Inspira: As a practicing Physical Therapist and mother of two I felt there had to be a safer and more natural way for children to move from sitting to standing and walking. I watched my second child attempt to use both seated and push walkers and noticed several deficiencies. The seated walker severely restricted her movement and inhibited her natural transitions between sitting, standing and walking. On the other hand, she had trouble reaching the handle bar of the push walker, which interfered with her transition to a standing position. Moreover, once she achieved a standing position controlling and maneuvering the push walker with the single handle bar and fast moving wheels proved extremely difficult and sometimes dangerous. With these problems and limitations in mind I began to tinker with various forms with the goal of creating a product that enables a child to move naturally through the transitions from sitting, standing and walking. A year later the Little Balance Box™ was born!
Spark: I knew there had to be a safer and more natural way for children to learn the gross and fine motor skills required to successfully transition through the developmental mile stones en route to walking. The simple, yet effective, design of the Little Balance Box™ creates a stable platform for the child to place their hands and forearms. This allows them to achieve the optimal alignment to promote development of balance and coordination. Furthermore, a child can freely access and engage, or disengage, the Little Balance Box™ from any angle or position, where as with other products, the child is seated and restricted. The confined position of a seated walker severely restricts a child’s movement through all planes of motion, delaying motor skill development. The Little Balance Box’s™ clear top fosters increased motor learning development of the upper and lower body by providing a visual feedback loop. The child can see what is happening as they take their first tentative steps. An additional benefit of the top is its ability to teach the association of cause and effect, as the child taps on it a motivating drum sound is produced. The design of the dynamic feet allows compression when the child leans onto the product, which creates additional stability. This up and down motion provides increased proprioception into the joints, which assist with development, and enables a smooth transition across various and uneven floor surfaces. The Little Balance Box™ is eco-friendly! It is made from sustainable bamboo and is BPA and PVC free!
Dual Function: The Little Balance Box™ makes a great toddler table! At this age a child is beginning to participate in more tabletop activities. It is often difficult for them to transition on and off a chair to sit at a table. They tend to lose their balance and fall off or tip over the chair. The Little Balance Box™ solves this problem by allowing the child to access the tabletop surface in sitting or standing. The clear top surface has a great workspace with the easy to clean top and rounded boarder to contain all the goodies! The children love having a place that they can independently access to work on their fine motor skills. As you can see the Little Balance Box™ is a new unique way to allow for optimum development in our children!!
Keep on moving. Sit, stand, push, walk with the Little Balance Box™.
- Safe and Enviromentally Friendly - BPA and PVC Free! Made from sustainable bamboo.
- Clear Top - Allows children to observe their legs and feet, which aids in the development of coordination.
- Exciting Drum Top - The clear polycarbonate top produces a percussive sound when a child taps or hits it, which teaches cause and effect.
- Square Top - Allows maximum surface area for a variety of hand/arm positions from any direction and the raised frame lip provides grip during transitions.
- Design - Creates a large base that increases stability while maintaining a small footprint. All corners are rounded so there are no sharp edges. Contoured Nylon Feet - Glide easily across level carpet, wood, and tile without damaging the surfaces.
- Dynamic Floating Feet - Up and down movement provides sensory input to develop coordination in muscles and joints.
- Rounded Ergonomic Top Border - Fits easily into a child’s hand making it easier to maneuver.
Trademarks and Patent: First I had to protect my invention. Trademark and provisional patent for “Little Balance Box - Sit. Stand. Push. Walk™.” were completed in late 2014. Full utility patent was filled in January of 2015. Patent pending.
Expos: After receipt of the initial prototypes I wanted to test my product and gather real world feedback. I first sent a sample to undergo safety testing to ensure industry compliance and durability. The Little Balance Box™ passed all testing!!! Next I participated in the San Diego Kids Expos, which proved to be a great opportunity with media coverage and positive support from the community!
Home and Day Care Trials:
Buyers Review: I also had my product reviewed by a small boutique buyer and large box retail buyer to determine if there was a place for my product in the retail world. My reviews were so high that I earned the Buyerly Approval seal of approval!
Actual Quotes from the two buyers who reviewed this product: Question: Given what you have read about this product, what do you like about this product idea?
Buyer 1, Answer: "I love that this product has been perfectly engineered to solve for misses that are inherent in all baby/toddler walkers on the market. Most walkers in the toy aisle are marketed primarily as toys, and secondarily as development products to assist baby with pulling up, standing and walking. This is a great and very clear differentiator. In all my years as a toy Buyer, I haven't seen anything similar to this product. "
Buyer 2 Answer: "I think that the company is pursuing a patent for its technology is one of its biggest competitive advantages. To me that signifies that it is a unique product that is substantially different from anything else on the market. Having patented technology also carries with it the authority of being a well-researched and well-designed product. "
Production & Packaging: The materials I wanted for my great invention had to be child safe, durable, and sustainable. While these goals were ideal it took a little longer than anticipated to find a company that could meet my demands. After extensive searching and prototyping I finally secured a company and began the process of working out all the details for production-proper materials, partial assembly set up, packaging etc. Product comes partially assembled, all tools included. Product measurements: 14 L X 14 W X 12 H inches. Weight: 6.6 lbs.
Marketing: All great products have a catchy song and I think my jingle highlights the key features and also helps children learn the words that correspond to their body movements.
Risks and challenges
I have had various challenges, or what I prefer to call "learning experiences," while going through every stage of this process. Two steps forward and one step back the whole way. I have been very fortunate to work with a team of amazing consultants: engineers, production, manufactures and marketing specialists, therapists, lawyers, web designers and videographers. These individuals have all helped me get over the hurdles and keep me on tract. I also have a wonderful support network of family, friends and co-workers who have been constant cheerleaders during this journey. I fully expect that I will continue to encounter various obstacles as I move forward with the production and shipping process. However, I know that my motivation, desire to help others, and confidence in my product will allow me to overcome and or mitigate these challenges and continue to move forward!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)