaction devices have been invented to entertain children. This is due to the recognized benefits of occupying a child's mind. There is both a long tern benefit of improving the mental development of a child and an immediate benefit of placating an upset or restless child. However, the child interaction devices created heretofore have rarely been integrated with a device used by the adult holding the child. Benefit may be obtained in making such integration, in that the adult holding the child does not have to concurrently hold the child interaction device as well as the child, and in that the adult would receive an additional benefit or use from the integrated device, such as sitting comfortably.

The present invention solves the aforementioned problems by integrating a child interaction device with a chair or other article of furniture, thereby allowing a person holding a child to sit while the child is entertained or occupied by the child interaction device while at the same time allowing the person holding the child to entertain or occupy the child without having to hold the child interaction device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a child interaction device used in connection with a chair or other piece of furniture, so that a person holding a child may sit facing forward in the chair while the child can view the front of the chair back over the shoulder of the person and thereby interact with the child interaction device coupled to the chair.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a child interaction device used in connection with a chair or piece of furniture that has a multitude of mechanisms for child interaction, the multitude of mechanisms being integrated into the device in such a manner to allow for different mechanisms to be revealed to the child in different forms or at different times without having to remove and/or replace the child interaction device altogether.

A consequential benefit is also obtained by the present invention in that the child interaction device will protect the material of the chair or other piece of material from baby spit up while being easily removed from the chair and washable.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A child interaction device is disclosed, comprising, a furniture cover dimensioned to cover at least a portion of an article of furniture, and at least one article of entertainment coupled to the furniture cover and dimensioned to provide entertainment.

A child interaction device is disclosed, comprising, a furniture cover having an exterior surface and an interior surface and a closed end and an open end, the open end dimensioned to be placed over at least a portion of an article of furniture with at least a portion of the interior surface proximate at least a portion of the article of furniture, the open end defines a channel dimensioned to allow one of a string and an elastic band to pass through the channel in order to secure the furniture cover about at least a portion of the article of furniture, and at least one article of entertainment from a group of a picture, a drawing, a story page, a tactile object and a display device coupled to the exterior surface of the furniture cover and dimensioned to provide entertainment.

A method of entertaining a child is disclosed, comprising, providing an article of furniture, providing a furniture cover, covering at least a portion of an article of furniture with the furniture cover, providing at least one article of entertainment coupled to the furniture cover, and positioning a child in front of the furniture cover facing the at least one article of entertainment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the child interaction device of the present invention, showing a top sheet or page containing a variety of articles of entertainment of the child interaction device, the various geometric figures constructed by dotted lines representing the variety of toys, exercises, or designs that constitute the child interaction mechanisms;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the child interaction device of FIG. 1, showing the main body of the child interaction device partially revealed underneath the aforementioned top sheet or page;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the child interaction device of FIG. 1 coupled to a chair and having a top sheet/page resting on the front side of the device in its ready-to-use position, the individual sheet/page having a variety of articles of entertainment attached thereto;

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the child interaction device of FIG. 1 coupled to a chair;

Common reference numerals are used throughout the drawings and detailed descriptions to indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1-4, one embodiment of a child interaction device 10 is disclosed. It should be noted that the preferred embodiment described below can be performed with different chairs as well as other types of furniture, such as couches. The child interaction device 10 comprises a furniture cover 12 dimensioned to cover at least a portion of an article of furniture, such as a chair 14 (shown in FIGS. 3-4). While, in the preferred embodiment, the article of furniture is a chair 14, it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit could be derived from an alternative embodiment of the present invention in which the article of furniture is a couch or some other piece of furniture. The furniture cover 12 preferably is dimensioned to be slid over the back 15 (shown in FIGS. 3-4) of a chair 14. In the preferred embodiment, the furniture cover 12 comprises a closed end 16 and an open end 18 (shown in FIGS. 1-2). The open end 18 preferably defines a channel 20 (shown in FIGS. 1-3) that is dimensioned to allow either a draw string 22 (elastic band or some other securing mechanism) to pass through the channel 20 in order to secure the furniture cover 12 about at least a portion of the chair 14 (or other article of furniture).

Still referring to FIGS. 1-4, the furniture cover 12 also preferably comprises an exterior surface 23 and an interior surface 24 (shown in FIGS. 1-2) that is proximate at least a portion of the chair 14 or other article of furniture. At least one article of entertainment 26 (shown in FIGS. 1-3) is coupled to the exterior surface 23 of the furniture cover 12 and dimensioned to entertain a child. Preferably, the article of entertainment 26 is either a picture, a drawing, a story page (e.g., a page reproduced from a book), a tactile object (e.g., a button or yarn), a display device (e.g., LED or OLED screen), or some combination thereof. While, in the preferred embodiment, the furniture cover 12 has an open end 18 and a closed end 16, it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit could be derived from an alternative embodiment of the present invention in which the furniture cover is more of a blanket that is draped over at least a portion of a chair 14 or other article of furniture. It should also be clearly understood that substantial benefit could be derived from an alternative embodiment of the present invention in which the article of entertainment 26 is some other object or graphical representation (e.g., brail) so long as it is capable of entertaining a child.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the child interaction device 10 preferably comprises a plurality of sheets 28 coupled to the furniture cover 12 with at least one article of entertainment 26 coupled to each sheet 28. In this way, the child interaction device 10 could act as a book with pages that could be flipped by the child or the caregiver. In one embodiment of the present invention, the at least one article of entertainment 26 could be detachable or interchangeable with other articles of entertainment 26, although it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit could be derived from an alternative embodiment of the present invention in which the articles of entertainment 26 are fixed and immovable, such as the graphical representations found on the pages of a book, or a sewn button. The at least one article of entertainment 26 has the specific function of entertaining, distracting, or calming a child. The sheets 28 are capable of being placed in front of other sheets/pages 28 thereby covering the articles of entertainment 26 attached to the other sheets/pages 28 or the exterior surface 23 of the furniture cover 12. The sheets/pages 28 are also capable of being flipped over the top of the chair 14 (or other article of furniture) to which the furniture cover 12 is covering, thereby exposing either the front exterior surface 23 of the furniture cover 12 or the front side of the next sheet/page 26 underneath it. The child interaction device 10 would also be capable of being removed from the chair 14 for storage or washing purposes.

Statement of Operation

In accordance with one embodiment of the child interaction device 10, the furniture cover 12 is placed over the back of a chair 14 (or other article of furniture), or otherwise coupled to the front side of a chair 14, with its front exterior surface 23 facing a user. The holder of the child that will interact with the child interaction device 10 then sits on the chair 14 facing forward with the child facing rearward (i.e. toward the chair back 15. The child interaction device 10 comprises at least one article of entertainment 26 on at least the exterior surface 23 of the furniture cover 12. Preferably, the furniture cover 12 will have at least one additional sheet/page 28 coupled thereto, with each sheet/page 28 having at least one article of entertainment 26, such as a toy, design, graphical representation or other item. In this way, the caregiver or child can flip the pages 28 of the child interaction device 10 in order to vary the entertainment. Accordingly, when it is desired to allow the child to interact with articles of entertainment 26 attached to the additional sheets/pages 28, the additional individual sheets/pages 28 may be flipped over the top of the furniture cover 12 of the child interaction device 10, thereby resting on the backside of the chair back 15, and thereby exposing a different sheet/page 28 with a different set of mechanisms for child interaction. If the child grows uninterested with a particular sheet or page 28, it may be flipped over, thereby exposing a new sheet or page 28 and a new source of entertainment for child interaction.