When I was at the American Academy of Pediatrics Convention this year I was walking through the expo looking at table after table of hospital representatives and tons of new toys and gadgets for babies. I was putting some Johnson and Johnson lotion samples in my bag when something caught my eye. A new product designed to catch the eye of babies! Rumple Buddies!
Rumple Buddies are adorable red, white, and black stuffed animals made of a soft, fluffy fabric and a “crinkly” inside so they make a sound when touched. As a pediatric occupational therapist with a special interest in sensory processing and early childhood development, this drew me right over! I love how many different sensory components are included in one toy. As I have blogged before, babies under six months can best see highly-contrasted colors such as black and white and red. The rods and cones in their eyes are not yet fully developed, so they cannot see all the colors in the spectrum that we can see.
Young baby’s vision is better stimulated by these colors, so I always recommend using objects and toys with these colors when working on visual skills or just playing and interacting with babies this age. The highly-contrasting colors of Rumple Buddies are perfect for these young developing eyes! Rumple Buddies come in five varieties, Beary Rumple, Bunny Rumple, Kitty Rumple, Monkey Rumple, and Ryder Rumple. I love how each one, even the car, has a face. Faces make toys more interactive and interesting for babies to look at.
I also love the feel of Rumple Buddies. The soft, furry fabric offers great tactile stimulation and parts of the fabric is slightly different, with a “bumpy” texture to add more tactile variety. The “crinkle” is inside every part of the toy, even in the little ears on the bear. The “crinkle” component adds stimulation to baby’s sense of hearing. This helps your baby learn cause and effect. As he squeezes the bear, he is able to make noise. I love it!
And it gets better! Each Rumple Buddy comes with a book about that particular animal or car. The book offers an engaging story and a great way to bond with your baby. The words are simple and repetitive and encourage interaction with the toy while reading and crinkling the bear. I loved when Beary Rumple found a friend!
I had the opportunity to speak to Maria Zipf and Thelma Nathanson, the clever creators of Rumple Buddies and she was kind enough to send me a few Rumple Buddies to try them out. I tried them with a four-week old, a five-month-old and a twelve-month-old. Each child was equally engaged and enthralled with their Rumple Buddy and the stories in the book. For the very young babies, I liked to use Rumple Buddy as a visual exercise, holding it 10-12 inches from their face and moving it in horizontal and vertical planes to exercise the tiny muscles around their eyes in a scanning activity. This helps keep the muscles developing strong and symmetrically. For older babies, I like to read them the book and make Rumple Buddies talk to them and in silly voices and have Rumple Buddies give them “kisses” on different parts of their body while I said “head”, “hand”, “foot” to work on tactile sensation as well as body awareness.
I am big fan of Rumple Buddies. They remind me of all the red, white, and black toys, blankets, boppies, and positioning devices I made for my babies!
I am currently working on creating an app to help bridge the word gap and encourage parents to interact with their babies in a productive, positive way and I found Rumple Buddies to be a nice addition to my app. We used Rumple Buddy books and stuffed animals for parents to interact with their babies in the app. These products easily lend themselves to communication and interaction between parent and baby. Look for my Aimee’s Babies Word Gap App to be released soon and you can see Rumple Buddies in action!
I also love how Rumple Buddies are machine washable, can easily be folded to fit in a purse or bag, and are small and pliable and easy for babies to carry and manage.
Check out Rumple Buddies here: https://www.rumplebuddies.com